Organic Seed Movement Loses a Giant with the passing of seed grower, plant breeder and visionary activist, Jonathan Spero
I've been grappling with how to convey the sense of loss of father, husband, seedsman, community activist and visionary Jonathan Spero who passed away at home in bed last week. I was supposed to go and pick up some Sugar Beet seed from him the day before he died, which was Easter Sunday but I put it off, feeling like it was best to leave that special day as family time for us all. Well I didn't get that chance, nor did anyone else.
A man of subtle, but profound impact, he was like a powerful engine of thought infused with a ton of heart scheming to undo injustice while simultaneously sowing (literally) the seeds of the Agrarian Renaissance. He did this through farming, plant breeding and advocating and innovating new methods for the equitable sharing of genetic plant resources through the Open Source Seed Initiative which he helped to found and served on it's board.
I am grateful to have collaborated on collaborative seed growing, trialing and breeding through the Family Farmers Cooperative, the Applegate Agrarians, the GMO Free Josephine County movement, the Organic Seed Alliance and many successful seed lots for Siskiyou Seeds.
Packing seeds here at Siskiyou Seeds of his wonderful sweet corn varieties (Tuxana, Tophat, Zanadoo, Aloha #9, Festivity and Anasazi Sweet), lettuce (Emerald Fan), broccoli (Solstice), sugar beet (Nesvizhskaya), among other great open-pollinated seeds he grew, we are all made more aware of the precious gift one offers to the world through the innovation and improvement of plants through thoughtful public domain plant breeding - quite literally the gift that keeps on giving.
All blessings to all who are mourning his loss and may we all sow the seeds of hope for a better world the way this brilliant man did for so many years.
I have included a fund drive for Open Source Seed Initiative that Jonathan helped to found. They can be viewed as a positive, pro-action, pro-public domain plant breeding alternative to GMO agriculture.