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North America’s agricultural and natural landscapes are vital to feeding humanity—they are home to many populations of important food plants and their wild relatives.
Agriculture is comprised of managed ecosystems, which can include forests, rangelands
and crops; these managed ecosystems are vital resources, providing a host
Biodiversity in and across food and agriculture systems provides tremendous value to present and future generations. However, across the world we are losing genes, species, and ecosystems faster than we can account for them.
Crop wild relatives, the wild progenitors and closely related cousins of cultivated plant
species, are sources of valuable genetic resources for crop improvement. Persisting gaps
Crop wild relatives—the plant species closely related to agricultural crops—are valuable
genetic resources used by plant breeders to increase pest and disease resistance, stress
Grain legumes provide a rich resource of plant nutrition to human diets and are vital for food security and sustainable cropping.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society created a vegetable farm in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia. Visitors engaged with local experts in an exchange of knowledge about growing food and the impacts of community gardens.
Food is personal and because of this, conversations around food and agriculture can be emotionally charged and even divisive. How can public gardens address polarizing subjects in food systems while doing these conversations justice?
Conserving biodiversity for food and agriculture requires coordination and cooperation across local and global communities. Botanical gardens are at the crossroads of plant science and public engagement.
Of the myriad gifts plants provide to humanity, food is among the most visible, as everyone needs to eat, every single day.