Sowing a Culture of Interdependence
The purpose of this Seed Library Social Network Discussion is Working Toward a National Seed Library Protocol & Changing the Seed Laws as Needed. It is being set up with the encouragement of Devon Grissim, who founded The Seed Library Social Network site, and Rick Passo, a member of the Las Vegas Seed Library. Both have been extremely inspiring to me in recent weeks. I began writing about the Simpson Seed Library-Department of Ag Communications four days after the Draft of proposed Protocols for running the Simpson Library and Seed Libraries in Pennsylvania were accepted "as is" by the Simpson Seed Library, August 1.
I went to a number of original sources including Johnny Zook, Seed Program Supervisor, for the PA Department of Ag, and Jonelle Darr, Cumberland County LIbrary Executive Director. Both of them read over my primary story for accuracy.
My most recent Plant Your Dream Blog compiles my latest research that has led me to see it would be wise to come up with a mature well rounded set of National Protocols in support of Seed Libraries that also allows them to function within existing Seed Laws.
SEED PROTOCOL DISCUSSION GROUP NOTES
COMMUNICATIONS WITH JOHNNY ZOOK, SEED PROGRAM SUPERVISOR, PA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
I have numbers of emails and phone conversations with Johnny Zook. As of August 27, 2014, my assessment is: If Seed Laws in some states, such as California, were as lenient as Seed Laws in Pennsylvania, we would have an easier time moving toward National Protocols without the need to change Seed Laws.
I have found Johnny Zook well meaning and accessible. He has been forthcoming with ideas and suggestions.
In my most recent email of he said:
On Aug 26, 2014, at 5:27 AM, "Zook, Johnny" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I am willing to take suggestions, and if you know people [that] have ideas it would be good for me to have them sooner than later.
Numbers of states are reaching out to him now and they will be modeling their protocols on what the Simpson Library accepted.
The "soon the better" that we discuss here what we want to be accepted.
Leslie Goldman Your Enchanted Gardener Plant Your Dream Blog
I am new this this editor and will need some lessons on how to use it. Pardon my layout.
August 27, 2014; 8:08 am
Questions. When you view Preview, how do you get back to the copy you wrote?
..live and learn…Plant a Seed. Grow A Whole New World.
A GROWING NUMBER OF SEED LIBRARIES NOW EXIST IN MANY PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
This is the way the Seed Library has been working;
Seed libraries, often located in public libraries or other community gathering points, are institutions created for the purpose of sharing seeds. The idea is that a library patron can “check-out” seeds to grow themselves, let “go-to-seed”, and then return seeds to the library to share with other community members. The seeds circulated at lending libraries are usually regionally-adapted and heirloom (unlike most commercial “hybrid” seeds, so that the next generation of seeds will produce plants similar to the parent plant). The purpose of most seed libraries is to provide an alternative to genetically modified seeds, increase biodiversity and plant resilience, and reconnect local people with their food systems.
from the Seed Library Social Network Site
RETURNING SEEDS TO THE SIMPSON LIBRARY
The issue that surfaced through interactions between the Simpson Seed Library and the Pennsylvania Department of Ag was the problem of returning seeds to the Public Library Seed Library. This brought the Seed Library under regulation through the Seed Law of Pennsylvania that has specific rules for seed distributors, Many States have similar
<a href="http://www.cumberlandcountylibraries.org/sites/default/files/SIM/Documents/Misc/PA_Seed_Act.pdf" rel="nofollow">seed laws </a> that mirror a Federal seed Law.
MANY SEED LIBRARIES BECAME CONCERNED WHEN THE STORY ABOUT THE SIMPSON SEED LIBRARY AND ITS INTERACTIONS WITH THE PENN DEPARTMENT OF AG WENT VIRAL
David King, who founded the Seed Library of Los Angeles, asks the question in one recent Post, "Are Seed Libraries Illegal?" He is heavily quoted on other subjects in Naomi Cleason's August 5 story in the Carlisle Sentinel
Others are exploring,
THIS IS MY MOST RECENT EMAIL FROM JOHNNY ZOOK AUGUST 28, 2014
In recent weeks, after establishing communication with Johnny Zook, Seed Program Supervisor for the PA Department of Ag, the staff member who initiated the Letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to Simpson L... to let them know about the existence of Seed Laws, and after numbers of emails, I introduced him to a Seed Library Leader. In doing research on the Suggested Seed Library Protocol from the Pennsylvania Department of... that were accepted "as is" by the Simpson Seed Library, it became clear that additional Protocols were needed that would meet the needs of Seed Libraries. These Four Questions from Johnny Zook of Aug 28, 2014, are intended to Help Develop a National Seed Library Protocol.
On Aug 28, 2014, at 12:23 PM, "Zook, Johnny" <email@example.com> wrote:
Because the Seed Library issue is getting a lot of publicity, I think it is putting pressure on a number of States to consider how Seed Libraries relate (or will relate) to their Seed Laws.
With this in mind, I think it’s important everyone involved to be open to discussion and to be responsive to those discussions so that Seed Libraries’ concerns can be part of the formative process of working out the relationship between Seed Libraries – and the various Seed Laws.
On Aug 28, 2014, at 10:51 AM, "Zook, Johnny" wrote:
I’m trying to get a thoughtful response to some questions on Seed Libraries. I would very much appreciate your thoughts/concerns/suggestions.
1) One can develop local eco-type adapted seeds by simply obtaining one’s initial starter seed from a swap of locally harvested seeds – I believe this would answer the diversity concern. What do you think?
2) Every Seed Library protocol I have read online says that if you aren’t able to “return” harvested seed to the Seed Library; either give a donation so heirloom seeds can be purchased or buy heirloom seed yourself to return – no different than the protocol having the Library provided heirloom seeds – Or am I missing something here?
3) Why insist on a single collection point of seed? Wouldn’t having the members of the Seed Library store the seed make for a more robust system? Seeds stored at any single location are susceptible to a total-loss incident and years of adapting seeds to local climate and local taste could be completely lost.
4) Some people have said to me that not being able to “return” the seed to the library destroys the Seed Library – why? The Library still has an important role to play in outreach, tracking and organizing of seed’s and member’s information, Seed swap location/meeting place, seed growing/saving/storage education and resources, diversity education, promoting communal sharing, etc… Having more people capable of storing seed means more freedom and more security. In other words, why do some people consider having the harvested seeds returned to the library essential?
Johnny Zook | Seed Program Supervisor
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Bureau of Plant Industry
ALL EMAILS FROM JOHNNY ZOOK, SEED PROGRAM SUPERVISOR, PENN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
PLANT YOUR DREAM BLOG WITH JOHNNY ZOOK'S EMAILS
Added here, Sunday, August 31, 2014
I am honored to have Professor Devon Peña entering the national conversation on Seed Saving, Support of Seed Libraries, and GMO Education that I believe with come out this:
Here Is his writing called "Seed Library Social Network calls for discourse."
He says that" Biopiracy And Gmo Biosafety Must Be Addressed"
Devon G. Peña | Las Colonias de San Pablo, CO | August 31, 2014
In his important article, he says, " The development of a National Seed Library Protocol is a significant initiative and organizing campaigns toward what is really a Seed Common have been made several times before. Often overlooked in the retelling are the indigenous and immigrant farmers who make up a significant source of heirloom seed biodiversity. The Traditional Native American Farmers (TNAF) and the New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA) released their “Declaration of Seed Sovereignty” in 2006; we posted this Declaration on June 6, 2010. That declaration makes clear that seed saving and exchange is an indigenous practice that cannot be legislated away by advocates of modern agribusiness."
Professor Devon Peña came onto my radar earlier last year when he broke the story that Mexico was about to outlaw Gmo's. I announced this event when I spoke on stage at the March Against Monsanto, San Diego last fall.
It is a great honor to welcome Devon Peña to the discussion of giving important insights that could be included to produce a more mature national set of Protocols for Seed Libraries. Please begin getting educated about tSeed Libraries and help answer Johnny Zook's four questions that are reprinted on this Plant Your Dream Blog and on the Seed Library Social Network Site:
Here are Devon Peña credentials
Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 7.31.28 PM
More about the story about Mexico banning Gmo's:
Added here September 2, 2014