Thursday, January 12, 2017

Open Source Seed Initiative

...and you can help FREE THE SEED! READ ON!


We are celebrating the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI)! OSSI was created to "free the seed!" Inspired by the free and open source software movement, which provided alternatives to proprietary software, the goal of OSSI is ensuring that the genes contained by Open Source seeds can never be locked away by intellectual property rights.


So many varieties have been patented or otherwise protected by intellectual property rights, making them proprietary and off-limits.  This means all the genes they contain have been removed from the pool of breeding stock open to public plant breeders. Only a handful of companies control the vast majority of seed. Patenting and restrictive contracts are used to enhance the companies' power and control over seeds and in turn, the farmers and gardeners producing food. Add in the rapid corporate consolidation taking place in the seed industry...  Patented seed + consolidation = corporate control of seed.

Seed Industry Structure, 1996 - 2013 Dr. Phil Howard, Michigan State University


Seed Security = Food Security. By pledging the varieties we have bred on our farm as Open Source varieties, we, at Prairie Road Organic Seed, have committed them to a protected public commons, freed from enslavement to corporate interests and control. Learn more about OSSI, here!



The OSSI Pledge is a Declaration of Independence for the seed! Open Source seed is a critical tool, ensuring that public plant breeders have the genetic resources to continue developing new varieties. The OSSI Pledge asks breeders and stewards of crop varieties, like Prairie Road Organic Seed, to pledge to make their seeds available without restrictions on use, and to ask recipients of those seeds to make the same commitment.  The Pledge:
You have the freedom to use these OSSI-Pledged seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this pledge with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives.

We have been a proud partner of OSSI, participating in the development of the framework for Open Source seed. We strongly support the creation of a collection of Open Source varieties, connecting farmers and gardeners to seed companies and suppliers of Open Source seed, and informing, educating, engaging, and empowering citizens to make a difference and and to help FREE THE SEED!​

In support of OSSI, Prairie Road Organic Seed is proud to showcase our NEW Open Source Seed Collection! A portion of all sales of our Open Source seed varieties will be donated to the Open Source Seed Initiative to continue to expand the Open Source Seed Collection. ​


IT TAKES A COMMUNITY TO FREE THE SEED! By purchasing these or any other Open Source seeds from over 40 independent seed companies, you are supporting the OSSI Pledge and taking an active stand AGAINST corporate control of seed and FOR seed as a public commons.

In his book, "Where Our Food Comes From," ethnobotanist, Gary Nahban, states, “It is the social, economic and political access to seed diversity at critical moments that can make or break a community’s means of achieving food security.” Now is a critical moment! And you have the power to make a difference!

​You can join us in supporting the Open Source Seed Initiative. You can FREE THE SEED by purchasing seed from the OSSI collection and by CLICKING HERE to make a tax-deductible donation! On behalf of the seed, we "THANK YOU!"

Click here to download a printable mail order form of all of our seed offerings!

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