[permaculture] Seed Savers Exchange

LINDARAY at att.net LINDARAY at att.net
Mon Jan 21 21:04:38 EST 2008


Hello Marshall,

Only on a very few of the excellent points you have raised do I disagree with you. 

IMO these recent events do point up the absolute necessity of developing alternatives to SSE. Lots of individual alternatives if possible. Alternatives like each one of us.

You wrote:

Quote:
I urge no campaign to cripple the Seed Savers Exchange. Nor do I 
recommend a widespread and disbursed seed saving effort to surplant the 
SSE, especially one involving ill-trained and ill-equiped folks of good 
heart but limited experience and time.
Endquote.

This group deserves to be crippled, just as they have crippled the members of the SSE and Kent Whealy, and obscured the purpose of the SSE. I like to call this the 'Cosmic Flyswatter Effect'.

Marshall, IMO a widespread and disbursed (Grassroots) seed saving effort is exactly what should be developed. The intent is to develop alternatives *for us* to dependence upon this new and apparently suspect group. If that supplants the SSE, oh well.

Otherwise we are surrendering our goals to every bunch that comes along pulling strongarm tactics on us.

The SSE would never have existed if it were not for ill-equipped, ill-trained seedsaving pioneers like all of us who were kind enough to share their precious seeds with SSE in the first place.

Also, you wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for supporting the Seed Savers Exchange and Kent Whealy. 
Endquote

IMO doing nothing does *not* support Kent Whealy. Kent is asking that something be done about this, and he is asking our help. SSE hopes no one will do anything. They tried to pay Kent $200K+ to make sure of it.

In addition, there are 2 herds of living beings, the White Park Cattle, whose quality of life and health are increasingly at risk while everyone does nothing.

Respectfully,

Linda
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------- Original message from Marshall Chrostowski <mcfarm at silcom.com>: -------------- 


> I have been a member and former listed (growing) member of SSE for over 
> 20 years. I am as upset as anyone on the list and have already written 
> the Board of Directors requesting clarification and their immediate 
> resignations. As yet, we don't seem to know the motive(s) behind Kent's 
> firing and changes in the by-laws. I do suspect at least 3 activities of 
> the SSE and Kent Whealy that would bring the weight of agribusiness 
> against the SSE: 
> 
> 1. Kent has been a voracious and vocal critic of genetic modification of 
> crops and animals, both in the 3 seasonal publications for the members 
> and in lectures and other public venues. Many powerful business and 
> government entities have been offended by this campaign. 
> 
> 2. In order to defend heirloom and traditional food plants against 
> commercialization and strict patenting, the SSE have been documenting 
> and "open patenting" the collection. Commercial plant breeders may 
> arrange access to the SSE collection but cannot use the unique genetic 
> materials in restrictive commercial patents. These old and unique 
> varieties are the patri-matri-mony of all peoples. Commerical interests 
> would like nothing better than reduce variety of vegetables and fruit to 
> a limited list, supplemented annually with new and improved hybrid 
> varieties. 
> 
> 3. SSE practices living conservation of genetic resources with a 
> rigorous program of rotating growouts. The USDA and other governmental 
> agencies have been expanding germplasm banks held at very low 
> temperatures. It was been SSE's experience that such germplasm storage 
> systems do not protect living matter for advertised durations. 
> 
> I urge no campaign to cripple the Seed Savers Exchange. Nor do I 
> recommend a widespread and disbursed seed saving effort to surplant the 
> SSE, especially one involving ill-trained and ill-equiped folks of good 
> heart but limited experience and time. The SSE plant collection has in 
> excess of 20,000 unique seeds or other propagation materials from all 
> over the world. Fewer than a tenth is grown out by listed grower members 
> of SSE who reoffer seed and other parts annually. 
> 
> Thanks for supporting the Seed Savers Exchange and Kent Whealy. 
> 
> PS Kent and Diane have been divorced for some years now. 
> 
> Marshall Chrostowski 
> Santa Barbara, CA 
> 
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