Noah's Ark (Association)

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Noah's Ark - Society for the Conservation of Cultivated Plants Diversity & Their Development
legal form society
founding 1990
founder Semen Care Association and Fructus Associations.
Seat Langenlois-Schiltern , Obere Straße 40 ( coordinates: 48 ° 31 ′ 9.8 ″  N , 15 ° 37 ′ 2.4 ″  E )
main emphasis Traditional seed cultivation and production
method Sperm bank and exchange, show garden
Action space Austria, Europe
people Chairman Johannes Maurer since 2019

Simone Schneeweiss 2018-2019 Christian Schrefel 2012–2018 Peter Zipser 1994–2012 Nancy Aerosmith Founding Chairwoman

Members approx. 14,000

Noah's Ark Society for the Preservation of Cultivated Plants Diversity & Their Development is a Lower Austrian association based in Schiltern near Langenlois.


Noah's Ark, Schiltern, Lower Austria: Show and propagation garden 2010

The association was founded in 1990 in Krems an der Donau as a merger of two predecessor associations, the Lower Austrian seed care association and the Styrian Fructus. As early as 1989, they said they had jointly published the first common seed catalog. The motivation was therefore that home gardeners and farmers in particular complained about the disappearance of traditional varieties and took the initiative to preserve the increasingly endangered commercial and local varieties. In 1997 the subsidiary Arche Noah Schaugarten  non-profit GmbH was founded. In 2002, 6,500 old varieties were preserved and increased at Schloss Haindorf ; since 2010 there have been around 4,500 vegetable varieties, 1,100 varieties of agricultural crops such as wheat, potatoes and maize, and 400 varieties of herbs and wild plants.


The association's tasks are to preserve the regional diversity of cultivated plants and to provide varieties of agricultural crops that have become rare or are no longer commercially available. This works in the manner of a swap exchange, in which the members receive seeds from other members, multiply them and then redistribute them again, and track down old varieties on their own initiative. In addition, Noah's Ark also operates a botanical collection, the largest archive of varieties of seeds, onions and tubers of rare vegetables, grains and other useful plants in German-speaking countries. This means that regular refreshment of the sperm bank can also be implemented on a decentralized basis.

In 2017 Noah's Ark had around 17,000 members and sponsors and around 150 maintainers in Austria and other European countries who, in addition to the seed archive, privately take care of preservation and propagation.

The varieties available from the individual maintainer and from the Noah's Ark seed archive are published in the earlier variety handbook (current network catalog). The variety handbook is currently published every two years. The variety handbook database is also available online; apart from the member data, all information is also available to non-members.

In addition, the association is politically involved in the issue of copyrights to varieties. In 2014, on the initiative of the association, knowledge of traditional seed cultivation and extraction was included in the national list of intangible world heritage in Austria by UNESCO . The purpose of this designation is to provide legally binding protection as a general and traditional cultural asset, on the basis of which further legal protective measures can be taken.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Noah's Ark imprint. .
  2. Noah's Ark : Noah's Ark Board. December 17, 2018, accessed December 17, 2018 .
  3. About us: History of the association. ( Memento of the original from March 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice., accessed on March 29, 2014.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Arche Noah variety archive and replication garden. .
  5. ^ Jan Matejcek: Summertime. on ORF , September 2, 2010.
  6. Noahs Ark variety manual online .
  7. Noah's Ark seed extraction becomes a UNESCO cultural heritage. Lower Austria Press Service, June 25, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.