A slow raid is raging across the United States, and its targets are not what you’d expect. They’re often tucked into local libraries, stocked in vintage card catalogs, and wear handwritten labels scrawled with names like green zebra tomato, brown speckled tepary, and purple tomatillo. They are locally-adapted seed varieties shared between backyard gardeners and organic farmers in communities from Boston, Massachusetts, to Oakland, California. According to recent rulings in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Illinois, the seed banks that facilitate the free exchange of these rare legumes, vegetables, and fruits are “illegal seed distribution centers” under state and federal law. In some communities, the libraries have been uprooted before even getting in the ground.
Read More >