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Re: Breeders' Rights

  • Subject: Re: Breeders' Rights
  • From: "Ransom Lydell" <ranbl@netsync.net>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 09:11:11 -0400

Thanks for a well thought out post.  Oh My Heart, and some other "good ones" I have, and I am sure some great stuff from others, could have been on the market a long time ago, if not for the "problem"  I have many really nice plants that I have been "working on" for years, but have only shared them with a few, as I simply don't see why TC labs and others should be the ones to make money off them.  It is fine to talk about how much one can make if you are a large producer, like Shady Oaks.  For small sellers like me and many others, there is little time to really see much return, before the risk of finding our "new plant" being sold in volume by larger firms. As you pointed out, the problems for those that can't sell their own plants, are even worse.  Bob pointed out something I have feared for years, that is that some of our best hybridizers, will simply quit working with Hostas, if the problem continues.
There can, however, be a reason for the occasional introduction on the part of someone simply for the noterity.  That is part of the reason for my bringing Saybrook Surprise to the convention auction last year.  In cases like that,I should not be surprised if the plant is "mass produced" and could actually lead to increasing sales ( for me ) of my plants.
 I must say, that my efforts in breeding for flowers, has , at least for me, given some potential for changing the dinamics.  First, There remains the uncertany, whether the plants produced by Tc will properly produce the blooms represented on Plants Like Oh My Heart, Calico Cat, Breathless , ( heavy branching)  Lake Superior, and many more.  Second, when an individual buys one of these plants, hoping for wonderfull blooms, She/he is going to be more reluctant to start "breaking up" the clump, as that will set back the time for really good blooms, by several years.
There is another factor here.  I am noticing more and more, that the "thinking" on the part of TC labs, that there is only an occasional " off type" ( I have heard figures like one in ten thousand)  Is dead wrong!  I make purchases from most of the TC suppliers, and tend to grow the plants for several years before selling. Here are some facts.  In 12 Strip Tease I have removed seven "off types".  In  my purchase of 24 Warwick Beauty, I have 2 streakes , 1 all green , 2 with white centers,  3 losses, 4 with wider green edges, 1 outstanding plant with very wide two tone green borders, and 11 I think have a normal pattern.  I must admit, however, I am a bit confused about "normal" at this point !  12 Pauls Glory purchased, 3 "off types"  24 Summer Music, 7 "off types"  This goes on.  Point is, the TC labs can't offer true "originators stock"  for the serious collector and hosta gardeners, (OS) is simply , still the best way to get the plant you want.  Perhaps more of the " small growers" should be making an effort to offer "Originators Stock"  although I must admit , for the buyer that is also frought with risks, as one must take the word of the seller that it  is in fact, what is represented.
I guess, none of us really thought the "industry" wouldn't change.  I would simply like it to change for the better.
Ran Lydell
Eagle Bay Hosta Gardens
10749  Bennett Rd
Dunkirk,  NY  14048
         Lot's of us like to complain about the sorry state of affairs in this country, and now that it's happening right before our eyes in the hosta community we have decisions to make. If we accept it as the norm, it will become the norm. If we buy that plant, the seller will have other new plants next year. If Ran is selling 'Oh My Heart', and someone else gets ahold of one and starts selling it cheaper, where will you buy one? If it's the cheaper source, then his business will grow at the expense of those he preys upon. He will rationalise it as "I'm just selling what people want to buy". The problem with the rare new plant market is: Do you want one if that's how it comes to you? If you do, you are part of the problem. Thieves of any kind can't prosper without customers that are willing to buy what they've stolen. 
                                                                            .................Bill Meyer
Breeders' Rights
  • From: "Bill Meyer"

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