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Sep 2, 2014 6:26 PM CST
|Whatever we may think of the Jung family, the current owner, Dick Zondag, is a grandchild of one of the Jung daughters, NOT of the sons who made a name for themselves growing seeds for factory farms specializing in GMO's, plants designed to work with the chemical companies' herbicides, etc.
This Zondag branch of the family continues to make sure their kids get their hands dirty and all have their personal gardens. They officially support organic gardening, the Seed Savers Exchange, etc., even they do (less enthusiastically) offer some non-organic products for those who choose to buy them.
It is also true that they have done well with their business, which seems to be a crime in some circles (possibly "sour grapes?). Some "venture capital" companies made money awhile back by buying up faltering garden businesses and running them into the ground: Totally Tomatoes, McClure and Zimmermann, Vermont Bean Seeds and a couple of others. Jung Seeds jumped in and singlehandedly, literally rescued all of these companies. The record shows that they have supported these companies' in returning to their original sources and offerings, helping to rescue along the way some endangered plant species.
Since many of us continue to patronize these rescued companies, seeing them as special, with unique offerings, perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to condemn the family that has bailed them out and allowed them to continue. Jung Seeds may not be the ogre after all...
It is true that Dick Zondag does dangerous, subversive things like experiment with Square Foot Gardening and attend Bible study at the local Lutheran Church (that got reported even by the NYTimes). Since I still enjoy ordering from Jungs (I know I'll get healthy, northern-grown plants and quick service for non-plant items) as well as from several of the companies they rescued, I for one am grateful that when they could have chosen to do otherwise, instead they used their money to invest in companies that have enriched the entire gardening community.
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