Re: [tomato] What will it take?/Was:Seems insane to me (
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 22:37:09 -0700

Catharine Vinson wrote:


Catharine,Once again thanks for the encouragement.I will just have to take it on faith that this will all turn out and there are folks willing to *speak out*.

How pleasant and ironic to discover that we have much more in common than the Terminator issue..
It turns out that I discovered heirlooms about 1990. We had relocated here from the North(cool temps) of the state(Idaho)to the s.w.corner with a very different climate (hot summers)..
I had chosen to not return to my previous type of work and was very inspired to see (the now famed) Elizabeth Barry(Berry?,been a long time)of New Mexico on a tv program ,so without going into all the details here ,suffice to say I went on to provide *upscale*restaurants of Boise with exotics and produce comprised of solely heirlooms and open-pollinated varieties.Some 7 years ago I joined Seed Savers Exchange and it has remained so.Yes,I also grow organically(you proably were wondering,huh?)

That was 6yrs ago and it has been a labor of love( a one person operation from seed to delivery) and an eye opening education of where we were and where we are heading...Not that I am opposed to hybrids they have their place and purpose..When feeding the masses,shipping ,etc. becomes a critical concern..Its more that for those who are not compelled to recieve shipped goods,its rather like having access to a growers *private stock*..Much has evolved over the 6 yrs as yours proably has or will also..After all as a business it must make adequate monies to show some profits.

I envy you your writing ability and wonder if you've had education to assist you toward that end?
Also wish to congratulate you and wish you every success upon publication.

I too am signed on to many list,primarily because one can never cease learning and there are so many astute gardeners,growers from which to learn ever more...I never intended to nor set out to get involved with this it just struck me as so perverse and truly a threat that here I am...On first impression one might assume that I would be anti technology,a radical type which clings to the past with the heirloom jig,etc.But they would be totally off base ,I do think that science is worthy and is capable of saving/curing us from general famine around the world..But not with this particular science..They've acknowledged that they have done litte to no long term testing to determine the safety of what they hope to put in place..Until they can prove absolutely that it poses no threat,I remain very uneasy with the whole of it.

Well, I know you are pressed for time with your deadline so wont impose any longer...
Its a pleasure to have *met*you and good to know that there are folks committed to such a fine and deserving subject..

> I grow (in small quantities) heirloom veggies and herbs for a couple of specialized nursery...I twist the arms of full-time growers to grow O.P. varieties, *showing* them that it can be profitable. I also am a consultant to some local independent nurseries...working with them to carve out a niche/retain their position when faced with the horrific competition of Home Depot, etc. My clients are learning that organics, professional marketing, and a really knowledgeable sales staff makes a difference: people will pay extra for the genuine value of organically grown transplants, etc. I've been fortunate in establishing a book deal with a solid publisher and am currenly writing two books on growing specific crops. The audience is market growers and serious "hobby" gardeners, primarily. The focus is organics, sustainable practices, and *WHY* gardening this way is both satisfying and sane. I've committed to having both manuscripts completed by next August, so I am not as active as I'd!
> !
>  like when it comes to reading the various gardening mailing lists! August will be here before I know it.
> Anyway, I hope we will stay in touch.
> Catharine