The New Year Brings Many Changes

2023 is, like pretty much every year, a year of changes for Cultivariable.  This is a quick summary of some of the things that are changing:

The end of preordering

I have been taking preorders during the growing season for ten years.  That brought in some income during the summer and probably increased sales overall by allowing people to hit the buy button, rather than waiting months for an item to return to stock.  Mostly, this worked well, but when it didn’t, it was messy and time-consuming to clean up.  I reached the point where I was starting to dread that spring cleanup, so I decided to end preorders.  To replace preorders, the website now has a waitlist function.  You can sign up to be notified when items come back into stock.

The end of international sales

I have been through three cycles of stopping and restarting international orders.  I have good reasons both to allow and refuse international orders and they are pretty closely balanced, so it only takes a small change to tip the balance and change my mind.  Revelations about a viroid lurking in the USDA genebank collection, which I have used as the basis of many projects, changed my mind this time.  I recognize that many people will just order through an intermediary in the USA, but the fact that you have to work more deliberately to accomplish that will make me feel less responsible if you should get in trouble.

The end of bulk seed packets

I initially offered bulk packets because I was able to produce more of some seeds than I would be able to sell before germination declined.  I now have a large enough customer base that I will sell out of just about any seed while it is still fresh.  Bulk packets were becoming a way for people to buy my seeds and repackage them at higher prices on marketplace sites and I have never aspired to be a wholesaler.  Most seeds will now be offered in only one packet size.

The end of potato tuber sales

This one probably won’t last forever, but it will for at least a few years.  The gradual march of powdery scab around my field has reached the point where I no longer feel that I can offer tubers that are free of this disease.  Although many people already have powdery scab and so probably wouldn’t care, I couldn’t think of a way to make the situation clear enough that some people would not unknowingly introduce infection to clean soil.  Therefore, I won’t offer any more tubers until I get an alternate field into production.  Potato clones will only be offered as in vitro plantlets for now.  This does not affect TPS or other root and tuber crops.

I’ll admit this is not a very exciting post to start the year, but I expect to announce a lot of new offerings over the summer.  Mashua and oca projects, in particular, have been going very well and I think 2023 will bring the largest number of new varieties to the catalog yet.

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