Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Heirloom Seeds in California

From Food Democracy Now:

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Join the urgent movement to Save Important Rare Heirloom seeds: Enter this code [FOODDEMOCRACY], which can be entered at checkout, when you purchase heirloom seeds at Baker Creed Seeds at rareseeds.com.
Dear Priscilla,
Every year at Food Democracy Now! we look forward to attending Baker Creek's Heirloom Seed Festival in Santa Rosa, California. Also known as the world’s largest Pure Food Festival, it's our favorite conference of the whole year, with an amazing gathering of some of the most dedicated family farmers, seed savers and grassroots activists on the planet and the most incredible display of heirloom seeds.
Unfortunately, this year, an unexpected visitor from the biotech industry showed up with a camera and a hidden video recorder in his pocket. When confronted by activists who he had harassed online for years, this biotech bully admitted that he was there to find out more about the genetics behind all the incredible diversity of heirloom seeds at the festival!
Incredibly, over the years this biotech bully and his colleagues have launched major attacks on GMO labeling activists like us at Food Democracy Now!, scientists like Don Huber and Eric Seralini and even nasty attacks on Vandana Shiva and Food Babe author Vani Hari.
Now, they coming to the Heirloom Seeds Festival to try to pick up desirable traits that they could then use to genetically engineer new GMO crops from and sell these newly patented seeds to companies like Monsanto, Bayer, Dow Chemical and DuPont.
But we need your help to make sure that we can save the incredibly biodiversity of natural traits that have been found in nature and bred traditionally for thousands of years by local farmers and home gardeners.
This is why Food Democracy Now! is partnering with Baker Creek Seed Company to make sure you have access to these seeds and can help spread and protect their amazing diversity in your own home garden.
Please SHARE this Important message far and wide with friends and family today!

Baker Creek Seed Expo Unfairly Targeted, Harassed and Fined
If having an attack dog for Monsanto show up with undercover recording equipment wasn't bad enough, this year for the first time in the Heirloom Seed Festival's history, a local Sonoma county health inspector showed and started harassing vendors for things allowing visitors to taste test organic apples before they bought them.
According to a report in the local paper:
"Vendors and exhibitors at a popular natural foods event contend they were harassed and unfairly targeted by Sonoma County health inspectors who cracked down this week with fees and fines, as well as permit requirements.
Organizers of the National Heirloom Exposition at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds said previous health inspectors were positive and supportive of the three-day event, which ended Thursday. But this year was different.
Organizers said the treatment by health inspectors threatens the future of the Heirloom Exposition, which draws more than 15,000 people. They said it makes it challenging for the participation of backyard farmers and hobbyists who can’t give away an apple or tomato without a permit.
“We feel we’re not really wanted,” said farming entrepreneur Jere Gettle, who co-founded the Heirloom Festival and the Petaluma Seed Bank. “It’s taken the heart out of the event.”
It's hard to know what's changed from the previous 5 years, but it's no coincidence that this year an attack dog for Monsanto showed up and people start getting harassed. With the new proposed Monsanto - Bayer merger expected to go through, we need to make sure we support vibrant, independent sources for rare heirloom seeds and we hope that you'll take advantage of this opportunity to buy some seeds for your home garden or start your seed collection right now!
It doesn't matter if you have a full acre plot dedicated to growing your own fruits and vegetables during the summer or if you just want to put a few seeds in a pot on your windowsill.
It's important now, more than ever to make sure the incredibly biodiversity created by previous generations of farmers and home gardeners is passed down to the next generation of seeds savers.
  • Use this code [FOODDEMOCRACY], which can be entered at checkout, when you buy seeds today to receive a discount and a portion of your purchases will be donated to support our work at Food Democracy Now!.
We couldn't thank Jere Gettle and his amazing crew of seed savers at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds enough for protecting this incredible birthright of saving seeds and we wanted to make sure that if you care about seeds and biodiversity you have access to some of the most beautiful seeds and amazing heirloom fruits and vegetables on the planet.
Remember, democracy is like a muscle, either you use it or you lose it!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
Source:
1. “Uproar over Sonoma County’s handling of National Heirloom Exposition”, Sonoma Press Democrat, September 9, 2016 http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/2035?t=11&akid=1933.359821.NFzewF
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