With spring around the corner, we’ve got seeds, planting, planning and new beginnings on the brain.
The January 2019 issue includes features by CR Lawn on restoring our seed commons and the rise of intellectual property rights for seeds; a profile of seedsman Bill McDorman and the growing seed-saving movement he is helping to lead; a Wisconsin dairy using solar power and a flower farm making waves in New Jersey. Biodynamic grower Darby Weaver shares tips for planting by the moon and Jill Henderson outlines an easy method for testing seed germination.
The issue also includes articles on wildcrafting teas, top forages for finishing grass-fed beef, the importance of magnesium for human health, and much more.
Here’s an excerpt from the lead feature article by CR Lawn on restoring the seed commons:
Restoring Our Seed Commons
Our ability to save seeds, even of some heirloom varieties that have been passed down for generations, is threatened. Now, when you shop for that favorite seed variety in your preferred seed catalog or on a website, you need to ask if you are buying the seed or merely renting it for a one-time use. Are you getting full rights to use the seed as you may wish, or are you renting permission to use the seed only for a single purpose and for a single season?
The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) has identified four seed freedoms:
- The freedom to save and grow seed for replanting or for any other purpose.
- The freedom to share, trade and sell seed to others.
- The freedom to trial and study seeds and to share and publish information about them.
- The freedom to select or to adapt seeds, to make crosses, or to use them to breed new lines and varieties.
These traditional freedoms that farmers have exercised since the dawn of agriculture are now being stripped from us, for the most part without our knowledge or conscious authorization.
Rethinking Pandora’s Potatoes
Also in this issue, Tracy Frisch interviews Dr. Caius Rommens, author of the book Pandora’s Potatoes. Dr. Rommens is a former genetic engineer for J.R. Simplot and Monsanto who began questioning the safety of biotechnology as applied to crops, particularly surrounding his work with potatoes.
You can read the entire interview here, on EcoFarmingDaily.com.
Get your own copy
You can download the January 2019 issue for $6.00.