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Re: A moral question

 You just can't seem to get away from this thing you have against
"nursery folks" can you? My question about making sure that these plants
were seldom seen was not meant to be red meat for you. 

If you look at this objectively (ain't that a hoot?), selling the plants
with the requirement that they not be propagated pretty well assures that
they will not be widely grown, doesn't it?  Call me silly, but I still
think that new plants that come out at the current going price with no
restrictions are going to be slightly more common than those that cost
$250 for os and $125 for tc with a promise not to propagate them. And
before you find something sinister in that statement, it is meant to be a
common sense observation, not a moral judgement.  It doesn't matter a bit
to me what someone else charges for plants and it certainly wouldn't hurt
me if hosta prices were to go up.

That's why I was curious about what others thought about doing it this
way. At least to me, it's something new and I thought we might be able to
discuss it.  Maybe my language was unintentionally explosive, but I can
guarantee you that charging that much for a plant and asking that nobody
propagate it is insuring that it is seldom seen, or not widely grown if
you prefer. Theoretically, no one will have this plant in their garden
unless they bought it from Stuart. Now, everything is relative, but how
many people can that be?  That doesn't mean it's a bad idea.  It's
Stuart's plant, he should do with it whatever he thinks is best for him.


Bill Meyer wrote:

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


        crowd you and I hang with. Your insistence that most or all hosta
        are being morally mistreated by the nursery industry is misleading and
        You are breeding discontent and it is not a good thing.
        Don't spoil the fun hosta hybridizers are having by constantly


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


        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


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