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p-seed-trade-msg - 2/22/01


Comments on the period seed trade. Trading among neighbors. References.


NOTE: See also the files: seeds-msg, p-agriculture-bib, p-herbals-msg, Pattrn-Gardns-art, roses-art, gardens-msg, gardening-bib.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 14:17:19 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: SC - seed markets?


Going back to an old topic:

> A period "seed market"? More details or referances please. This is the

> first I've heard of any such thing. I assume this was only very late

> in period, when trade was more stable and there was less small-scale

> warfare, since the lose of the seeds for next year's crops could be

> devastating. Or was this just for ornamental plants?


Argh. I've found a few references in Rosetta Clarkson's _Green

Enchantment_ (foofy title, good book), specifically to Gardiner:

"Richard Gardiner of Shrewsbury, a merchant and a churchman, published a

garden book in 1603, still remembered. It was believed to be the second

edition of a work first published in 1597, the year of Gerard's Herbal...

To Gardiner goes the distinction, in his little 30-page booklet, of

producing the first book solely on vegetables and first seed catalog we

know... Gardiner's severest chiding, however, was of the cheating

seedsellers whom he called 'Caterpillars,' avowing that they yearly rob

from the poor by selling them 'olde and dead seedes.' He held that though

no laws on earth would punish these dishonest men, 'The Almighty God doth

beholde their monstrous deceipt and except those doe repent with speed,

both God and man will abhorre them as outragious theeves.'...

Gardiner concludes his tirade on seedsellers with the wish not only that

they would sell good seeds but would be reasonable in the price. He

himself sold seeds and in the book he gives a price list which was

certainly modest in its demands. He had turnip seed at 12d a pound, beed

seed 2d a quart, and carrot seeds 2d 'the waxe pound without deceit.'"


Tusser, on the other hand, in his _Five hundreth points of good husbandry

united to as many of good huswifery_ (1573), says:

"Good huswives in summer will save their owne seeds

Against the next year, or occasion needs:

One seed for another to make an exchange,

With fellowly neighbourhood, seemeth not strange."


I think that either Hyll or Parkinson has more on the Dutch seed trade,

but I haven't found it yet, and I may be mixing it up with Clarkson's

reports of Gardiner's fulminations against the importation of Carrots from


More as I find it.


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne at tulgey.browser.net


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org