A Seed Saver's Garden

Jack Holloway

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I once met Tom Wagner (I hope I spelled his last name correctly) the breeder of the Green Zebra tomato as well as many others. He passion at the time was potato breeding and he had some really interesting varieties and was ignored by "professional' potato breeders; they wouldn't talk to him even. He had a farmer grow out a large amount of one of his potatoes who he suspected kept some back cause a few years later one identical to his was suddenly being sold at grocery stores. A no name yellow. I think it is still out there.

Anyway, he was quite annoyed/upset, that he couldn't profit off his work. He spent a lot of time and money developing his varieties and once they left him, he couldn't benefit from them. Kinda like the starving artist who's work is popular, but doesn't make them enough money to live on.

So I guess I can kinda see the point. But Monsanto and the like have taken it to the extreme. Their patented genes have made it into the wild mustard plants in Canada. So much for their "control" of preventing the genes from contaminating other varieties.

Sorry @heirloomgal for hijacking yet again your thread. Maybe I should start my own with my random rants. :caf
 
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ducks4you

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So...why not sell them? word of mouth is as easy as the Internet. If it is popular, gardeners will want to buy it.
When you see that seed sellers like High Mowing sells packages of tomatoes, 5/package, about $1/seed, he could do well...or not.
I live in a land grant university town. The question often arises, if a Professor researches and creates a solution to a problem WHILE EMPLOYED by same univerisity, on university facilities, can he/she claim ownership to it?'
After all, the work was done under contract with the employer, the university, and our tax dollars Pay towards same university?
I think it's all about expectations. There are very few "get rich quick" enterprises.
Universities have the Best labs/lab conditions, hard/expensive to duplicate at home.
Friend's father, now Professor Emeritis, Animal Sciences, Unversity of Illinois.
He (helped to) develop the dry dog food method, now used EVERYWHERE.
He also developed and researched birth control for wild animals, in the field.
You can get really bitter if your research doesn't make you wealthy.
OR, you can either save up and make your own lab for research, then keep profits, after paying staff and housing.
OR, contract profits With your employer before you commence working for them.
Still, we are NOT panicking about food to help keeping genetic variety in our food.
 

Zeedman

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I think this may be why I got them as a *freebie and they aren't actually offered on the pepper site I got them from. I don't know how this KS fellow could possibly request such a thing though? That seems not entirely legal to me, though I'm not up on the logistics of such things.
There are others who have made similar requests. The UK developer of Aeron Purple Star (sent to me by @aftermidnight ) asked the same, that the seed he shares freely be in turn shared, not sold. I enclose a copy of that request (or exchange an email) for any of that seed I exchange. I get that if a developer freely shares their seeds without profit, they would expect others to likewise pay that forward.

The Open Source Seed Initiative is an organization dedicated to keeping new open-pollinated varieties in the public domain. They too make a request, that those requesting their seeds pledge to not patent them, and to forward that pledge along with any seed sold or shared. A worthy goal, but I'm not sure they - or anyone else making such a request - has much legal standing to enforce it. It does, however, document prior development & possession of the variety, should anyone later claim that seed to be "their" original development.

Wow, I just noticed that OSSI is headquartered in Wisconsin... I may stop in to see them the next time I am passing through Madison.

Personally, I have sent seed to several seed companies, and am happy to see those varieties get wider exposure... the more hands, the better. I would however strongly object to anyone attempting to patent those seeds, and thereby limit their distribution - especially any effort to retroactively patent an already existing trait (as has already been tried for such things as warted pumpkins). ANY restrictions placed on selling or sharing a variety - whether legal or voluntary - lessen its chances of preservation, or of reaching those who could most benefit from it.
 

flowerbug

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...The Open Source Seed Initiative is an organization dedicated to keeping new open-pollinated varieties in the public domain. They too make a request, that those requesting their seeds pledge to not patent them, and to forward that pledge along with any seed sold or shared. A worthy goal, but I'm not sure they - or anyone else making such a request - has much legal standing to enforce it. It does, however, document prior development & possession of the variety, should anyone later claim that seed to be "their" original development.

i'm not against what they are trying to do but i honestly can't do it myself as i can't control the bees. so i will not willingly or knowingly grow any seeds from them.

i already see some seeds advertized of theirs that are being sold on other websites and no mention of them being OSSI seeds. so if they're going to enforce their names/trademark/etc they'll have to do it.
 

Jack Holloway

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The Open Source Seed Initiative is an organization dedicated to keeping new open-pollinated varieties in the public domain. They too make a request, that those requesting their seeds pledge to not patent them, and to forward that pledge along with any seed sold or shared. A worthy goal, but I'm not sure they - or anyone else making such a request - has much legal standing to enforce it. It does, however, document prior development & possession of the variety, should anyone later claim that seed to be "their" original development.

i'm not against what they are trying to do but i honestly can't do it myself as i can't control the bees. so i will not willingly or knowingly grow any seeds from them.
What I find strange is Glen Downs, who introduced Blacktail Mountain Watermelon through the SSE in 1983 has recently announced it was under the OSSI banner. Ah, after almost 40 years of it being grown and spread it is a bit late to try and put it back in the bottle and claim it is now restricted by a license. I do wish Monsanto would figure out they can't control the bees or the wind and stop suing people who's crops get contaminated by their patented genes. Yes, I know some people are trying to do this intentionally, but not everyone is doing that.
 

heirloomgal

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I think he was thinking that he just wanted them to spread as gifts, a nice gesture, rather than someone making money off them. Less controling and more no own "owning them" in any way.
I had no idea that this was his intention, it is certainly benevolent gesture.
 

heirloomgal

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AGREED!!!!
Whether we like it or NOT, we are part of the responsbility for genetic diversity every time we grow a plant, save it's seeds and replant it.
Monsanto had drunk the "it's illegal to steal our pollination" Kool Aid,'
Tyrants ALL!! :somad:somad:somad
Imagine if we had this 'I own you because I *created* you' and ' I get to control you forever because of all the hard work and many years I put into you' with our kids?
 

heirloomgal

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I once met Tom Wagner (I hope I spelled his last name correctly) the breeder of the Green Zebra tomato as well as many others. He passion at the time was potato breeding and he had some really interesting varieties and was ignored by "professional' potato breeders; they wouldn't talk to him even. He had a farmer grow out a large amount of one of his potatoes who he suspected kept some back cause a few years later one identical to his was suddenly being sold at grocery stores. A no name yellow. I think it is still out there.

Anyway, he was quite annoyed/upset, that he couldn't profit off his work. He spent a lot of time and money developing his varieties and once they left him, he couldn't benefit from them. Kinda like the starving artist who's work is popular, but doesn't make them enough money to live on.

So I guess I can kinda see the point. But Monsanto and the like have taken it to the extreme. Their patented genes have made it into the wild mustard plants in Canada. So much for their "control" of preventing the genes from contaminating other varieties.

Sorry @heirloomgal for hijacking yet again your thread. Maybe I should start my own with my random rants. :caf
Don't apologize Jack! Hey, I'm all about the free exchange and expression of ideas. I've read my fair share of Plato on dialogue. :lol:

As much as KS's gesture with wanting to keep the seed 'free' is a well intended one no doubt, I still think it's problematic. It's actually a challenge to people's essential freedom, to my mind. If someone wants to grow one of his peppers, and wants to sell some of the seed they grow themselves, I don't think they should be prevented from doing that. It's like any product sold; if a car is sold to someone, they shouldn't be told they can only drive it during the day, or according to the seller's preference. When you sell something, or even give it away, you have to let it go. The nature of the giving or the selling relinquishes ownership in my thinking.

SoDC has this disturbing bolded headline when you get on their site about 'people protecting the people's seeds'. I cringe when I read that because (aside from the implied Marxism) I don't believe that, depending how you interpret it I guess. Living expressions, the force of life, is the public domain for sure - but labor is not, nor is private property. I don't own anyone else's seed, and they don't own mine. Even if I get seeds given to me for free, I have to pay for soil, for water, for fertility needs, for my greenhouse, to grow more of them.

But I'm twitchy about all this stuff because we have a lunatic at the helm here who keeps telling us that one day 'we'll own nothing but be happy'! 🤪
 
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heirloomgal

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Personally, I have sent seed to several seed companies, and am happy to see those varieties get wider exposure... the more hands, the better.
Yes!! That's how I see it too. The more, the merrier. I have not kept up with what's up going on with the patenting of life, partly because it's too disturbing. I hope that it has not become easier to put patents on seeds; the last that I had read about such instances was related exclusively to genetically modified seeds, which was mostly done by corporations. If things have moved toward desire for 'patenting' even with regular folk who are breeding vegetables, that is just scary. Man's quest for divine status seems to have no end.
 

Pulsegleaner

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I do wish Monsanto would figure out they can't control the bees or the wind and stop suing people who's crops get contaminated by their patented genes. Yes, I know some people are trying to do this intentionally, but not everyone is doing that.
Ah, but doing that is part of their plan. If they can effectively sue anyone who get their genes in their crops, even by accident, they can get to a point where growing versions of those crops that are NOT theirs becomes legally impossible. Then, they have a monopoly on the market.
If one treats that person's varieties as part of their assets, they can also possibly get the courts to transfer the rights for those to them as part of the settlement as well, and then they can patent THOSE genes, so they now have even MORE stuff they can legally sue over.

Monsanto is interested in maximum profits, and a legal monopoly in something that everyone HAS to buy inelastically (and lets face it, at some level, food DOES become inelastic, everyone has to eat.) is the most profitable of all. If companies COULD legally lay claim to wild genes (and it's really only a matter of getting some key people to change some laws to get that to happen.) they would. Control the world food supply, and you control the world.

I once met Tom Wagner (I hope I spelled his last name correctly) the breeder of the Green Zebra tomato as well as many others. He passion at the time was potato breeding and he had some really interesting varieties and was ignored by "professional' potato breeders; they wouldn't talk to him even. He had a farmer grow out a large amount of one of his potatoes who he suspected kept some back cause a few years later one identical to his was suddenly being sold at grocery stores. A no name yellow. I think it is still out there.

Anyway, he was quite annoyed/upset, that he couldn't profit off his work. He spent a lot of time and money developing his varieties and once they left him, he couldn't benefit from them. Kinda like the starving artist who's work is popular, but doesn't make them enough money to live on.
That also may explain the tiff I got into with him when I spoke to him on another forum. I had tried a few packages of his wild potato seed mix, but had gotten no actual potatoes. That wasn't the issue. The issue was I HAD gotten one plant that had in fact flowered and fruited quite heavily. I just was fairly sure it wasn't a potato. To me, it looked more like some relative of American Nightshade (though slightly different from that plant). So that's what I mentioned. He got FURIOUS I implied his potato seed was not 100% pure. Eventually, I just decided to let the matter rest.

I also suspect there were (and still are) a few back doors into Tom's current work he hasn't managed to plug, via some other people. For a while, he was testing out a lot of his tomatoes in the Netherlands, so as to keep them out of the general American market until he could secure the distribution rights he wanted. Well, of course, some of the people in Holland managed to get some of the seed and send it back into our market on their own. Tom has already said that Green Sausage is probably the same as his Greensleeves tomato, which he hadn't planned on releasing yet. And for a short while, heirloom tomato were coming in from holland to the gourmet supermarkets that contained ones I have never seen before or since (like a long, fat, stripe-less green tomato that was unusually meaty,) that I SUSPECT was one of his.
Also a few of his that are not easy to get here ARE available in France (that's how I got my Wooly Zebra seed.)
 
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