For the week of February 10, 1999  thru February 16, 1999  

Hailey gardener sells Y2K seeds

Business is hot prior to the turn of the century

Express Staff Writer

A Hailey garden supplier reports increased sales of seeds to people he says are preparing for the turn of the millennium and the onslaught of potential disasters that have been predicted.

Bill McDorman, owner of High Altitude Gardens, said North American seed retailers are looking at the possibility of selling out of all open-pollinated seeds before the turn of the century.

Open-pollinated seeds, McDorman said, come from plants that do well on a regionally specific basis. They produce plants that excel in the region they were designed for and consistently produce seeds that will do well after the first growing season has ended.

The reproduction of region-specific seeds, he said, is one of the advantages being sought by those who foresee complications at the turn of the century.

In McDorman’s case, the region-specific varieties he sells do well in a cold, short season and under the pressure of high ultraviolet conditions. His is one of the only companies in the world that specializes in high-altitude varieties, he said.

"The majority of the increase in the sales," he said, "are coming from people who are worried about Year 2000 (Y2K) problems, and most are Christians."

About a year ago, McDorman was a guest speaker on a World Christian Broadcast Network program titled "The Coming Crisis."

The subject matter of the program, McDorman explained, examined the potential for the economic collapse of the world.

McDorman’s position as a speaker on the program was to provide listeners with planning strategies in anticipation of Y2K problems and solutions to those problems should they arise. He explained, he said, how people can reliably grow their own food using open-pollinated seeds.

In the first week after the program aired, inquiries about his seeds went up substantially.

"This (Y2K) fire is being stoked in a lot of different areas, and it revolves mostly around the Christian community," McDorman said.

Dom Kremer, pastor of the Valley Christian Fellowship, questioned McDorman’s observations. He said Christians are not stockpiling seeds in anticipation of Y2K problems, whether those affecting computers or those based on biblical prophesy.

His church is advocating the same types of precautions that the general public has been made aware of, he said. Examples range from getting water-drain shutoff valves to preparing to live without heat for up to a month or two.

"We are advocating practical preparations, not a survival mentality," he said.

Kremer also said that Christian prophesy and the Christian-predicted Armageddon are not playing a role in the Christian community’s preparations for Y2K.

"There are events that Christians world-wide are monitoring," he said, "and many of those revolve around Israel."

Kremer said that for remaining Christian prophesy to be fulfilled by Y2K—a precursor to Armageddon—there would have to be "a prophetic compression of time that would happen as fast as dominoes fall."

"We know that in this century, many prophecies have been fulfilled, but there are many more to go," he said.

He also pointed out that, according to Christian teachings, no one knows the time or day that Christ will return and when the world will end.


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