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Re: A moral question


 I know, I know.  I promised to shut up and here I go again.

I'm not going to argue with Bill again. He finally wrote a message with
no name calling, no manifestos, and no inditements of a whole industry
because of the misdeads of a few, so I'm going to assume that's as good
as it gets.  By the way, speaking of as good as it gets, Maryland won in
the first round of March Madness today, not by much, but at least they
won.

I went to the FOoSF site after reading Charlie's book review posted here
and found it very interesting.  Great pictures of some great plants that
are on the way.  The thing I found interesting, that I also saw at the
First Look Auction, was the plants that were offered for sale with the
request that they not be propagated.  I don't have any problem with
that.  I guess it's up to the buyer whether he want's to buy the plant on
those conditions.  But it is certainly a departure from the norm, and one
that I would think will become more common if people find it acceptable. 

It may be an answer to Bill's lament, or it may be a way to make sure
that these plants are seldom seen.  I really don't know.

What do you think?

Chick

Bill Meyer wrote:

  Hi Dan,
         Funny thing is I heard from some privately that I was too optimistic
  in saying that I thought things were changing with regard to business
  dealings for the hybridizers. My opinion that I've stated here is that
  things seem to be improving, and I attributed it to more open business
  dealings and discussion about them. I'll stick with that, and hope I'm not
  breeding discontent either way. I meant that in the past more seemed to have
  been mistreated than not. I think that was clear. I think there is less
  happening now. I do feel optimistic, and I hope I'm right.
         I think the best ways to make some profit from our plants is still
  discussed quite a bit. Of course the main concern remains whether a nursery
  gets one and puts it into TC without giving us anything in return
  royalty-wise. The nurseries seem to be doing much less of this kind of thing
  these days and I maintain that the climate seems to be noticeably more
  honest now. I see improvement, not a worsening situation. Hans Hansen
  voluntarily sent Mildred a royalty when he last TCed 'Spilt Milk'. If that's
  not a good sign, what is? I actually thought it was improved enough that it
  could be discussed without everybody heading for their shotguns.
         As for suggesting there is big money at stake, I believe the numbers
  I talked about were in the $500 - $3000 range, which is appropriate, I think
  for plants that are not mass-market types. That was why $5000 or so for a
  patent seemed pointless. That much can be made if somebody else doesn't
  start setting up competition, selling your own plant for less than you are.
         With the TC destroying the value thing, yes, I did mean the monetary
  value. It does do that. Websters again -- #2
  1val.ue \"val-y|\ n 1 : a fair return or equivalent in money, goods, or
  services for something exchanged 2 : the monetary worth of a thing; also :
  relative worth, utility, or importance <nothing of ~ to say>
  
        This is really critical for the various societies whose operating
  revenues depend largely on auctions. This was becoming a real concern for a
  while there as auction revenues were dropping rapidly each year. When 'My
  Child Insook' brought in $4100 the total AHS auction proceeds were around
  $27,000 that year. They've had more than one year since with total proceeds
  under $10,000, and no single plants over $1000. 'My Child Insook' could have
  done well for a few years, but somebody TCed it right away, so that was the
  end of its high value for the auctions. Of course private sales follow the
  same rules. My talking about high-end plants losing their value is mostly
  the result of my working with the auctions. It's those plants that are a big
  part of keeping the societies running. How long they hold their value is
  really no more than how long they can go without somebody TCing them. Once
  they hit the lab, they won't bring in much for auctions anymore. Likewise
  for hybridizers selling their own plants. I don't expect to have enough to
  buy a Ferrari someday, but I don't think they should stop making them
  because I can't afford one. I think having a few really high-end plants out
  there is a positive thing for everyone. They generate more interest in
  hostas if nothing else. Give us all something to talk about.
  
         I think the market is starting to stabilize some now, getting over
  the onslaught of TC. There are enough new plants becoming available to fill
  all the different market niches. There's still no way to tell how quickly a
  plant will hold that high OS value (as you mentioned about before), but it
  was starting to seem like once the last Benedict plants and a few others
  were down in the $40 range that the auctions might never again see a plant
  go over $1000.  I think this is a good trend, and should make the whole
  scene much more interesting. Optimism again there. I'm in favor of a wide
  and varied marketplace. I really don't think every plant should be available
  for $12 as Bob Solberg once discussed in a talk. That may be their real
  value in bottom line terms, but there is more to a plant than that.
  
                                               ......Bill Meyer

    Bill
    
    I believe as a spokesperson for the hybridizers you are doing them a
    disservice.
    
    The correct steps to profit from hosta hybridizing are well known among

  the

    crowd you and I hang with. Your insistence that most or all hosta

  hybridizers

    are being morally mistreated by the nursery industry is misleading and

  false.

    You are breeding discontent and it is not a good thing.
    
    Don't spoil the fun hosta hybridizers are having by constantly suggesting

  that

    they should be making big money from their hobby. You are just setting

  them up

    for a big let down. You and I know it has never been that way and most

  likely

    never will.
    
    You have mentioned several times that TC destroys the value of a hosta.

  The

    value of a hosta should be measured by the enjoyment a gardener gets from
    growing it, not it's cost. 'My Child Insook' at $100 is no more valuable

  than

    'My Child Insook' at $20. Maybe you mean earning potential instead of

  value.

    Dan and Lu
    
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