January 27, 2010

Who Will Bail Out This Seed Bank? Not me


If you thought politics was limited to the 41st Senate seat, a new survivalist movement driven by conspiracy theorists and teaparty extremists are even affecting us gardeners, who try to simply stay focused on what we love, gardening. I received 4 emails this week asking me if I would be interested in featuring their unique heirloom seed sites, and two asked if I would mention a discount code. which brings me to this weeks post on heirloom seeds, fear and taxes.

Yeah, that’s right.

Last week I was contacted via email from an owner of a seed company that I had never heard of, offering a large plastic pastry bucket of heirloom seeds called a 'seed bank'. He was writing me asking if I would be interested in passing a discount code on to my readers, so that they could order one of these buckets of seed. I clicked the link he enclosed, and was brought to a website, that was obviously a template, which is fine, but one with lots of ad's for right wing extremist groups, and for a number of right wing TV shows ( like Beck). Above all, the site was poorly designed, had lots of photos of vegetable and flower varieties that we're not truly heirloom, but also not new varieties. The whole thing was a little too slick, but at the same time, something was wrong.

I Googled "Heirloom Seedbank" and I was shocked at the number of sites that popped up. Most offer these buckets of seed, apparently are intended to be buried in the ground, so that you can 'protect your seed bank", from, oh, I don't know, the Obama crazies. Whatever. But I was still a little ticked, if only because these people are contacting me, a simple plant collector and gardener, and not giving me a full disclosure of their intentions. I hate that.

I get the whole extremist movements, both right and left, extreme right, and extreme left. I assume most of us are just somewhere in the middle, and that's what makes the country I live in America. But the reality is that these extremist fringe groups are getting more exposure, and the last thing I want to do is to bring more attention to them. If you are curious, then Google or Bing them yourself, and analyze the info for yourself.

Look, the political environment in the US is ignited right now, and whatever side you fall on, at least we are all getting involved. I even get this whole "buy seeds and bury them in the yard" thing. Believe me, I was on a plane that morning on September 11th flying out of Boston, I had to drive home 3 days in a rental car with the spontaneous phenomenon of American flags draping the bridges of the east coast, I saw Food, Inc, and believe in eating healthy, in sustainable local agriculture, and in supporting much of the non GMO movement, at least with some varieties that might cause health risks, such as Soybeans that are immune to pesticides, but, like many things, it's not really about one side or the other. There is a very blurry middle,and we all must educate ourselves and learn the real facts before burying anything in the ground.

My advice is if you truly feel that the government is going to collapse, and that radiowaves are causing earthquakes and that the H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine is just a government scam, and that that bank bailouts are even worse, then why not buy the best seeds you can buy? Maybe some organic. non-GMO organic seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds, a real, reputable company who sells bulk. Why would you believe the conspiracy theorists, and then go buy seeds from one of these websites that are home made, and that can't really tell you where their seeds come from? Watch out, because some of their seeds could come from France!

I have a personal policy ( an agenda?) to not promote any product or company on my blog unless I personally have either used, grown or have been a customer myself. I’m not out to make money on my blog for now, so for authenticity sake, I would first ask if I could try their product (seeds) first, before passing on a discount to my readers.

Here is what still angers me.
Some quotes from one of these seed catalog sites...

“PREPARE YOURSELVES
YOUR MONEY IN THE BANKS FUNDS BANKING SCAMS,

CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT
OR LIMIT IT TO WHAT YOU NEED MONTHLY
DEPENDING ON THE AMOUNT

"YOU NEED STORABLE FOOD,
WATER & WATER FILTERS,
GENERATORS, SOLAR PANELS"

"BUY OUR ORGANIC/HEIRLOOM SEEDS
& SUPPLIES THAT WILL ENABLE YOU
TO COMPLETELY DEFEND & PROTECT YOUR FAMILIES”

This one site goes on and on, explaining in bold red and blue type all these reasons why you should buy heirloom seeds that range from why Haiti’s earth quake was caused by the US govt. ( I know!), the Obama ‘agenda, and on why Monsanto hates us. Which then got me thinking…….

Telling people to grow their own beans in their back yards of Nebraska, then to save their dried seeds while listening to their short wave radios and weaving their own burlap may sound like a smart idea to some, I think it is just silly, and unrealistic, and terribly misinformed.

Right now, I am not educated enough to comment on anything that Monsanto is doing or to rant about non-GMO seeds vs organic vs conventionally grown. I leave those decisions up to you. Hey, I grow hybrid Zinnias, and although I love heirloom tomatoes, I must also grow some new tomato varieties that are resistant to late blight. Do I buy GMO Tomatoes in the market? Somethings, but I prefer not to. I do buy organic broccoli, milk, and spinach, I tend not to buy organic root vegetables, nor do I look for non-GMO on a package of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The greatest concern I still have with GMO produce is pesticide immunity, and residue, let alone the whole taste thing. Organic is generally my first choice, but not always. I just make decisions, which always change as I learn more.

Do watch Food, Inc. Don't hate Monsanto, learn more with an open mind, I know you are smart and curious.

It makes as much sense to be against 'GMOs' as it does to be against 'chemicals'. Are some chemicals bad? Sure! But some chemicals are good too. You have to judge each one individually. Inform yourself properly. It may make more sense to buy strawberries vs organic blueberries, for instance.( I think, from my own experience).

There are a lot of damn good GMO foods out there. Golden rice keeps kids from going blind. Rice that produces lactoferrin and lysozyme keeps babies with severe diarrhea alive. They are working on a GMO rice that contains a cholera vaccine.

And....as we place our seed orders this spring, Remember this:

"Seeds become more valuable than gold in an economic collapse…
In recessions and depressions, FOOD IS ECONOMIC SECURITY
Food Supply Independence – If food supplies or supply-lines are challenged, home gardening is freedom."

And...If Bill Gates is funding a “Doomsday Seed Bank” in Norway, we must learn from this message and create one here in America. because....

GLOBAL WARMING IS A LIE, IT IS NOW KNOWN AS "CLIMATE CHANGE"
THEY WANT MORE OF OUR MONEY TO FUND THEIR PLAN FOR A ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT

THEY CALL IT A NEW WORLD ORDER
BUT IT'S THE OLD WORLD ORDER
DEBT SLAVES & ROYALTY
"FEUDALISM"
(from Survivalist Seeds.com)



One last thing ( sorry for this very political rant)...

I was amused to see that these buckets of seed also included mesclun. I mean, really. Why would these folks need these? Oh wait.....maybe to lure in illegals from Europe to trap as slaves...

but then, why do these buckets also include pounds of seed of things like ornamental gourds and arugula? Ohhhh. maybe to trap gay couples from Vermont who might be looking to steal this seed so that they can decorate their gun case.

But, I was even more amused to see links on these sites to organic Marijuana aquaculture sites, which I guess is not a surprise, but I would be interested in how they expect to grow pot without electricity after the 'collapse of culture". Then again, why would they need to grow pot secretly, Hell - grow it in the open. No need to hide anymore. Even though the police are 'in' on the big govt. conspiracy.

Best of all, these buckets include seeds for Hops and Tobacco. Hops, OK....that's a must ( but no organic Merlot seed? How Cum?)

Then, most carry organic, non-GMO tobacco. Yeeaah! We all know that this whole "lung cancer" thing is just a health care conspiracy funded by the Obama agenda to increase the support for a national, no a Global Health Care system.

To end, you can always bury some cans of meat. Yum. Can't wait. But hey,
why bother, the whole world is going to end in 2012 , so don't tell anyone that I am growing anyway!

6 comments :

  1. All I can say to this is: Kudos to you, Matt!!
    (Oh, and I kinda like Beck, too)
    But, the one thing you didn't consider is that most new gardeners of this, shall we say, ilk, don't even understand the difference between an heirloom and a hybrid seed. Honestly, I'm betting the sellers don't either, or were counting on you not - or simply don't care and want to make that quick buck. 'Cause, ya know, that house built of greenbacks will protect you from anything...

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  2. Wow, I must be gardening under a rock. I had no idea so much was going on. Thank you for enlightening me. Who knew some could be so seedy.

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  3. Another great post. I, myself am slowly improving my eating habits. Organic, organic. free range eggs and hormone free beef and pork. But, monsanto is almost in my backyard AND it is the devil. What gets me, is seemingly smart "normal" people that i personally know, are listening and believing the likes of rush and love sarah palin.
    The internet is a wonderful thing , you and i can communicate. It also is changing politics. I just hope people are smart enough to weed out the crap.

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  4. Very interesting, it is astounding that even gardening has become subject to this crazy political fevor.

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  5. Great post, I will read your rants anytime. Makes me ask how easy it will be to garden while you are clutching your assault rifle.

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  6. Hi Matt,

    Interesting post. You might like to read Barbara Kingsolvers book Animal, Vegetal, Miracle. I'm almost finished and it has changed my life and every way I think about the food I eat.
    See you tomorrow!
    AmyO

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