[gardeners] FYI - Abundant Life

Margaret Lauterbach (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Fri, 15 Aug 2003 07:42:32 -0600

>From: "Abundant Life Seed Foundation" <abundant@olypen.com>
>To: "'Margaret Lauterbach'" <melauter@earthlink.net>
>Subject: RE: So sorry
>Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 13:32:02 -0700
>X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.4510
>Importance: Normal
>Fire Damage Update - August 14, 2003
>On Monday August 4th a fire destroyed Abundant Life Seed Foundation's
>offices. Our catalog seed inventory, World Seed Fund seed inventory,
>computers and other administrative systems were lost. We have some offsite
>backup of seed archives and electronic data. Seeds were also salvaged from
>the fire - some stored in file cabinets inside tins - and we will be
>examining their viability. Nearly 200 varieties are in production with our
>Seed Growers Network. These varieties will form the core of the 2004
>catalog. Over the coming weeks we will assess the total damages to our
>operations and keep you updated on this web site.
>On Tuesday August 10th the fire investigators announced the cause as arson.
>Four juveniles were arrested after one confessed. Although there is no
>"good" cause of such a tragedy, this announcement brings us great sadness.
>Our hearts go out to the families of those involved.
>We may request seed samples from customers for varieties that were not in
>backup. At present, please do not send us seed. We lack the means for
>processing seed and are not yet clear as to our needs. Sending a list of
>what you would be willing to return, including quantities and date purchased
>would be of assistance.
>Donations for rebuilding the World Seed Fund and the education and research
>programs are appreciated and may be sent to: ALSF, Box 772, Port Townsend,
>WA 98368. Donations are tax-deductible.
>Abundant Life was in the process of an organizational change when this
>tragedy struck. In the days after the fire, we have reaffirmed our
>commitment to this process. Our programs will focus on professional seed
>grower education, collaborative research and public breeding of
>open-pollinated varieties for organic agriculture, distribution of seed to
>those in need via the World Seed Fund, and stewarding seed germplasm for
>future generations by supporting bioregional seed production and
>This fire clarifies that the healthiest model of stewarding seed is by
>entrusting it in the hands of the farmers and gardeners who grow and save
>them each year. Our particular focus will be working with farmers, regional
>seed companies, universities and other nonprofits to responsibly steward
>this seed by actively working with it season after season. We will help
>build a healthy, regional and sustainable seed systems. Our catalog will be
>run as a for profit entity that interfaces with the education and research
>charity. We are examining several proposals from Abundant Life members, seed
>growers, and staff who are interested in running the catalog. We are
>confident that a 2004 catalog will be a reality.
>We do not yet have an active office phone, but you may leave a voice mail
>message at (360) 385-5660. If you have an urgent call, or are press covering
>the fire, please call Matthew Dillon on our temporary cell phone at (360)
>301-0393. Emails can be sent to alsf@olypen.com.
>We appreciate your support, kind words and considerations at this difficult
>time. Thank you.
>The Staff and Board of Abundant Life Seed Foundation
>Matthew Dillon
>Executive Director
>Abundant Life Seed Foundation
>Box 772, Port Townsend, WA 98368
>(360) 385-5660
>I'm so very sorry to hear about our devastation.  The loss of seeds hurts
>all of us.
>Sincerely, Margaret Lauterbach (melauter@earthlink.net)