A few days ago the Archipelagos research team visited the Special Education School in Samos in order to plant a school garden using seeds from local varieties. These seeds come from the Archipelagos Seed Bank.

With the help of teachers and Archipelagos researchers, students cultivated local varieties of winter vegetables and a rare variety of wheat. The seeds used were from the Aegean Seed Bank’s samples originating from both from the island of Samos and other islands with similar climatic conditions.

Unfortunately, the education of students in the importance of rural culture and the rural economy is non-existent so the majority of students ignore the nutritional and economic value of agricultural varieties. Without any financial support Archipelagos self-funds this program. We aim to fill a large part of the educational gap that exists and inform students on the importance of rural culture and encourage the preservation and conservation of local products.

Through this process we also try to contribute to the development of skills, team spirit and cooperation – encouraging personal accountability and responsibility amongst the students involved in creating the school gardens.

With this in mind, Archipelagos continues collaborations with schools throught Greece, utilising the Aegean Seed Bank located in Samos as a starting point. We will be working for the creation of school gardens in Athens, Crete and other islands over the next few weeks.


Thodoris Tsimpidis
Director of Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation