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I come across the most interesting things on Facebook. Some of them are funny, some are really educational and some of them just leave me scratching my head. Today, I saw a post come across my feed about the Duluth Minnesota Seed Exchange. An article appeared on the TwinCities.com website saying the seed exchange is basically against the law. Here’s why.
“The Minnesota Department of Agriculture caught wind of the program and has informed the library it is likely violating state seed law. Anyone who sells, trades or exchanges seeds in Minnesota must follow state rules and proper labeling.” The article goes on to say Anyone wanting to TRADE seeds needs to pay a permitting fee and have the seeds tested. Tested for what? To make sure they germinate!
So now apparently the State Plant Protection Division is helping the library to ensure they follow the guidelines. What? How does this stuff even happen? Did a state employee happen across the seed basket and decide to lay down the law?
How many hours is this going to take? Shouldn’t librarians be checking books in and out? Will they have to hire someone? Will they have to get someone to volunteer to liase between the state and the library?
Read the last paragraph on the TwinCities website. A spokesman for the state says that even if a small sample is tested for germination, at least people will know that if most germinate, the seeds are likely good. If the seeds do not germinate, they are likely dead (paraphrased). Brilliantly put, I say with sarcasm. Do they think gardeners are morons or are they afraid of a lawsuit if someone takes some seeds and they do not germinate?
Why are dumb things like this happening?
If you want to learn how to save your own seeds from heirloom veggies, this book has some great information for you. Check your local library to see if they have a copy or buy it online. If you’d like to read our articles on seed saving, take a look. It’s becoming more and more important to learn how to do this.