View the update to this post here.
Here’s a bit of political unpleasantness I read about in a seed description in the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog listing for the Iraqi tomato variety, Rouge D’Irak:
Saving seeds was made illegal under the “Colonial Powers” of the United States. Under the new law, Iraqi farmers must only plant seeds from “protected varieties” from international corporations.
First Hiliburton, then Blackwater, and now monster agribusiness taking advantage of the war. I wish I was surprised.
The Baker Creek online catalog actually lists five different plants of Iraqi origin, in case you’d like to help preserve varieties that Iraqi farmers now can’t legally grow from their own seeds: four tomatoes, Tatar of Mongolistan, Rouge D’Irak, Al-Kuffa, and Nineveh; along with a melon, Baghdad Long. Aren’t you heirloom tomato specialists looking for new varieties to try? How about these plants with an amazing contemporary history?
Doing some quick research on this I ran across a posting over at The Alchemist’s Garden that’s great reading. Take a look!