Seed Savers Exchange, A Hard Decision Not To Renew My Membership

I have been wondering whether SSE and I were drifting apart for a couple of years now. Unfortunately, this year, I have decided not to renew my membership.

My biggest reason for not renewing was the cost of seeds. The organization is completely out of touch with its members. The SSE forums still has a very active thread complaining about the unannounced seed price increases from last year. For listed members to request a small seed, it costs $3.00. For non-listed members, the price is a dollar higher across the board.

In the past few years we have also seen multiple directors. Maybe the organization that Kent Whealy started would have been better off with him at the helm?

I also was concerned by the seed deposits in the Svalbard seed bank. Because of board member connections with this seed bank, it seemed to me, at least, that there could be motives not necessarily in the best interest of the exchange.

In the end, I participated because of the seeds and the knowledge on how to keep and maintain those old varieties. But the organization seems to be drifting farther and farther away from this core. They also don’t seem to want to participate with their members. While activities in Iowa at heritage farms is great, few of us can attend the workshops. They could easily share more of this information by extending regional meetings or gatherings or simply video taping their events.

I hope that they can right the direction of the exchange. In the mean time I am going to watch from the side lines.