The Earth Issue: Tree of Forty Different Fruits

  • Emma Latham Phillips

Humans have narrowed down crop options to a point where genetic diversity has been lost. The reason? To increase productivity and sell in bulk. We now have monocultures, which makes crops vulnerable to disease and climate change. In response, Sam Van Aken has created a single tree that bears 40 different varieties of stone fruit. It acts as a modern Noah's Ark, a vessel for near-extinct heirloom varieties once important to the local area. I wrote about this and more for The Earth Issue, Dreams of Tomorrow.