Planting Seeds of Hope

Sarah Dohle ’01 shared her research about bean varieties at TEDxGeorgeSchool in December 2016. (Photo by Eden McEwen ’17)

Sarah Dohle ’01, assistant professor of plant science at Delaware Valley University, is working to re-plant hope in Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria devastated much of the island, including thousands of acres of agriculture, Sarah saw a need for a seed relief project and teamed up with two colleagues–Viviana Medina, an agronomist from Puerto Rico, and Leonela Carriedo, a researcher in the seed industry–to create a seed relief project for Puerto Rico.

The team is currently accepting donations at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown and is working to form a partnership with the US Department of Agriculture to bring the seeds to the island. They are hoping to help replenish the estimated eight thousand acres of vegetables that have vanished.

“Seeds are powerful,” Sarah said. “An ounce of lettuce seeds is about 23,000 seeds, and that can replant an entire acre. That’s a lot of salad from one small package of seeds.”

“Seeds are already starting to arrive by mail at the University where they will be sorted, processed and stored before they are shipped to farmers,” reported Delaware Valley University. “The group is placing flyers in local nurseries and garden stores to let customers know how to donate. They’re also reaching out to professional agriculture organizations for help.”

“We’re receiving donations from individuals who are purchasing seeds at garden stores,” said Sarah. “Burpee is also going to send a case of seeds.”

Read more to learn how you can help.

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