Duluth Library's Seed Sharing Program Hits A Hurdle

printLogo.gifBy: Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio

(Originally published November 30, 2014)

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has given a thumbs down to a Duluth seed-sharing program that allows members to borrow vegetable seeds from the library in the spring and later return seeds they collect from their gardens.

State agriculture regulators say the exchange — one of about 300 in the United States — violates the state's seed law because it does not test seeds.

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Owning is the New Sharing

By Nathan Schneider, Shareable

shareablelogo.gif"There are many ways to own. Simply giving up on ownership, however, will mean that those who actually do own the tools that we rely on to share will control them. People who want an economy of genuine sharing are coming to recognize that they must embrace ownership — and, as they do, they're changing what owning means altogether."

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Why Local Currencies Could Be On The Rise in the US - And Why It Matters

index.jpgBy Katie Gilbert

"As of this summer, you can be broke in Santa Barbara, California, and still afford organic produce from the farmers’ market. You can be dollar-broke, that is—but if you have enough Santa Barbara Missions tokens jangling in your pocket, earned in exchange for helping out at a number of local nonprofits, you’ll be set."

Read the full article on Forbes.com

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U.S. Seed Libraries Mobilize to Protect Their Right to Share


By: Cat Johnson

September 8, 2014

In June, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture alerted the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg that their seed library was in violation of the Pennsylvania Seed Act of 2004. According to officials, the library would have to follow the prohibitively expensive procedures of large-scale commercial seed companies or only offer commercial seed. The first option is impractical and the second option would gut the exchange of its primary purpose to serve home gardeners who want to save and exchange their own seed. 

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) reported in a recent article on Shareable.net that the Pennsylvania law may only apply to commercial seed operations. Despite what may be an incorrect interpretation of the law, other states are now considering adopting Pennsylvania's seed library protocol. This could kill a fast growing U.S. seed library movement.

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Oakland's Alternative Incubators

Oakland Local

Oakland Local's Eric Anderson wrote an article describing the turn toward business incubation centers building a new and just economy. Read the article below!


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Gardeners on Alert as PA Targets Risks of Seed Libraries


By: Kris Maher

A crackdown by Pennsylvania regulators on a seed exchange at a small library has put gardeners and advocates of locally grown organic food on alert across the country.

In June, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture told a public library in Mechanicsburg, Pa., that it couldn't distribute homegrown seeds. The agency said a planned seed-exchange program would run afoul of a 2004 state law requiring anyone who distributes seeds to conduct certain quality tests, adhere to labeling and storage rules and acquire a license.

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Worker Coop Academy Launches Bay Area Pilot Program

shareable-logo_0_0.jpgBy Cat Johnson, Shareable

Worker-owned cooperatives, far from being relics of 1960s counter-culture, are re-emerging as powerful tools for creating a new economy based on equity. But how does one help grow the cooperative movement when the vast majority of jobs are still built on the often undemocratic private ownership model? The Worker Coop Academy aims to answer that question.

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California Complementary Currencies bill approved by lawmakers, goes to Governor Brown's desk

al jazeera logoCalifornia lawmakers on Monday approved a measure making it easier to use alternative currencies [...].

The bill would repeal what backers said was an outdated law prohibiting commerce using anything but U.S. currency.

"This bill is intended to fine-tune current law to address Californians' payment habits in the mobile and digital fields," said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson in a press release.

He cited the popularity of bitcoin, and added that under the current law, even gift cards and reward points from retailers could be considered illegal.

"In an era of evolving payment methods, from Amazon coins to Starbucks Stars, it is impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives," Dickinson said.

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the Next Nobel Prize in Economics

JO!As the Committee now begins deliberation for the 2014 award, I would like to bring to their attention the woman I consider one of the most innovative economists of our age – Janelle Orsi.

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The Case Against Sharing

Image by Susie CageOn access, scarcity, and trust

By Susie Cage, Medium

"...Sharing economy boosters repeatedly call the whole thing “empowering.” For them, it certainly is. And in some iterations, it can be for all of us. In its full scope, including barter and gift transactions and nonprofit collectives and cooperatives, the sharing economy is decidedly not all bad. Enabling peer to peer commercial interactions can save us time and money; it can lessen our impact on the planet. And it can also replicate old social and economic patterns and further degrade worker and consumer protections..."

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