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
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!
We are over 8,000 signatures. We can continue to get signatures and get over 10,000! Thanks for all your support on this!
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:
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: (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”

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

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:


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

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:
*Please write up your story and email it to us, so we can post it on our blog:
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 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.

Toast to Tradition!

On Sunday, March 9th let’s all celebrate Fire Cider. Make a toast to tradition! Share and post your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Don’t forget to tag Tradition Not Trademark on Facebook or use #freefirecider elsewhere!

Make a Fire Cider toast on Sunday, March 9th!

Make a Fire Cider toast on Sunday, March 9th! Click image to see Facebook post.

All for good,
Heather for FreeFireCider

Roots, Runners, Rhizomes Radio Interview with Nicole Telkes

rootsClick in to a livestream radio show TODAY (Feb 24th) at 2PM EST on WGXC Radio 90.7 to hear Nicole Telkes discuss the Fire Cider trademark controversy. You can call in with a question or comment using the following number 518-828-0290. A recording will be available and posted shortly after the live airing. UPDATE: the archived recording is available here!

Then head on over to the Roots, Runners and Rhizome’s Facebook page to thank them for the opportunity to spread the message about this movement by liking their page or posting a comment.

Help Your Stores “Free” Fire Cider

Free Fire Cider

Fire Cider recipe cards. 4×6 card can be printed at your local photo lab. Click to download.

Not too long ago, the Willimantic Food Co-op posted a photo of their beautiful make your own Fire Cider merchandising display. This display was made possible because of the support that the movement has been given from the herbal community far and wide! Inspired by this, we pulled together some lovely printable materials for each of you to distribute in support of the movement. These materials can be provided to retailers to share with customers, use in displays, or given away at check out. Individuals and schools can use these by adding them to community bulletin boards, sharing them with associations they are involved in, or passing them out at conferences and meet-ups – the possibilities are endless. Please, use them freely and often. They are a good way to start the conversation with your local store or other individuals, if you haven’t yet already. In addition, continue to voice your opinion to stores near you, be sure to check out the resources page for a sampling of boycott letters.

Posters, Flyers and Recipe Cards
Make Your Own Fire Cider Recipe Cards – lovely little cards with a basic fire cider recipe. You can hand them out at farmer’s market, leave them on a table as part of a store display, or just give them to all your friends! Print these 4×6 cards at your local photo lab, be sure to ask them not to resize the file. Or you can print the PDF version of the Recipe Card from your own printer.

Make Your Own Fire Cider Poster – can be displayed in local stores, farmer’s markets, classes you teach in your own kitchen: anywhere! Includes a recipe as well!

Free Fire Cider Poster/Flyer – an 8.5×11 poster/flyer with information about the trademark we’re fighting and why the trademark is a problem for the future of herbalism.

Free Fire Cider

Make Your Own Fire Cider Poster. Click to download.

Free Fire Cider Poster/Flyer. Click to download.

Free Fire Cider Poster/Flyer. Click to download.

Call for Blog Posts!

Of course, as important as Fire Cider is to us, there is a much larger issue at stake here.
At the very foundation, the issue is really that we live our lives – our vocation, our calling – in service: in service to community, to the plants, to the earth. This doesn’t really translate well in a culture that is being whipped into ever more of a frenzy of seeking fame and wealth at the expense of others, of community, of the earth.

And so as we continue to fight to free Fire Cider from trademark restriction, it’s a good thing to take a minute to reflect on this larger, deeper truth. Do you like to write? Do you keep a blog? If so, then here’s a topic for you:

How can we live our tradition of service to community, to the plants, to the earth, in a culture that values fame and wealth at the expense of these things?

I would love to hear all of our voices writing – and speaking and drawing and singing and expressing on this topic!

Send us your stuff! Links to your blog, your YouTube, your .mp3, your whatever you make to express it – we’d love to share it!


We will NOT be silenced!

firey fistWhat happened?

Yesterday, the Free Fire Cider and the World Fire Cider Making Day Event pages were taken down by Facebook. Facebook cited that Amy Huebner, owner of Shire City Herbals, had registered a complaint that these pages infringed on and otherwise violated their rights.

Information from The US Patent and Trademark Office states:
“A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art.” link

These pages were not violating Shire City Herbals’ trademark because they were not selling or promoting goods. Shire City Herbals holds a trademark – not a copyright. Rosemary Gladstar authored the copyrighted recipes and has not expressed issue with these pages. It is clear that these pages should be reinstated! Owners of the pages have filed disputes with Facebook.

Take Action: Clearly Shire City Herbals is feeling the pressure of the herbal community. It is important to stay strong, stay positive, and continue to move forward.

1. Email Amy – respectfully disagree with her about her current actions on Facebook and ask her to free the Fire Cider trademark:
2. Contact Facebook and register a complaint
3. Get involved: See what you can do at our Take Action page!
4. Keep informed about the latest developments and events right here at!


Yes, Facebook took our “pages” down

censoredFree Fire Cider and Fire Cider Pages and even our “World Fire Cider Making Day Event” have been taken down by Facebook. Facebook has cited that an Amy Huebner (who just happens to own Shire City Herbals) said that these pages violated their  infringement of her rights.  We have been warned that if we start another page I may be blocked from using facebook entirely. That doesn’t stop anyone else from starting “pages” and citing the “Fire Cider” page as an infringement on our intellectual property.
Do what thou wilt and we will continue to boycott, we don’t need facebook to do it!
What facebook said:

Letter regarding removal of Free Fire Cider Page.


We’ve removed or disabled access to the following content that you posted on Facebook because a third party reported that the content infringes or otherwise violates their rights:

Page: Fire Cider

Facebook is not in a position to adjudicate disputes between third parties. If you believe that this content should not have been removed from Facebook, you can contact the complaining party directly to resolve your issue:

Notice #: 263156903851500

Contact Information
Name: Amy Huebner

If an agreement is reached to restore the reported content, please have the complaining party email us with their consent and include the original reference number. We will not be able to restore this content to Facebook unless we receive explicit notice of consent from the complaining party. Please note that the complaining party is not required to respond to your request.

We strongly encourage you to review the content you have posted to Facebook to make sure that you have not posted any other infringing content, as it is our policy to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers when appropriate.

For more information about intellectual property, please visit our Help Center at

The Facebook Team