In April of 2014, Wild Garden Seed joined with High Mowing Seed and public breeders at three Land Grant Universities (Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin) to release seeds of our own breeding under the auspices of the Open Source Seed Initiative, OSSI. The purpose of OSSI is to create an ethically bounded genetic commons. The OSSI Free Seed Pledge does, by public intention, what only endless contracts can do in law. See the original WGS OSSI essay (and follow-up essay) for the details.
We have chosen not to seek PVP or other intellectual property protection for our original varieties. We have studied, argued, consulted, and meditated on the relative virtues and hazards of intellectual property protection in the food sector of life. We have long been involved in an effort to contrive some variation on the use of Creative Commons ‘Copyleft’ and Open Source Software models to provide an open forum use of crop genetics, without fear that corporate entities will patent what others have freely offered. This turns out to be somewhat complex. Seeds are unlike software, words, devices, or even discoveries. To begin with, seeds are alive, while the rest are not. Regardless, these new crop cultivars, their genetics, and the traits they express are freely offered for public use, and are not intended for any kind of privatization or ownership by others, though others may use them in their breeding, farming, or garden-related enterprises.
Below is a list of all OSSI pledged varieties available in our catalog. These varieties are designated throughout our website with the OSSI logo:
The OSSI Pledge:
“You have the right 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.”?
Wild Garden Seed appreciates recognition for its breeding work by those who use it.