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Letters To The Editor

Reader: Why Is Gov’t Going After Heirloom Seeds?

To read the story referenced, “Big Government Goes After Heirloom Seeds,” click here.

I think it’s absolutely pathetic that a seed library is a target for such scrutiny. First off, they are free seeds. So if they don’t develop, it’s not like they paid for them. Second, I get the feeling that these are people that just garden as a hobby. What would be the difference if they met as a club and along with exchanging ideas, exchanged seeds to try. Again, I could see [the problem] if this was about commercial usage, but even at that, this is just another way that our government is supporting corporate America over the individual’s right of the pursuit of happiness. They want to be sure that people are buying seed packets that are from GMO-infested plants so that they have to rely on buying those seeds year after year because the seeds from those plants are not capable of re-producing. Give it a rest, isn’t there someone out there murdering someone for drugs, or women and children being abused or some Third World country to rescue. Get over it, it’s just a few seeds.



To read the story referenced, “20 Common Wild Plants You Can Eat For Survival,” click here.

Here in Alaska, it’s important to know your berries. There are many kinds of edible berries such as wild cranberries and blue berries that are easy to find. However, there are “blue” berries and “red” berries that often grow alongside the others that wouldn’t be good for you to eat. Many of the nature centers offer guided tours and this is a good way to learn what’s good and what’s not.

Another one of my favorite plants are wild roses, as rose hips are a good source of vitamin C. They’re best picked after a frost and then can be dried to use or just chewed on as a snack. It’s not good to eat the spiny seeds inside of the rose hips so I try to split the “hips” near where I pick them and spread the seeds so that they will grow more plants.

There are also lots of uses for various tree barks for teas or flavorings. It’s a good idea to learn about all of the trees that are in your area and what can be done with their leaves, bark, etc. For example, birch bark makes a very good medicinal tea. Learning what’s around you before you NEED to know will go a long way toward giving you an edge on the situation.

Sue Jean





  1. Dear Off the Grid

    What do you eat after a major global catastrophe like an asteroid strike that wipes out all agriculture and blocks the sun for five years?

    The new book “Feeding Everyone No Matter What” answers that question. For a summary see this article in Gizmodo

    If you think this book would be of interest to your readers I would be happy to have the publisher send you a free review copy.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie Tankersley

  2. Concerning your comment in the article: “4 Less-Than-Lethal But Effective Weapons For Home Defense” you mentioned in there about Pepper Pistols Powered by cCo2 cartridges on the market. I have not been able to find any. I have however, lots of “Pepper Spray Guns” but not the Pepper Pistols that shoots peppered bullets. Do you have a website one can go to, to look at these new Pepper Bullet Guns?

    Thank you in advance!



  3. Dear Off the Grid writers and readers

    I am looking for someone to help me learn the fundamentals of off grid living. I am a 34 year old married male skilled in construction, electrical,plumbing, and many other aspects of building. I even played a large part in designing and wiring the electrical system for the electric trolley the city of Savannah uses. I have done research and studied different ideals of off grid living, and have some survival training. I am looking for someone I could spend up to a month with learning from them and helping with any chores and projects to gain the knowledge I need to move my family off grid. Any advice or offers will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for reading
    Don Wertz. Pennsylvania

  4. To whom it may concern,

    My name is Dan Shears and I’m a member of the Mohawk Nation. I’m a follower of your publication on Facebook and get your updates on a regular basis. I must say however that I was quite offended by the article “Why ‘Living Off The Land’ Won’t Work In A Crisis” by Rich M, in which he states ” We tend to forget that they lived very hard lives, with a lot of hard work and that many succumbed to sickness, Indian attacks and the dangers of living in a wild country”. While I’m aware that that is a historical fact, it helps perpetuate the Hollywood stereotype that Indian people were bloodthirsty savages just lying in the woods ready to ambush unsuspecting passers by. That is quite far from the truth. If you would please consider editing that part of the article, I’d greatly appreciate it.


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