Gardeners who grow traditional varieties of cabbages, onions and peas are being sought by researchers who want to preserve historically important crops for posterity. It is hoped that the project, run by the universities of Birmingham and Warwick, will give scientists access to genes that may improve the prospects of crops in the future. Nigel Maxted, from Birmingham's School of Biosciences, said: "We are aware that some farmers grow traditional vegetable varieties, but we do not have a comprehensive list of them, nor do we know who is growing them, where or why. These older varieties are dwindling fast and are not being passed on to the next generation."
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