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Spring Newsletter 2015. Call for evidence!!

Latest News!
CALL FOR EVIDENCE
GENERAL UPDATE

FIRE CIDER ARTWORK
SHIRE CITY HERBALS: A COMPANY PROFILE with PICTURES

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IT IS TIME TO ACT!!!

Please send us your evidence!
It is our turn overwhelm the trademark office with proof that the term Fire Cider is generic.
We cannot win this without your evidence!!!!!
Send us any proof that the term Fire Cider existed before 2012.  If it is time stamped, that works better, but not necessary.

You can send as evidence:
*Sales receipts/ end of year sales totals
*Standard Operating Procedure
*Lot# logs
*Blog posts
*Picture of your market stand/ store display
*Picture of your labels
*Class notes

Please mail evidence directly to our lawyers:
ssass@verrilldana.com

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General Update
Happy Spring!
Hopefully most of you are awakening from the winter hibernation period!

We are in the midst of our legal battle, and are looking towards that light at the end of the tunnel.

We are still receiving reports that folks are getting letters from Shire City Herbals, and one herbalist received an official “Cease and Desist” letter from SCH lawyers.

Until the cancellation proceedings are finished, herbalists don’t have many options if they receive a letter from SCH.
Some herbalists are successfully ignoring SCH letters, and some herbalists have changed their labels.

It has been brought to our attention that owner of Shire City Herbals, Amy Huebner, has been making claims on Facebook about the Free Fire Cider campaign, accusing the organizers of spreading lies and creating a smear campaign against her business.

Check out our FAQ page: freefirecider.com  and Rosemary’s article in Spirit  of Change: spirit of change article for our full side of the story.

ALSO….
If you choose to engage with with any of the owners of Shire City Herbals, please send us a screen shot of the conversation @ freefirecider@gmail.com.

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Fire Cider Artwork
Check out this beautiful Fire Cider print from an artist in Madison, Wisconsin.
Lesely Numbers of Patchwork Printshop is selling these beautiful prints online.
http://patchworkprintshop.com/

IMG_4039

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Shire City Herbals: A profile with pictures
Alot of people have been asking, ” What type of business is Shire City Herbals?”.
After one of our blog posts referring to them as a “national company”,  SCH has recently claimed,  “We run the business out of our apartment.  How on earth does that make us a national company? ”
We referred to them as a national company because they sell a product nationally.

You be the judge!
Take a look at the pictures that are posted on the SHC website and see what you think..

Which is it? Do they have a warehouse and specialized industrial equipment? Or do they run their business out of their apartment?
Why would they need to hold onto a trademark (especially after a national campaign was launched against them) if they are just working out of their apartment? Why are their no pics of the “apartment” on the website?

Below are pictures from the firecider.com
(Shire City Herbals website).

Top
SCH owner in a warehouse
Middle
SCH owners in an industrial kitchen with specialized equipment.
BOTTOM
Screen shot from their website of all the stores they sell to.

Check out their blog post: “Field trip to the Fire Cider kitchen”. http://firecider.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/field-trip-to-the-fire-cider-kitchen/

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Bright Morning Greetings from Rosemary

“In the midst of the madness of our world, hearts are breaking open, people are blossoming, and the golden soul of humanity is rising up. Never doubt it for an instant. Seek it out and nurture it.” ~ Rivera Sun Winter

Greetings,

This morning’s sunrise was so bright and colorful on the eastern horizon, that it lit a fire in my own heart , warming my core with its molten beauty. It is in the deepening of winter and the cold that has settled solidly around us, that we first begin to notice the earliest stirrings of new life, of days inching towards the light, and the growth that this new year promises. It is such a hopeful time, as a new year begins and we turn once more on the great medicine wheel of time. Like the plants stretching just a little in their frozen winter garments, I, too, feel my spirit stretching, reaching up for the northern lights.
Though we’ve not been as outwardly active in our Free Fire Cider campaign, only because we’ve all been so busy catching up on our other projects, we’re as committed as ever. We’ve been working closely with our trademark lawyer and have begun the long process of the cancellation proceedings. We will continue to keep you updated as news develops.

We are coming on the 1 year anniversary of our free fire cider movement!
Your ongoing support and help is deeply appreciated. The best way to help is to continue to make our own fire cider and to continue to try to get your local stores to not sell the trademarked brand name, but to sell locally made Fire Cider.

We have printed up some beautiful post cards and brochures (artwork donated by Heather Bruntil) that you can either have mailed to you from our office (sage@sagemountain.com) or print your own off our website, freefirecider.com.

I’ve been busy in my herbal pantry and have come up with a couple of fabulous new Fire Cider recipes I’m excited to share with you. I was decanting my latest batch of Fire Cider, which was sitting for exactly 4 weeks time. A little shorter than I like to let the herbs and vinegar macerate, but I needed this Fire Cider because there was a rash of flu going around Vermont. It’s not unusual for me to let the herbs sit overly long in the apple cider vinegar and when I do finally strain it, the herbs are quiet ‘spent’ as I offer then to the ‘compost goddess’. But this batch of herbs ~ all that beautiful garlic, horseradish, ginger, onions, cayenne, etc. ~ were beautiful and still so tasty and I couldn’t bring myself to toss them. So instead… I got creative!

I invite you to try both of these dee-licious Fire Cider Recipes for a spicy winter treat!

Fire Cider Chutney
There are many recipes for making fire cider, but my favorite blend of herbs is:
*garlic approximate 8 – 10 cloves
*finely chopped Horseradish root
*approx. 1⁄2 cup grated or finely chopped Onions
*approximate 1 medium sized onion
*finely chopped Ginger approximate
*1⁄2 cup grated
*1 – 2 cayenne peppers, to taste, crushed or chopped,
Options: add a lemon with peel and/or turmeric to the above recipe.
The batch I used to make my first Fire Cider chutney from had lemon w/peel in it, and it added a nice lemony flavor that enhanced the finished product.  I’ve made it without the lemon and it was equally as good. So be creative!

Step 1: Steep all ingredients raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar for 4-6 weeks.
Step 2: Strain and add honey and cayenne to taste…..Taste should be hot, spicy and pungent
Step 3: Strain the herbs after 4 -5 weeks.They should still be firm and flavorful.
Step 4: Add the herbs to a Cuisinart or blender, and grind coarsely (don’t blend into a smooth past, but only until coarse and crunchy). If too dry, add a little of the Fire Cider Vinegar to the mix. You might wish to add a little more honey and cayenne to taste.

Honey Onion Syrup w/ Fire Cider Chutney
My husband got the ‘grunge’ this winter while I was away with my mother on a little holiday to Mexico! My Mother’s 90 and still loves to travel. When I arrived home, Robert had a pretty bad cough, sore throat and a flu that had lodged in his lungs. I have a number of favorite recipes I knew would do the trick, but one that I always fall back on for sore throats is Onion Honey Syrup.

Step 1: Slice yellow onions into thin half moons and place in a pot. Cover with honey, and with the lid slightly ajar (just enough to let a little of the steam out) slowly heat the onions and syrup. The heat should be low enough so that honey is warm, but not simmering or boiling. Cook for about 30-40 minutes over low heat, until the onions are very soft and the honey is deeply infused with onion juice. This make s a very tasty syrup that is very effective for deep bronchial coughs.
Step 2: You can further enhance by adding garlic with the onion for even stronger syrup. When my son was still little, I use to make this syrup every winter and leave it on the back of the old wood cook stove to keep it warm. It was a favorite medicine of Jason’s, and he was often found with his spoon in that pot licking up the sweet For an Added Punch, add Fire Cider Chutney: The syrup was a little too sweet for Robert.

Since I had just finished straining the Fire Cider and making my first batch of Fire Cider Chutney, I decided to try adding some of it to the onion syrup. To make a nicer syrup consistency, I blended the Chutney into a finer paste, and then added the paste to the onion syrup. It was divine!!! Sweet and soothing, with just enough fire and spark to make it elegantly delicious and healing. Do try both these new recipes!

Fire Cider isn’t for everyone so be sure to adjust flavors For those who prefer a little less fire and spice in their lives! ….And if I may put in a little political plug for Fire Cider…. Please continue to support Tradition not Trademark and continue advocating for Freeing Fire Cider from its unscrupulous trademark.
freefirecider.com

Love, Rosemary
“Watching gardeners label their plants I vow with all beings to practice the old horticulture and let plants identify me.” ~ Robert Aitken

World Fire Cider Making Day!

World Fire Cider Making Day is back!!

Saturday December 6, 2014

Join us on this special full moon to celebrate our beloved traditional remedy… Fire Cider!
On this day of action, please join together and make the remedy with thousands of anti-trademark Fire Cider supporters.
You can go the recipes on our website and find a recipe: freefirecider.com
Please post pics on social media!
Check out the Pinterest pages dedicated to all things Fire Cider!  (Thanks Pat!)
Last February, we had 5000 people join together!  Lets see if we can beat that. Promote this event and lets get 10000 people to celebrate together!
Invite on Facebook:  World Fire Cider event

Fall 2014 Newsletter

*LEGAL UPDATE
* FROM ROSEMARY
* FIRE CIDER IN THE PRESS
* ETSY NEWS

Legal Update
A group of herbalists have filed for the cancellation of the Fire Cider trademark. Since filing, our cases have been consolidated by the United Stated Trademark and Patent Office (USTMPO).
WE HAVE ALSO FOUND GREAT PRO-BONO LAWYERS!
They are gathering evidence and advising us how to move forward.
This process could take up to 1.5 years to complete! So bear with us, we probably won’t have any legal updates for a long time!

From Rosemary Gladstar
Your continued support to help free Fire Cider from its trademark is hugely appreciated. All together, we are making a difference! Please continue to support the Free Fire Cider movement by making your own Fire Cider, and by supporting the national boycott.
If there are stores in your area selling the Shire City brand of Fire Cider, please let them know about the boycott (there is material available on this website that explains the issue).
If you’d like Free Fire Cider brochures and postcards, contact Sage Mountain and we’ll mail them to you: sage@sagemountain.com.
Or please print the  flyer from this website and post in your area.
Thank you for joining us in this grass roots movement to protect our traditional herbal legacy products from trademarking.
Rosemary

Fire Cider in the Press
Check out the local press Fire Cider is getting!
*Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism: My Champlain Valley website. A great video and interview with Larken Bunce:
http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/story/d/story/herb-recipe-boosts-immunity/26984/B60lTvMXVkW4RvnpuAYyeg
*Spirit of Change: An editorial with both sides of the story, with Rosemary’s writing representing the herbalists perspective:
http://www.spiritofchange.org/Fall-2014/The-Fire-Cider-Trademark-Debate/#.VD1JPNfnkpw.facebook
*Austin Chronicle: An interview with herbalist, Jen Easter:
http://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2014-10-17/in-the-line-of-fire/
*Plant Healers Magazine. Download this free edition at https://madmimi.com/s/42d765
*Essential Herbal also included a supportive article as well in their latest issue: http://www.essentialherbal.com/magazine/
* Online resource: examiner.com:  http://www.examiner.com/article/herbalists-fighting-copyright-of-fire-cider-free-recipes-labels-and-an-e-book

 
Etsy Update
If you are an herbalist selling Fire Cider on Etsy, please get in touch with Etsy legal and let them know the trademark is in litigation.
Herbalists selling Fire Cider on Etsy are still being contacted by Etsy legal and SCH. Please let us know if you have been contacted! freefirecider@gmail.com

The picture below was posted in the Spirit of Change editorial.
Rosemary Gladstar on the left/ Shire City Herbals on the Right.

rosemary:shc pic

 

 

Fire Cider in Brazil!

We received a wonderful note from a fellow herbalist in Brazil!

Hi,
A couple of months ago I met a girl in Peru from Tweefontain, NY and got to know Fire Cider and a lot of wonderful things about the herbal world. She explained at that time the thing about the trademark and I thought it was ridiculous someone trying to do it so.  Anyway, I’ve been making Fire Cider for myself and I was thinking a way to help “Traditions not trademark”.  I believe Shire City Herbals can do anything outside US, I mean the trademark is valid only in US, is that right? So, I registered www.firecider.com.br and it’s free to use. If it helps…I want to post the recipes, ingredients, history, etc -in Portuguese – on this blog to let brazilian people to learn about it

Cheers

Thanks for the Solidarity!
Check out his website: www.firecider.com.br

New Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on website!

We keep hearing some of these questions over and over!
Check out our answers here:  http://freefirecider.com/faqs/

Why are herbalists so upset about this trademark?
What legal action has been taken against Shire City Herbals?
What legal action has been taken against herbalists by Shire City Herbals?
Why would they trademark the term “Fire Cider”?
What type of business is Shire City Herbals?
What happened to the anti-trademark Fire Cider page?
What are you trying to accomplish with the boycott?
Can I use the term Fire Cider?
What is the petition for?

Summer Solstice Newsletter

Latest News!
*LEGAL ACTION BEING TAKEN!
*FIRE CIDER TASTING AND EVENTS AT THE WOMEN’S HERBAL CONFERENCE
* ETSY ACTION

Legal Action Being Taken!
It’s time for legal action!! We are filing for a cancellation of the Shire City Herbals trademark on Fire Cider.
This is an action we can all take together!
In filing with the United Stated Trademark and Patent Office (USTMPO), we are asking them to remove the trademark Fire Cider from Shire City Herbals.

ABOUT THIS PROCESS:
*Anybody can file a cancellation as an individual, business or herbal group.
* This process costs $300.
*Multiple people can file under 1 petition. Have your names ready to add to the petition when you file. Herbal groups and friends can work together to pool the $, or raise the funds together.
*PLEASE PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU FILE, SO WE CAN KEEP COUNT!!
send us an email: freefirecider@gmail.com

EMAIL US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPONSOR AN HERBALIST TO FILE!
EMAIL US IF YOU ARE AN HERBALIST THAT NEEDS A SPONSOR!
freefirecider@gmail.com

Check our website for step by step instructions (in pictures!) on how to file with the USTMPO.
http://freefirecider.com/file-a-cancellation/

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*Fire Cider Tasting and Events at the Women’s Herbal Conference
Look for the Fire Cider table this summer at the Northeast Women’s Herbal Conference in New Hampshire, August 22-24, 2014
*Sign the petition
*Raffle
*Write a letter
*Fire Cider Tasting: Bring your Fire Cider and enter into the tasting contest!
*Find a group to file for cancellation with!

http://www.womensherbalconference.com/

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*Etsy Action!
Check out this page on Etsy!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/193566284/fire-cider
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Fire Cider will always be a generic name, and we will keep fighting to keep it out of the hands of national companies and in the hands of the herbalist!

Letter from Brian Huebner to herbalist/ New stores to call this week!

Latest News!
**Shire City continues to contact herbalists on Etsy and ask them to remove the name Fire Cider!

**Shire City continues to contact herbalists on Etsy and ask them to remove the name Fire Cider!**Below is a letter from Brian Huebner to an Etsy herbalist:

Apr 9, 2014

Hi Special,
My name is Brian from Shire City Herbals in MA. I wish we could meet under nicer circumstances. I am writing because we hold a trademark for the phrase “Fire Cider” and there are some conflicts with a few of your listings. I am writing to you directly in the hopes that we can settle this personally, rather than through Etsy Legal.

– Your Dragon Cider listing has “Fire Cider” in the title. Please remove those words.
– Your Dragon Cider and Hawthorn Oxymel both have “Fire Cider” in the tag cloud. Please remove those tags.

This is Etsy’s policy for trademark protection as I understand it. If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them. I will check back in one week.
Thanks,
Brian Huebner
www.FireCider.com

 

The herbalist responded with this:

Brian,

We were all supposed to be on the same team. You are working against your own industry. This doesn’t make sense.
It’s not about you.
It’s about the plants.

This type of ‘seeking out’ of small batch cottage industry herbalists doing their good work crosses the line between capitalism and plant work. It seems you are one who doesn’t really care about the medicine getting to the people, unless it’s your medicine. How is it that you are seeking us out as a source of competition when we mostly are all using recipes from Rosemary Gladstar’s origination of so called ‘your’ Fire Cider. You see us as a threat? You have nothing better to do? Nobody would give two shits about your trademark if you weren’t coming after your own kin.

Thank you,

Special Blackburn
Potionarium

CALL TO ACTION! NEW STORES TO CALL THIS WEEK!

Please support the Tradition/Not Trademark Boycott of Shire City Herbal’s Fire Cider.  One of the most powerful tools available in a grassroots movements ~ and that has proven effective in the past ~ is boycotting a product or company that is using questionable or unethical practices.
* Please note: we are aware of concerns regarding the potential ‘to hurt a small herbal business’ by this boycott.  Shire City Herbals are not herbalists, they have stated this themselves on a public radio show (Roots and Rhizomes: http://www.wgxc.org/schedule/12).
They are not a ‘small local business’ but  a national company whose goal is to monopolize an industry with a product.  Hundreds if not thousands of people have contacted the Shire City Herbals expressing their concerns over the trademarking of an herbal product long used and sold in the herbal community and they will not do this.  Our intention is get ‘Fire Cider back for the herbal community’ not to hurt anyone’s business

Our new campaign:  Flood the phone lines. We will systematically ask supporters to call stores that carry fire cider each week.
PLEASE Be polite and informed! The businesses we are calling are small business owners and farmers. These folks are our community and deserve respect.

Please note; there are excellent ‘Boycott Letters” and Speaker Points available on:  http://freefirecider.com/take-action/support-the-boycott/ (so that you can be informed and ready to answer questions that might come up.)

Ø Ask to speak to the manager/ owner.
Ø Refer to the Traditions Not Trademarks “Unifying Points” http://freefirecider.com/about/

This week we are asking folks to call these stores:

Pittsfield Health Food Centre: (413) 442-5662
Provisions: (413)-727-3497
River Valley Market: (413) 584-2665
Starving Artist Creperie: (413)-394-5046
The Becket General Store:  (413) 623-5700
The Berkshire Co-Op Market  (413) 528-9697
Outlook Farm: 413-529-9388

IF ANY OF THESE STORES SAY THEY DO NOT CARRY SHIRE CITY FIRE CIDER, PLEASE LET US KNOW!!!!
freefirecider@gmail.com

 

Fire Cider A Tradition, Not a Trademark

Though the initial ‘fired upness’ of the Fire Cider issue has subsided, we’re still simmering away and are hard at work here at home base. Thanks for your ongoing support. This will most likely be a long journey, and patience & perseverance ~ and your support ~ are requested. We keep hearing of other situations where traditional names and rights are being usurped. Let’s hold fast to Fire Cider; its as much about traditional herbalism and our right to make, use herbal products that were specifically crated for everyone’s use, as it is about this one product.

In this post, you’ll find:
Ø Organizers Update
Ø Petition Update
Ø Call to Action
Ø Regional Coordinators
Ø Legal Update
Ø Postcard Contest
Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’
~ Margaret Mead
ORGANIZERS UPDATE
It has been a fun ride for us working and getting to know organizer/ herbalists from the region! There have been victories and challenges, and growing pains! Thanks for holding on for the ride. Without your support, we are nothing and have NO power!! We are working with Rosemary to build this movement, and the foundation of the efforts will last for years!
PETITION UPDATE
We are over 8,000 signatures. We can continue to get signatures and get over 10,000! Thanks for all your support on this!
CALL TO ACTION!
Please support the Tradition/Not Trademark Boycott of Shire City Herbals Fire Cider. One of the most powerful tools available in a grassroots movements ~ and that has proven effective in the past ~ is boycotting a product or company that is using questionable or unethical practices.
* Please note: we are aware of concerns regarding the potential ‘to hurt a small herbal business’ by this boycott. Shire City Herbals are not herbalists, they have stated this themselves on a public radio show (Roots and Rhizomes: http://www.wgxc.org/schedule/12).
We do not see them as  ‘small local business’ but a small national company who is working to monopolize and industry with a product. They have ignored hundreds if not thousands of people that have contacted them, expressing their concerns over the trademarking of an herbal product long used and sold in the herbal community.  Our intention is get ‘Fire Cider’ back for the herbal community’ not to hurt anyone’s business.

Our new campaign: Flood the phone lines. We will systematically ask supporters to call stores that carry fire cider each week.
PLEASE Be polite and informed! The businesses we are calling are small business owners and farmers. These folks are our community and deserve respect.

Please note; there are excellent ‘Boycott Letters” and Speaker Points available on: http://freefirecider.com/take-action/support-the-boycott/ (so that you can be informed and ready to answer questions that might come up.)

Ø Ask to speak to the manager/ owner.
Ø Refer to the Traditions Not Trademarks “Unifying Points” http://freefirecider.com/about/

This week we are asking folks to call these stores:

Berkshire Organics : (413)-442-0888
Lenox Natural Foods : (413) 637-2721
Cornucopia (413) 586-3800
Cricket Creek Farm (413) 458-5888
Dottie’s Cafe (413)-443-1792
Juice ‘N java: (413) 684-5080
Millstone Farm Market: (413)- 665-0543

IF ANY OF THESE STORES SAY THEY DO NOT CARRY SHIRE CITY FIRE CIDER, PLEASE LET US KNOW!!!!
freefirecider@gmail.com
REGIONAL COORDINATORS
We are looking to decentralize our organizing efforts. The small team that is working on legal, organizing the campaigns and the website can only do so much! We need folks to step forward and organize their regions!
You will work with folks you know in your own region!

We have Coordinators for these regions:
California: freefireciderca@googlegroups.com
Vermont: freefirecidervt@googlegroups.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM YOUR REGION, EMAIL THE GROUP COORDINATOR ( Email contact above next to state name).

Regional Coordinator Description
The role of the regional coordinator is to:
* Communicate with the core organizing team
Work closely with Mary Blue, Helen Ward and Nikki Telkes on the campaigns. Bi- weekly conference calls to talk about regional campaigns/ successes
* Communicate the Anti-trademark campaign’s goals on a regional/local level with the public. Post on regional Facebook groups/ list serves, reply to concerns voiced in the area. Promote material being circulated by the Anti-TM group. As long as we are not slandering Shire City Herbals, we can say what we want. It is helpful to stick to the unifying points on our website if you are questioning whether or not to react to a situation.
* Help to facilitate group work: Using our unifying points and resources from the website, write articles for local papers and websites.
* Promote and facilitate local action around current campaigns: letter writing, petition, boycott, flood the market

LEGAL UPDATE
We are working with lawyers to find the best way to defeat this trademark. Because the legal system is so arduous and expensive, this may take years to come to fruition, but we will keep working on it. We have been given legal counsel that WE CAN beat this through a grassroots campaign! But in order to do so, we need your support. Let’s keep the pressure on with our action campaigns!
*If you have been contacted by Shire City, please let us know!!
*A letter from Rosemary regarding this is now on our website: http://freefirecider.com/what-to-do-if-shire-city-herbals-emails-you/
*Please write up your story and email it to us, so we can post it on our blog: freefirecider@gmail.com
POSTCARD CONTEST
Join us in celebration of all things Fire Cider with this exciting spring activity. The Traditional Healing Alliance is working on promotional graphics for a postcard campaign and we want YOU to be a part of it. For the next 2 weeks, submit graphics on our facebook event here, or to freefirecider@gmail.com. The winner or winners will be featured on our newsletter and if you have a business we will link to it on the postcard. Help us in Freeing Fire Cider from Trademark Restriction and protecting cottage industries, herbalists, and traditional healers worldwide.