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Carol Deppe seed order problem

 
pollinator
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That's great news!  It is wonderful to hear that!
 
steward
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Kim Luppino wrote:Carol is in the process of filling her orders. I received my order this week, don't loose hope!



Good to hear. I received seeds about 3 weeks ago.
 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Kim Luppino wrote:Carol is in the process of filling her orders. I received my order this week, don't loose hope!



Good to hear. I received seeds about 3 weeks ago.



Hi- THANK YOU ALL for posting on this- I had sent in an order in early April of 2018 after hearing that she was indeed taking orders on the 2017 order form- it's a relief to hear that things are- better than might be. It's planting time now and I'll proceed with what I have but will save space. Her seed and her work have been an inspiration and a huge part of my gardening evolution since 2014. I wish I lived closer and could lend a hand.. Louise W.
 
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Carol now has a 2018 seed catalogue on her webpage.  It includes an explanation of last years difficulties and also a request to contact her again at Caroldeppe@gmail.com if you had cheques cashed but no order received.  If the cheque was not cashed then re-order as the cheque can no longer be cashed anyways.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Carol Deppe wrote:2017 AT FERTILE VALLEY SEEDS
A ROTTEN AWFUL TERRIBLE VERY BAD YEAR


Injury, death in the family, loss of helper just before seed season, server changes making FVS e-mail list inaccessible, and just about everything else imaginable went wrong. Most seed orders were simply not filled. I apologize abjectly for this. At least, in almost all cases, the checks were not cashed either. So people didn’t get the seeds they wanted, but at least they didn’t pay for the seeds they didn’t get.  But some very early orders did have checks cashed without seeds being shipped (while I was still filling orders, before I got overwhelmed completely). If you ordered seed in 2017 and the check wasn’t cashed, just order again from the 2018 catalog. (Your check from 2017 is stale-dated, so there is no point in my trying to fill those orders.) If you ordered in 2017 and the check was cashed, if I have not already contacted you, email me at caroldeppe@gmail.com. If you ordered in 2018 from the 2017 catalog, your seeds will be arriving soon if you don’t have them already.

 
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Thanks Joseph.  It's great to clear up such a difficult situation.
John S
PDX OR
 
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I will have to email Carol.My check was cashed in February 2017 and I still have not received my seeds. Thank you for the update everyone.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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It's super rare for Carol to leave her  home. She will be teaching at a seed school the first week of September. Wow!
Mountain Seed School Campout
 
Patricia Sansom
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I hate to sound like a broken record, but I still have not received my seeds from 2017. I went Carol an email to the email address that Joseph posted, but have received no reply. So frustrated to not have any communication from Carol or my seeds. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. I love her seeds. thanks so much. Pat sansom
 
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Like many others, I sent Carol Deppe a seed order in the Spring of 2017 and as has happened to the people here, my check was cashed but I received no seeds nor any reply to a number of inquiring emails, postcards, and so on. This spring I sent a self-addressed stamped envelope with extra postage, asking that some seeds, ANY seeds, be put into the envelope as I no longer cared about my original order. I also said I'd wait a few weeks and if I got nothing, I would contact her publisher.

Like others, I have been patient and compassionate. I too was concerned that ill health or other serious issues had prevented the filling of my order. Now it is my understanding that Deppe simply got overhwelmed with orders and sorted out the muddle the best she could and then moved on.

This is a problem for me, s Deppe and her publisher, Chelsea Green, promote her writing as having a spirtual and wholistic outlook in life as well as in gardening. I was a fan of Deppe's work and loved The Resilient Gardener. I am deeply disappointed that she took me money and left me hanging.

I am also disappointed in Chelsea Green Publishing. I emailed them and told them of the ongoing issues. I got a reply from Nick at Chelsea Green saying, in essence, it was my problem and I shold work it out with Carol by email. I wrote back and said I'd troed that and Carol was ignoring the emails. And I said I would see if other people shared my belief that it's not fair for Carol to continue to receive royalty payments from her publisher while taking money from people for seeds she does not send out.

I will not be emailing the publisher again as it was clear there was no help to be found there, but I will figure out who else I can contact. Perhaps Oregon's Attorney General? I feel Carol has been the opportunity to set things right and she chose not to take that path. I care less about the loss of my own money than i do about this not happening to anyone else in a community of kind and suportive people.

Here's the website for Chelsea Green. https://www.chelseagreen.com/writer/carol-deppe/
 
Mg Seltzer
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I don't see the post I wrote this morning, but I am new to the forum and maybe the posts need review first. I wanted to add an update to my original post, in which I said Chelsea Green didn't help at all when I contacted them. I got a follow-up email from Nick at the company and I was very satisfied with the response. He said he would forward my complaint directly to Carol, that thay've had complaints before, and there are some other action steps they asre taking to get the problems sorted out. I wrote a note of appreciation to him and said that all I needed the company to do was to hear what I was saying. I feel heard and I hope things will get resolved so everyone is sastisfied and we can all go on with our lives -- and with our seeds.
 
master steward
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Mg, there is a second page of this thread with instructions on how to contact Carol re your order.  

It looks like others have managed to contact her through this means to reach a satisfactory conclusion.  

From what I've heard, she's had a very difficult time and is working hard to resolve these issues.  Perhaps if you were to send a kind reminder, asking for an update on your order.
 
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I have just been reading all the posts re non filled seed orders. What lovely people you all are. Not a cross or rude word. You are so supportive. I hope Carol gets back on her feet. Good gardening and farming to you all.
 
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When we didn't get our 2017 order and didn't hear anything, we figured something was wrong and wrote to ask that our check be accepted as a donation in thanks for all Carol has done for so many through her work with seeds and through her writing. I am glad to read that things are getting better for her again after a rough year.
 
pollinator
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I too sent an order in 2017 and got nothing in return...and considered it a donation to her work.  But, now, I see that she's posted a 2019 ... yes I double checked.. 2019 !!! catalogue... shall I take another chance?  Maybe, definitely! but maybe a smaller order : )

PS - I'm trying to go gluten free and low carb...emphasis 'trying'!, so am really interested in Carol's Goldini Zucchini for drying into noodle substitutes!... not to mention grating (and freezing) for pizza crusts!!  Yum...can't wait : )

And, here's her catalogue (have to print off, or duplicate, her order form... ordinary mail, only) for your drooling and educational pleasure : )
http://www.caroldeppe.com/FVS%202019%20Seed%20Catalog%20&%20Order%20Form.pdf
 
nancy sutton
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Soooooooo GLAD, to hear that, Joseph!  Thanks for sharing .... and glad that she is offering your landrace seeds : )
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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nancy sutton wrote:Soooooooo GLAD, to hear that, Joseph!  Thanks for sharing .... and glad that she is offering your landrace seeds : )



It sure takes a burden off me, when other people carry my seeds. Then I can focus on what I love -- Plant breeding -- and less on growing seed crops.
 
garden master
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Excerpt from Carol's current order form for those in a position to help her do what she does:


"DONATIONS. Breeding open source or public domain, open-pollinated vegetables is more of a public service than an economically viable activity. Do you like the work I’ve been doing? Can you help? If so, send me a donation, or include a donation along with your order on the line provided. Donations in any amount will be very welcome.


PATRONS NEEDED. It has become obvious that I can’t do the plant breeding I want to do with my current resources. My book royalty income has dropped dramatically in recent years. And Fertile Valley Seeds, at its current size, is more effective as a means of distributing my varieties and information about them than as a source of income. And any attempt to expand it to a more profitable size takes it to a size that has proved to be beyond what I can handle.  

I believe that because of changes in late blight lines, it’s going to become impossible to grow all heirloom tomatoes outdoors almost everywhere in North America within the next 5 to 10 years. None of the heirlooms have adequate defenses against late blight. There are commercial late blight resistant varieties produced by university breeders and big seed companies. But these are all in the form of hybrids, not open pollinated varieties. Worse yet, they pretty much all taste awful. They are bred to have uniform gorgeous color, which requires the u gene (uniform shoulders). The u gene actually causes sugar content and aromatics (flavor) to drop. In addition the commercial varieties usually have tough, unpalatable skins for resistance to damage in handling and shipping, and additional genes associated with slow ripening that confer longer shelf life, but also destroy flavor. That is not what most gardeners want to grow and eat.  

I’ve begun a major project that involves crossing major genetics for late blight resistance as well as resistance to other major diseases into a large repertoire of heirloom varieties. My basic plan is to cross resistant hybrids to each of a couple dozen heirlooms, backcross once to the respective heirlooms, choose the offspring that carry an appropriate repertoire of late blight and other disease resistance genes, take those to the F2, OSSI-Pledge these lots as breeding material, then distribute that material far and wide for hundreds of gardeners and farmers and seed companies to use to select hundreds of new varieties of heirloom-quality open-pollinated OSSI-Pledged tomato varieties with late blight and other disease resistance combined with heirloom-quality flavor. I hope in this fashion that we can replace all the current heirlooms with equally delicious late blight resistant versions before the late blight situation gets so bad that our current heirlooms become ungrowable. This project is going to require major resources in land and labor. In addition, the step of “choosing the offspring that carry an appropriate repertoire of late blight and other disease resistant genes” from which to get the F2s to distribute will involve marker assisted selection. That alone will require several thousand dollars in lab fees per year for a number of years. However, the result of this project should be a new generation of heirloom-quality tomatoes that are not only resistant to late blight, but also carry the other important genes for disease resistance that most heirloom tomato varieties currently lack.

In addition, I’m breeding new lines of eat-all greens crops as well as more corn, beans, and squash. My varieties are being designed and selected to grow faster and more vigorously and yield better than commercial hybrids under organic growing conditions as well as to taste a lot better and create new niches in the food, farming, and gardening worlds.

Do you like my work? Would you like to help me continue it? Are you so situated such that you might be able to make a major contribution? If so, will you become a patron of my plant breeding work?  

Patrons for any given year contribute $500 or more as individuals, $1000 or more if institutions. They will be acknowledged on my website unless they choose to be anonymous. In addition, as a small token of my appreciation, patrons will automatically be sent all new releases of finished varieties as I release them. Please send any Patron checks to Carol Deppe, 7263, NW Valley View Dr., Corvallis OR 97330. Please include an email address and phone number so I can call you, thank you personally, and get to know you a little. (I have also included a section for Patron-level donations at the end of the order form.)"
 
nancy sutton
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Greg..... great!!!  ox
 
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Here is my experience with Fertile Valley Seeds. In 2017 I order for ~200$ worth of seeds and a book, I never heard anything back from them despite the several emails that I sent.
I contacted someone at OSSEEDS.org to ask if FVS was still in business and if they could put me in contact with Carol.
Still nothing so I canceled my money order (I lost a bit of money on the canceling fee but got most of it back)
In may 2018, I received an email from Carol explaining that she had a terrible year (same paragraph as reported above by Joseph Lofthouse). She also mentioned that she was, at the time, taking orders for 2018.
So I sent in a new order in May 2018 for US$211 worth of seeds (+ a book).
As of today, I still have not received anything, I emailed her several times. Back in November she told me she was going to look at my order but never heard back from her since then and she's ignoring all my emails since then.
I explained her that I lost the receipt for my mail order and won’t be able to cancel it this time but that doesn’t change anything.
I’m unemployed and 211$ is lot of money for me so when I see that she asks for patrons and donation while she is not even capable of fulfilling the orders that are paid that makes my blood boil.
I would recommend people not to give them any money because you will never get anything back in return, neither things that you bought nor a new type of tomato breed.



 
gardener
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Bruno - I am so sorry you have had that experience.
 
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I had my check cashed in 2017 and never received seeds. But I figured I'd try again this year 2019. she cashed my check in Jan but I still have not received any seeds
 
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I mailed in my order in January this year.  Carol endorsed and cashed the check immediately, but I have not received any seeds from her yet.  I sent a reminder email today to ask where they are, as it's soon time to begin my indoor planting schedule for the garden this year.
 
Carol Schiff
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Still have not received any seeds. Several weeks ago sent another order form in case she lost the last one. But no seeds. Here in CO we need to start seeds indoors since we could have snow by Sept.. So I'll just have to go spend more money at the local nursery buying seeds.
 
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This is kinda sounding like mail fraud.

Stop spending good money after bad.
 
Davis Tyler
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If this is a "get rich quick" scheme, it's a very slow one!

I have a hunch that Carol has some personal/health issues combined with poor communication skills and problems fulfilling her obligations.

Not defending her in actions in any way, and I agree the correct course of action is to stop submitting any orders to Fertile Valley Seeds until she can demonstrate an ability to meet her obligations and be an honest and open business person.
 
pollinator
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Please please if you are unhappy with Carol, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. I use Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, which retails many open-pollinated varieties good for my area, as a jumping off point for my own efforts. They say on their website if it is from a small supplier, open pollinated, etc. There are others out there as well who provide a conduit for the (few) plant breeders out there.

Burpee doesn't need your money. I am sure there are other similar distributors people can recommend, and I hope there is enough interest in Carol's work to keep the breeding industry (tiny as it is) viable.

Anyhow, please post some other suppliers, if SESE doesn't have it, I want to make sure I am supporting this important work. I'm really sorry to hear about this issue, she is a giant.
 
master steward
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Never fear Tj, we have The official permies seed and plant source review grid with 39 nurseries and seed suppliers listed and reviewed.  

As people buy their seeds this year, consider making a review for the company you bought from.  There are tutorials at the bottom of the grid.  Let's support our regional permaculture seed breeders!
 
Carol Schiff
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To Davis Tyler. Received your seeds. Thank you so much
 
Louise Wakefield
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   Thank you all for the insights. It's 5/8/19, and I have been waiting.. I had a feeling the news would not be good..
   Carol has been (and continues to be) an inspiration for me. I think of her (and re-read sections of 'The Resilient Gardener) any time I'm planting, harvesting, drying, grinding, cooking, eating (etc etc) corn, beans, squash.. And of course I did send in an order this year.. I'm in Maine and, alas, it's too far to cruise over there to lend a hand.
  I believe in what she has done, and I hope the research piece of this is going well.
  When she wrote the section 'Breaking the cooking code' (p 258 under 'Corn')- that's where I am right now working with polenta.. comparing multiple flints (and others), mills, grinding characteristics (and grit size) of cornmeal, color, viscosity, cooking characteristics, frying characteristics, and TASTE... comparing ab cal flint with cascade and then cross comparisons on all those variables with Bob's Red Mill product..I wouldn't be doing this (or starting at the same level) without her work- and I wouldn't have a spare room filled with seed, some dating back to 2012..
  Fortunately, I've been actively growing and dealing with (the often unpredicted interbreeding of) corn/beans/squash and how they respond to the wildly fluctuating growing conditions in Maine- and so I do have a lot of stock to draw from for planting.
  My wish, as with many of you, is that we'd hear more on a regular basis concerning the ongoing battle. Her writing is wonderful and a blog would be great. My guess is, in what lifetime is she going to be able to pull together the energy for that along with everything else?
  It is a chuckle (not an appropriate one) to see that after the first round she learned to cash the checks first off... I'd taken my seed order amount and added an equal amount for a contribution, so.. at this point I view it as 100% contribution.. (but I DID want that seed..) lw
 
Davis Tyler
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I was able to procure a small amount of seeds from a second source.  Goldini squash and Bigger Better Butternut.  Send me a private message if you would like me to send you some from my stash.
 
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