Monsanto is literally trying to take over agriculture. To this end, they are buying out seed companies. You can help save one that's pledged to organic non-GM seeds.
by Heidi Stevenson
3 September 2011
The oldest American seed company needs your help. They sell nothing but heirloom organic seeds. There isn't a single genetically modified variety in stock. Landreth has been a gardener's mainstay for well over 200 years. But they're about to go under because of a corporate bank's insistance that a loan be paid in full by the end of the month.
Monsanto is taking over seed companies, and now owns 40% of the seed business. If their goal is to broaden seed varieties, they have a strange way of demonstrating it. It's growing more and more difficult to find organic seeds, and Monsanto's business methods have shown their desire to force out all seed varieties that aren't genetically modified, requiring ongoing payments to them.You can help prevent this dark future by purchasing one of Landreth's gorgeous, locally published and printed, catalogs. It could become a collectible item—and if enough are sold by the end of this month, will pay off Landreth's loans, freeing it to continue as a bright spot in gardening and a hope for the future of agriculture. See more about it here.
D Landreth Seed Company is part of America's history and stands for the best that America has to offer. They provide real employment, not just McJobs. They care about the future, not just profits. They are creative and they do business with American companies. Read on to learn more—or jump to here for more info on purchasing a catalog.
Landreth AccomplishmentsD. Landreth Seed Company has been linked with the history of the United States. Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson shopped there for their seed needs. In 1882, Scientific American wrote:
Landreth & Sons have done more to improve the taste for fine vegetables than any other parties in the Union, and from the manner in which the firm goes steadily forward, yearly increasing the shipments by tons upon tons, their future will be still more remarkable success than their past and present.
Some of America's most creative plant breeding has occurred under the Landreth label. In their latest issue, the journal, Gastronomica, credits them with being "incubators for new types of food plants, the basic stuff of our culinary palette". It says that Landreth was responsible for some of the most important food plants to have been developed in the US.
Landreth developed Bloomsdale Spinach, Landreth Stringless Bush Beans, which are an important ceremonial bean among the Pueblos of New Mexico, the Jackson Wonder Lima, the Bonny West Tomato, and Green Glaze Collards. Landreth also improved and maintained the old standard Beefsteak Tomato. Amazingly, that was the basis of the Campbell Soup Company's success. And one of my favorites, the yellow tomato was first perfected by Landreth Seed in 1820.
Landreth also collected and propagated seeds from around the world. They obtained the Osage Orange, also known as horse apple, seed from the Lewis and Clark expedition, and they helped promote its use as a windbreak in hedgerows.
Landreth Seeds helped support the Commodore Perry expedition to Japan by preparing thousands of pounds of seeds for the trip. On Perry's return, Landreth received the first Japanese plants ever imported into the US.
From the early part of the 20th century, D. Landreth Seed Company drifted. It was bought and sold a couple of times. Finally, in 2003, Peter and Barbara Melera bought the company. Their intention has been to return the company to health, provide good jobs for a few people, do business locally, and sell only organic non-GM seeds. They have signed The Safe Seed Pledge, a serious promise that states:
Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities.
The Importance of Supporting LandrethMonsanto is literally trying to take over agriculture. To this end, they are buying out seed companies. They now own 40% of all seed business. If Landreth goes under, then we'll all be poorer and closer to a complete Monsanto monopoly over our food. And Landreth represents even more than an independent seed company. They also stand for organic and non-genetically modified seeds. If you've any doubt about the importance, then read, Monsanto Corn Crop Failures Prove You Can't Fool Mother Nature. The fight to leave genetic structures to nature is a fight for our own future existence.
The Landreth CatalogOn Facebook, Barb Melera describes their situation:
We set about to restore this Company because it is the most historically important American small business in existence. It is the only American company, still operating daily, that existed when this country became a nation. Its founders were honorable men who helped establish and guide the agricultural and horticultural industries of this country in the 1700s, the 1800s and the 1900s. Landreth exemplifies American business and the ethics and integrity that built this nation.
On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, the Company's accounts were frozen by a garnishment order initiated by a Baltimore law firm. If this garnishment order is not satisfied within the next 30 days, Landreth will cease to exist and a part of America's history will be lost forever. I need to sell 1 million 2012 catalogs to satisfy this garnishment and the cascade of other indebtedness which this order has now initiated.
If you want to help save this piece of America, if you love gardening and heirloom seeds, if you care about righting the injustices of a legal system badly in need of repair, then please help Landreth. Please purchase a Landreth catalog, and if you can afford it, purchase several for your friends. Please send this link to everyone you know, www.landrethseeds.com. One million catalogs is a big number, but with the internet it is achievable. Please help us to save Landreth.
The catalog costs only $5.00, and this is its normal price. Landreth considered producing it cheaply by having it printed overseas. But, they opted to do the right thing. Here's how they describe it on their website:
We could have this catalogue printed overseas, and the printing costs would be 1/4th the costs of printing the catalogue in the United States, but we are not going to take American business overseas. The catalogue is designed by a small, Baltimore-based and family-owned business, Victor DiPace Associates and it is printed by a family-owned local printing company. Producing this catalogue is far more expensive than it is for most companies who are outsourcing their printing requirements overseas. We charge for our catalogue to help with some, but not all, of the costs to produce and mail. Each catalogue that you purchase from Landreth is helping to keep an American employed and therefore making this country stronger.
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