Russians are buying food, including and especially meat, from Belarus as the Belarussan currency plunges.

August 31 (Bloomberg) — Belarus’s supermarkets are running out of meat as Russians take advantage of their neighbor’s currency crisis, which devaluation and the world’s highest borrowing costs have failed to halt.

“All meat has gone to Russia,” Alexander Andreyevich, an 82-year-old former tractor-plant worker, said Aug. 25 in Minsk, the capital. “My relatives near the Russian border called me a few days ago and said the shops are empty.”

Belarus is grappling with a balance-of-payments crisis that forced a 36 percent devaluation of its ruble in May. It may need to raise $12 billion by 2013 through state-asset sales and international bailout loans to stave off economic collapse, Moody’s Investors Service said Aug. 23.


Uganda, like the USA, imports much of its goods. Unlike the $US, the Ugandan Schilling has been sold off in the currency markets, resulting in rising prices for imports.

The reason I am posting this is that the phenomenon is starting in some of the less influential economies of the world, but spreading.

It’s also worth pointing out that food prices are rising the fastest, faster than the Ugandan Schilling is falling:

The Director for Macro-Economics Statistics at Ubos, Dr Chris Ndatira Mukiza, said food inflation, which rose to 42.9 per cent from 40.7 per cent, remains the main driver of inflation.


This has been a crazy year for me….odd weather and lots of work planting and saving seeds.  Good news on tomato varieties… for some exciting new created varieties out of combining heirloom cultivars.

SOYUZ ELEVEN is a case in point.  This is a fairly stable line that I created out of the cross of Volkov and Black Plum…both Russian varieties.  It was named for the last space mission of Cosmonaut Volkov who died upon re-entry to earth, and the capsule experienced a malfunction and hypoxiation killed Volkov and two other Cosmonauts   back in 1971.

SOYUZ ELEVEN is a near perfect black tomato resembling a smaller version of a Cherokee Purple.  It has the smokiness of a lot of black tomatoes but, “Man….is it ever tangy with a touch of sweetness!” The fruits are about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter with about 5 to 6 locules.  Great production and the flavor was enhanced partly due to absolutely no artificial irrigation growing on a raised bed under a low tunnel.

The seed will be entered into the list of tomato varieties available later on this year. Exclusive variety from New World Seeds & Tubers

Stay tuned for new posts from Tom Wagner….heirlooms from the future to talk about!


One of our customers posted this on Facebook:

Everett man obsessed with better tomatoes and potatoes

Wagner’s name is surprisingly little-known in the broader food-loving community. To those in the know, though, he’s a legend: On one random day’s check, the site where he sells his seeds ( was being browsed by a Dane living in Poland, by an American stockpiling his own end-of-the-world seed bank and by 100-plus others. And at age 65, Wagner hasn’t slowed down. “To me,” he says, “what I’m doing is like a preacher man who gets a calling and serves the Lord.”

I knew about the article but had not seen it; I don’t subscribe to the Seattle Times.

The Zebra’s fame spread in part due to Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, who listed it as one of her favorites. Wagner has other notables, says Goldman, like the elongated, zigzagged Casady’s Folly, or the globe-shaped Green Grape. But he’s never attempted to license them. Wagner doesn’t make a dime from sales of his varieties unless they’re ordered through his own tiny company, and other seed-growers have been able to work with them.

“He’s just been incredibly generous . . . allowing interested gardeners and amateurs to take these and run with them,” Goldman says. “I’m just truly grateful to him for leaving these in the public domain.”

So be sure to buy them from the source, and patronize his (this) website, so that he can afford to keep sharing them! Thanks!

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