Minnesota’s seed law, for example, is so broad that it basically prohibits gardeners from sharing or giving away seeds unless they buy an annual permit, have the germination of each seed lot tested, and attach a detailed label to each seed packet. This law is enforced by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, which has recently told seed libraries that they can’t distribute free seeds to gardeners unless they buy a permit and provide detailed labeling, even though the libraries aren’t selling the seeds. (The penalty for violating this law, by the way, is a fine of up to $7,500 per day!<idle musing>
What!? Sure, Minnesota is home to Cargill and many other huge agricultural companies, but this is insane! I save seeds, not a lot, but I save seeds. They are the ones that have adapted and do best in our less than temperate climate here : ) I haven't given any away yet—I barely have enough for my own use at this point! But, what if my next-door neighbor sees how well my scarlet runner beans are doing and wants seeds? I'd have to buy a permit? You-gotta-be-kindin-me!
This calls for a new label: Insanity!
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