The Hidden Almanac for
Friday September 25th, 2015
Episode 313
Previous episode: 2015-09-23
Next episode: 2015-09-28


Today we remember The Seed Library Riots. It is the Feast Day of Ramen, and in the garden, there is wilting.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is September 25th, 2015.

It is the 30th anniversary of the Seed Library Riots.

This ugly moment in agricultural history followed the passage of the so called “Seed Stock Purity Laws” which were billed as a way of protecting farmers against inferior seed stock, but which in practice were funded by several major agricultural corporations. Officers of the Royal Agricultural Service descended—somewhat unwillingly, by all accounts—on a historic one-room schoolhouse where a local gardener seed-swap was being held. It was Tomato Seed Day. As the seeds had not been tested for purity, were being bartered, and were not in uniform standardized packaging, all the gardeners involved were subject to fines and up to 90 days imprisonment under the Seed Purity Law.

The officers reportedly attempted to let them all off with warnings, but a small group, led by Mabel Wilkins, age 76 and Parvati Kapur, age 81, proclaimed that the law was seizing their prize tomato seeds over their dead bodies and refused to budge.

The image of a group of stubborn grandmothers being led away in handcuffs for swapping tomato seeds was a death blow to the laws. Their arrest caused widespread civic unrest, which eventually led to weeks of protest outside the offices of the corporations in question, and one very small riot, the property damage of which was estimated at forty-seven dollars to clean up the thrown tomatoes. The laws were immediately placed on hold by judges and eventually repealed. It would be nice to say that people learned and never tried this again, but the truth is that it does not matter if you learn from history or not, you are still likely to repeat it.

It is the Feast Day of Ramen. The blessings of ramen descend upon the rich and poor alike, particularly the poor college student, and is treasured for its beneficence.

In the garden, a small bit of rain has moistened the leaves of the plants without doing much about the roots. The strawberries have wilted and the black-stemmed blue sage is looking distinctly unhealthy. The sedums are flowering, however, leading to much excitement among the bumblebees, and the goldenrod is still going strong.

It is a good time to dry peppers and hyacinth beans. That does not mean that any of us will get around to it, but it would be a good time to do so.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat --- “We Dig Tea.”

Also brought to you by Interlibrary Loan. Looking for a book? We probably have it! And at some point, we will get it to you.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for September 25th, 2015. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013 through 2015, Ursula Vernon.

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