The Fertile Crescent offers a strategy for adapting to climate change: Salvatore Ceccarelli knew he was engaging in a subversive act when, in 2010, he took two 20 kilo sacks from a seed bank outside of Aleppo, Syria and brought them to Italy. Now, 7 years later, those seeds from the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of domesticated agriculture, are poised to challenge the system of plant patenting. Ceccarelli, one of the world’s foremost seed scholars has consulted with governments on policies to encourage biodiversity. He has also been a leading advocate of participatory plant breeding—which means engaging farmers in the process of breeding new crop varieties, rather than leaving that to the rapidly consolidating group of global seed companies. His experiment in the adaptive process may offer a way to cope with climate change.