THEY are some of the finest strains of vegetable to be found anywhere in Spain.

Yet little by little the rare species including the Farajan tomato, the Montecorto watermelon and Arriate’s black courgette are in danger of disappearing.

So concerned are ecologists in the Serrania de Ronda that a new scheme has been launched to save them.

The new project is aiming to create a seed bank to ensure that none of the vegetable plants are lost. Among other plants being conserved are the purple acelgas of Ronda, the broad bean of Benadalid and red maize of Genalguacil.

The aim of a scheme run by the agricultural college Universidad Rural Paulo Frere (URPF) in Benalauria is to eventually start reintroducing them again in the area.

Rafael Galindo of Ecologistas en Accion Silvema Ronda explained: “The objective of the seed bank is to conserve, regenerate and re-sow the Serranía with its traditional plants”

The seed bank has benefited from the donations of over 300 different types of plant, cereal and vegetable seed from local farmers in the area.

A list of seeds can be found on


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