Territorial seed

chrisrobt(z8 MI,WA)April 8, 2010

FYI-from another list

Message: 1

Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 09:34:18 -0700

From: Ramona Lee
Subject: [wcfs] Territorial Seed Co. and Monsanto


Please pass this on to everyone you know.

> Last night at the Fruit Club meeting, we listened to a lecture on

> seed saving.

> > The lecturer from Olympia told us that Territorial Seed Co. buys

> seed from Seminis which is owned by Monsanto. She also told us that

> Territorial does not identify which seeds are genetically modified

> Monsanto seed. She told us to call Territorial and tell them we now

> know they buy seed from Seminis and that you want to know which if

> any of the seed you have purchased is Monsanto seed. She said THEY

> HAVE TO TELL YOU. Each of us needs to call or email Territorial and

> tell them we ARE NOT HAPPY with this policy and that we will not be

> buying from them if they continue to sell Monsanto seed.

> This morning I called Territorial Seed Co. and they informed me they

are working hard to get rid of all of their Seminis line of seeds. The

rumor that they have been purchased by Monsanto is false. They also

told me that none of the seeds they buy from Seminis have been

genetically modified. I told her since Monsanto now owns Seminis that

I can not trust any seed that is associated with Monsanto. She said

that is ALSO HOW Territorial Seed Co. feels and they are working hard

to find replacements for the varieties they have been purchasing from


She told me that Seminis was a very small seed company and didn't

understand why Monsanto would bother buying them out but she then went

on to say that Monsanto now owns the varieties that Seminis developed

and she said they own the rights to the parent plants as well, which

Monsanto will not divulge. Below is more information and a list of the

companies that Monsanto now owns.

> I also searched for some information on this subject and this is

> what I found. It's very important information.

> > http://myfolia.com/journals/70906-companies-selling-monsanto-seeds

> > Companies selling Monsanto seeds

> Wednesday, 18 Nov 09

> copied from Facebook board:

> > "Rudy Arredondo (Washington, DC) wroteon August 22, 2008 at 9:56am

> Seed Companies & their Relationships w/Monsanto

> > 2008/8/14 Diane Dodge

> > FYI from Nick DeMarsh:

> > Here is an interesting post on Seed companies supplied by monsanto.

> If you think it is relevant please pass it on to the growing food

> and justice listserve.

> > Recently on a gardening forum in which I participate, a list of

> various seed companies now owned by Monsanto was posted. I was so

> shocked to discover Territorial Seeds on the list that I immediately

> wrote to them to ask if it was true? As it turns out, while

> Territorial continues to be owned

> privately, by Tom & Julie Johns, one of their seed suppliers,

> Seminis, is in fact owned by Monsanto. Over the course of my

> correspondence with staff from Territorial, they provided me with a

> list of the seeds currently purchased by Seminis, which I have

> attached. And I was told that the owners are `considering' whether

> or not to continue using Seminis as a vendor.

> > I'm sending this information out in the hopes that you'll consider

> writing to Territorial Seeds to request they terminate their

> relationship with Seminis, as well as expressing support for them as

> a company you'd continue to buy seeds from in the future. I can't

> express enough how important it is for those of us who are dedicated

> to food security, and the ongoing availability of good, local,

> organic produce, to do whatever we can to prevent Monsanto from

> colonizing our primary sources of seed. Toward that end, I'm also

> posting the list of companies owned by Monsanto for your

> review, in case you find others whose seeds you've bought.

> > Territorial Seeds

> Totally Tomato

> Vermont Bean Seed Co.

> Burpee

> Cook's Garden

> Johnny's Seeds

> Earl May Seed

> Gardens Alive

> Lindenberg Seeds

> Mountain Valley Seed

> Park Seed

> T&T Seeds

> Tomato Growers Supply

> Willhite Seed Co.

> Nichol's

> Rupp

> Osborne

> Snow

> Stokes

> Jungs

> R.H. Shumway

> The Vermont Bean Seed Company

> Seeds for the World

> Seymour's Selected Seeds


> Roots and Rhizomes

> McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers

> Spring Hill Nurseries

> Breck's Bulbs

> Audubon Workshop

> Flower of the Month Club

> Wayside Gardens

> Park Bulbs

> Park's Countryside Garden

> And one final thing: here's a link to another seed company, Fedco,

> who posted information on their website about their own decision to

> forgo using Seminis any longer once they had been purchased by

> Monsanto: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/monsanto.htm

> Fedco Seeds ? The Monsanto Debate/Monsanto Buys Seminis

> > Here's the info for contacting Territorial Seeds:

> > Territorial Seed Company

> Attn: Tom & Julie Johns

> PO Box 158

> Cottage Grove, OR 97424

> > Phone Orders: 800-626-0866

> Fax Orders: 888-657-3131

> Customer Service/Gardening Questions: 541-942-9547

> > Territorial Seed Company Store

> 20 Palmer Ave

> Cottage Grove, OR 97424

> Phone: 541-942-0510

> > Customer Service Email

> info@territorialseed.com "

> > Adding to the list od Seminis (daughter company of Monsanto)

> purchasers direct from Seminis website:

> > Burpee

> Dege Garden Center

> E & R Seed Co

> Earl May Seed

> Garden Trends

> Gardens Alive

> Germania Seed Co

> Johnnys Selected Seeds

> J.W. Jung Seed Co.

> Lindenberg Seeds

> Mountain Valley Seed

> Nichols Garden Nursery

> Park Seed

> Rocky Mountain Seed Co.

> T & T Seeds, Ltd.

> Tomato Growers Supply

> Willhite Seed Co.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The quest for world domination continues. Genetic base available to the public is shrinking rapidly, this is an example of how and why. As in other areas where giant organizations have taken over all commerce or soon will, individuals and small groups will have to take their own steps to maintain the resource. In this case, saving and distributing seeds of desired strains themselves.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 4:33AM
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To: Chrisrobt

My name is Tom Johns and my wife Julie and I own Territorial Seed Company. We have owned, managed, lived and breathed Territorial for over 25 years now. Either the lecturer from Olympia is misinformed, or you perhaps heard what they said wrong. First of all, Territorial Seed Company is NOT owned by Monsanto. Not in a Million years. We don't want them and I am sure they don't want us. Furthermore Monsanto does not own any of the companies listed above. This is an ugly rumor thats been going around the net for a couple years now, and its become sorta' like that Whack-a-Mole game at the fair-whack its head down only to popup somewhere else.
Although a couple of those companies listed are in fact authorized seed dealers for Seminis branded seed, (formally Petoseed) which is a now the Commercial vegetable seed company owned by Monsanto. Territorial is NOT a Seminis seed dealer. We cannot and do not purchase seed from their commercial price list. The commercial seed is sold only through the Authorized Seminis seed dealer network. The seed dealers in turn market Seminis Branded Seed to mainly conventional farmers but also to large certified organic farmers. The farmer then sells their vegetables to produce wholesalers who supply supermarkets or even organic
Food Co-op's in towns such as Olympia, where this lecture took place. Its estimated that over 98% of the seed Seminis sells is through their authorized seed dealer network.
Thirty years ago Territorial signed on with Petoseed as a wholesaler who bought from Petoseed's Home Garden Seed division. At that time Petoseed was the premier seed house in the US. We never were a commercial seed dealer for Petoseed either. The vegetable varieties from Petoseed Home Garden were bred conventionally by Peto's master vegetable breeders. Many varieties became All America Selections winners. No other single company did more from home vegetable gardeners than Petoseed. Over the Past 30 years much has changed. Long story short-Seminis a Mexico based tobacco company bought Petoseed, along with Asgrow and Royal Sluis. Three of the worlds largest seed companies. This huge effort failed and in the end a few years ago Monsanto bought Seminis. A sad day indeed. Because of its tiny size, I thought Monsanto would lock the home garden varieties in a vault and throw away the key. After all the real money is in commercial seed varieties. But they did not. But its fair to say this small but historically important division of the old petoseed company is dying away. Calls for boycotting those home garden companies who sell 'Monsanto' seed will only bring death sooner. But its's only this small home garden division that will be effected. I don't think Monsanto cares about this insignificant division anyway. Each year they have many more drops than adds to their product list. So this says to me they are going to drop Home Garden regardless. This comes at a time when home gardeners need more varieties not less. I too believe that Monsanto has earned themselves a bad reputation, but as someone who as spent my productive years trying to keep home garden varieties in peoples hands I do mourn the loss of this living history. After all, generations of fathers to daughters and daughters to sons have learned to garden growing these classics such as Early Girl Tomato. Today we do still purchase an ever decreasing amount of seed wholesale from the Home Garden Vegetable division. These varieties are mostly old favorites from Petoseed such as Celebrity, Big Beef and San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano is still today our best selling tomato-home gardeners love the way they process and can. We trial hundreds of tomato varieties each year and we have not yet been able to find a true replacement and maybe never will. Upon request we provide a list of the few remaining Seminis varieties that we offer.
As far as Genetically Modified seed is concerned-not in a million years. We have not and will not ever sell GM seed. In fact, I do not know of any garden seed company in the country that sells GM Seed.
It closing this rather long post I would just like to say
that at the rate Seminis is dropping varieties off their Home Garden list, and the progress we are making on trialing for suitable replacements for the few remaining items-our business dealings will be over soon. If you are a fan of San Marzano I suggest you stock up.
Tom Johns-TSC

Here is a link that might be useful: Territorial Seed Company

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:45PM
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Tom, thanks for taking the time in adding your comments to clarify this misunderstanding. While the Internet is a wonderful source of information, it is a remarkably efficient source of misinformation as well :-)

And lest anyone else get confused or decide to pass on questionable info, that long list of companies noted above that are allegedly "owned" by Monsanto are most definitely NOT!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 11:46AM
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In my post above I said San Marzano tomato. I should have said
SUPER Marzano tomato. San Marzano is an Open Pollinated variety that we produce ourselves and is available certified organic at Abundant Life Seeds, a sister company to Territorial.

Tom Johns

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 4:14PM
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I would like to add that I was at the North Olympic Fruit Club meeting when the speaker gave an excellent program on Seed Saving for Gardeners. She passed out Territorial Catalogs and related no negative information about the Territorial Seed Company or any seed company. She said that the seed catalog gave excellent growing information. She was able to show how to read the catalog to tell open pollinated varieties from the hybrids. She did talk about Seminis and Monsanto and how the seed industry is becoming centralized. Of course someone asked the GMO question and the information given was that home garden seed suppliers do not sell GMO seeds. Again, the speaker was educating and training us how to become empowered not only to collect seeds for success, but also to selectively breed the best seeds for our individual tastes, nutrition and seed vigor. She also directed us to the Organic Seed Alliance website for a list of Seminis seeds and some informational articles about the history of the seed trade.
We all need to be careful about putting misinformation out on the web.
I have been a customer of Territorial Seeds since 1982. For a period in the early '80s I would write and beg them to send seeds to me in Pennsylvania when we lived there. With their seeds and a very small garden I was able to have succes at the local farmers market. I continue to buy from Territorial, but on my own decide whether to select seeds supplied by Seminis.
Instead of spreading rumors about Territorial and other seed sellers, support the small breeders who do sell to Territorial or grow our own seeds.
Seminis does supply some excellent varieties of seeds. I would think that with all of the bad publicity this would be an opportunity for smaller seed growers to develop new competing varieties. The agricultural universities were major seed breeders and researchers in the past.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 11:28AM
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I am the speaker that presented to the North Olympic Fruit Growers Club. I wanted to respond to the original posting because what I discussed at that meeting has been misrepresented by someone who I am sure is a well-intentioned and concerned person.
I have been a customer of Territorial for many years, and I encourage gardeners at workshops to use their great catalog as a gardening tool and resource, as well as seed source. As I stated when the issue was raised at the workshop, Territorial has signed the safe seed pledge, which states they will not knowingly sell any genetically modified seeds. This is the best assurance we have from a company that their ethics are in the right place. Yes, it is true some of Territorial's varieties come from Seminis, a company owned by Monsanto, however let me be clear, that DOES NOT mean those seeds are genetically modified.
As the owner Tom stated in another post, he knows of no home vegetable seed company that sells genetically modified seeds. I believe he knows more about this than I do, as he is in the business of selling seeds, and is obviously concerned enough about it to sign the pledge.
These issues are important to all of us, and the internet is a great tool for us to share information and perspectives, but one must keep in mind that false information spreads rapidly and we are all responsible to double check our information before we post. It is hard to know the repercussions of what we share.
I appreciated doing the class, and will continue with Tom's support to teach people to save seed. I hope we can remember to focus on positive ways to keep our food and seed safe.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:11PM
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What we do know: Seminis is owned by Monsanto which produces GMO organisms. Territorial buys seeds from Seminis. Territorial does not "knowingly" sell gmo seeds. This means that their seeds MAY not be gmo, but are they 100% sure?
I will not purchase anything that supports Monsanto in anyway, directly or indirectly, to the best of my ability.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 12:53PM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

I feel the same way. In today's corporate world, some companies buy and structure other companies who own other companies, etc..., in order to "wash" their products or actions clean, in a way that makes the products appear to come from a small, friendly, dynamic company; instead of the corporate behemoth whose morals & actions we despise.
The plain fact is that Territorial buys seed from Monsanto, despite Monsanto's attempt to "wash" new introductions through layers of smaller companies.
Mr. Johns said that Territorial buys "mostly" old established varieties from Petoseed (Monsanto really), which would be unlikely to be GMO. What about the others besides "mostly"? Who assured him that these new varieties are not GMO, was it a Petoseed sales rep who now works under the Monsanto umbrella?
Many who have looked close already feel that Monsanto is amoral and untrustworthy, so how do we really know if there are really any GMO in the Territorial line? Is there a federal law requiring clear labeling of all GMO seed?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:19PM
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This sounds like a witch hunt to me. Maybe we could get Senator McCarthy to hold some hearings!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:25PM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

You don't know much about how evil Monsanto is?
Territorial refuses to stop buying from them and Mr. Johns, though perhaps well intentioned, is grossly niave with statements like "In fact, I do not know of any garden seed company in the country that sells GM Seed"; and naive in way that profits his company and lets him make the "not knowingly" claim on his web site.
There is very little left of non-tainted seed grains anymore (corn for instance), and much of that is because of Monsanto.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 1:21AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Big Seed is trying to make it so that only their products are what is used. Everywhere. By everyone. Witch hunt? Wake up to how modern corporate conglomerates operate and what their objectives are.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 12:10PM
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blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)

Guess which ad was running at the end of this thread? Yep, TSC. Beautiful.

Rain (who just jumped onto the web for a quick search on Brussels sprouts before heading back into this lovely, lovely weather)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:32PM
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The lecturer from Olympia told us that Territorial Seed Co. buys seed from Seminis which is owned by Monsanto? Is this still true?

Here is a link that might be useful: Territorial Seeds Website

This post was edited by terr7119 on Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 18:25

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 4:39AM
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No........and it's about time this silly rumor got put to rest! If one bothered to check directly with Territorial rather than accepting secondhand info of dubious quality, one would find this statement in both their catalog and on their website:

"Safe Seed Pledge
Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately people and communities. Territorial only offers untreated seed."

FWIW, Territorial phased out of its relationship with Seminis after the Monsanto acquisition and no longer purchases ANY seeds from Seminis as of the beginning of the 2012 seed season..

A further explanation of the REAL history behind the Seminis/Monsanto link is contained in the attached.

Here is a link that might be useful: The truth behind the Monsanto acquisition of Seminis and how that affected independent seed companies

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 2:26PM
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