Just read this from Fedco Seeds. Fedco is one of several good seed companies out there, however, it appears all of them are raising their seed prices. You must have a good supply of non-hybrid seeds, in large quantity, at least two years worth. The time to acquire them is now. Keep the extra seeds, dry, cool, and away from light. Learn to save seeds of what you like, and pass them down to your youngins. Do not take the availability of seeds or Clean Food in general for granted. TPTB are in the process of FrankinFooding us. Raise your own non-GMOed , non-Genetically altered food, or trade for it. Don’t eat their food, by God’s grace and mercy, eat Clean food instead!
Sticker Shock Moves from the Oil Tank to the Seed Catalog
Oct. 10, 2008: We are in the midst of the deluge now: a financial hurricane the
likes of which I never would have imagined. Commodity price fluctuations I
have not seen before in my lifetime. Oil, shooting up from $60 to $145 a
barrel, then back down in just a few months to $80. Gasoline prices up and
down like a yo-yo.
And now, seed prices. I’ve been 30 years in this business and these are the
highest increases to us I’ve ever seen. The ethanol boom diverting land to corn
production has had a tremendous impact on farm commodity prices including
vegetable seeds. Wholesale prices for pea and bean seed are up 30-50%, for
corn and squash 20% or more. Even so, wholesalers could not find growers for
all crops so several varieties are missing from our catalog. Horrible growing
weather this summer has exacerbated the shortage.
With the collateral damage only beginning to ripple out from the broken
financial centers to our communities, this is a hard time to have to raise our
prices. We are a lean operation and are doing our best to absorb what we can
and cushion the blow to you.
“The trouble with the profit system has always been that
it is highly unprofitable to most people.” E.B. White, 1944
I’m fascinated by numbers. Thus my passion for tracking Fedco’s sales,
analyzing its finances, and dissecting baseball statistics.
Last year instead of buying The Boston Globe and plunging into the sports, I
started heading first to the financial pages of The New York Times. The
ominous clouds gathering on our economic horizons provided compelling
For 30 years I had held a modest stake in a well-managed
infrastructure company that makes things like sealants,
coatings and pipeline tape that we all depend on but few
think much about. Over the years the shares had gained
modestly. Then in the past two they had split and lurched
precipitously upward in an unsustainable trajectory.
Meanwhile, attendance at Common Ground Fair, after
languishing for years, had unexpectedly set a new record in
2007. Over the winter, Fedco orders poured in and showed
unprecedented increases across the board, with no facile
explanation such as Y2K to account for them. Something
felt different, like the beginning of the sixties had, like the
onset of a sea change, like people were preparing for a
In January, as I studied my stock’s price graph and read of
plunging home values, rising foreclosure rates, overleveraged
financial institutions and skewed income
distribution, I decided to sell. Good move. Today, only 9
months later, it is worth less than 40¢ on the dollar. So far
I’ve been fortunate. Fedco is in the right business at the
right time, offering essential goods that foster self-reliance
at a time when outside systems are increasingly unreliable.
But the rest of the story is still to be told. One way or
another this crisis will hurt most of us. Yet it also presents
us with unprecedented opportunities to restructure our
household economies, restore our communities and rebuild
our broken social contract.
Some fundamentals as I see them:
• Pay attention. Storm clouds build long before the bad
storms arrive. The rainbow that forms in the east as the sun
sets is a sure sign of better weather to come.
• Details matter. Buried within them are the keys to what
to do next.
• Diversify. The folks who had all their assets in Bear
Stearns, Lehman Bros. or Fannie Mae aren’t feeling too
good right now. If you grow nothing but potatoes, don’t be
surprised when the Colorado Potato Beetle devastates you.
A bad year for tomatoes is usually a good year for broccoli.
• What goes up must come down, and vice versa. Buy
low, sell high, but don’t get greedy.
• Don’t panic. The time to sell was yesterday. The time to
buy is tomorrow. The time to borrow is almost never. The
time to think is now.
• Income distribution counts. An economy, whether a
household’s or a nation’s, that depends too much on the
wealthy few will collapse when the less fortunate vast
majority stop buying in.
• We can’t have both guns and butter. The bills from our
ill-advised war on Iraq are coming due. As on our farms, so
in our nation, we can invest our resources to build our social
and economic infrastructure or we can squander them on
• Strive for transparency and trust. Without them, confidence disappears.
Without confidence, the economy and the social contract collapse.
• Let supply and demand work for us. Look what’s happened to the price of
gasoline since we collectively decided to stop driving so much! Imagine what
could happen if we all decided to stop buying over-processed pseudo foods or
stopped going into debt for non-essentials!
Where to go from here? Funny how my conclusions are the very ones that we
learn on our gardens and our farms.