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Re: A moral question

  • Subject: Re: A moral question
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 19:16:04 -0500

       No problems with that? Dang, I sure hope Maryland wins some more
games. If I remember right, you were the only one using the (sort of) bad
words. Nice misdirection there. But then you are the master of the
misdirection ploy.
       In the First Look Auction, the FOoSF plants were sent in with that
request as part of the listing. As I said before, we don't have a problem
with conditional offerings in the auction. There's not a lot we can do to
enforce the bidders' living up to the terms the donors put forth, but we
will ban violators from the auction. So far, everything has been nice and
civilized. Part of my reasons for optimism. Without the laws to back us up,
we've so far not fallen prey to those with profits in mind and ethics in the
closet. And no I do not mean you there, Mr. Sensitive.
       It is a way to make clear that they are offering a piece of the plant
to collectors and hybridizers, without offering full rights to the plant. As
we were talking about, some people had trouble with the difference, so it is
something hybridizers are trying to make a little more clear. It's still
Honor System, just a little more defined for those who need it. That was our
fourth auction and it was Brian Skaggs who started it when he donated a
plant on those terms in our first auction three years ago. I think we've had
at least one plant like that in each one.
       Trying to make sure they're seldom seen? As in what -- that the
nursery folks are some sort of Robin Hoods robbing the rich to make sure the
po' folks get to share in the wealth of those new hostas? Jeez, we're
reaching new heights of silliness now. Us hybridizers better get some more
guards for the coach when we pass through Sherwood Forest.
                                               .........Bill Meyer

> 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
>   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
>   breeding discontent either way. I meant that in the past more seemed to
>   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
>   discussed quite a bit. Of course the main concern remains whether a
>   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
>   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
>   not a good sign, what is? I actually thought it was improved enough that
>   could be discussed without everybody heading for their shotguns.
>          As for suggesting there is big money at stake, I believe the
>   I talked about were in the $500 - $3000 range, which is appropriate, I
>   for plants that are not mass-market types. That was why $5000 or so for
>   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
>          With the TC destroying the value thing, yes, I did mean the
>   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
>   Child Insook' brought in $4100 the total AHS auction proceeds were
>   $27,000 that year. They've had more than one year since with total
>   under $10,000, and no single plants over $1000. 'My Child Insook' could
>   done well for a few years, but somebody TCed it right away, so that was
>   end of its high value for the auctions. Of course private sales follow
>   same rules. My talking about high-end plants losing their value is
>   the result of my working with the auctions. It's those plants that are a
>   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.
>   they hit the lab, they won't bring in much for auctions anymore.
>   for hybridizers selling their own plants. I don't expect to have enough
>   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
>   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
>   the onslaught of TC. There are enough new plants becoming available to
>   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
>   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
>   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
>   and varied marketplace. I really don't think every plant should be
>   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
>   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
>   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
>   The
>     value of a hosta should be measured by the enjoyment a gardener gets
>     growing it, not it's cost. 'My Child Insook' at $100 is no more
>   than
>     'My Child Insook' at $20. Maybe you mean earning potential instead of
>   value.
>     Dan and Lu
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