Uncertain donations #GettingSeeds #IncreasingReturns


nbaxter@...
 

Hello fellow seed librarians! I have a situation that I would love some advice on.

I am in the extremely fortunate position of having active support from a very large local gardening group. This helps tremendously with getting the word out and getting donations in. Occasionally I'll get a huge donation of questionable seeds and the idea of throwing everything out because I just don't have the time to sort, search, and germ test everything is heartbreaking. I'd give the task to volunteers but we haven't restarted our volunteer program. I know many of these are past their viability window but I also know if they were stored properly there could still be a lot worth saving in here. I'd take some of these home to try growing them myself but my yard isn't big enough. I know if I just had a very clear donation policy and stuck with it I wouldn't have this mess. I also wouldn't have connected with a few of our more quirky and unique seed savers in the community though so I have to say it's usually worth the trade off.

To give you an idea of what I'm working with: Coin packs of Iron Clay Cowpea, no date, handwritten grow information. More coin packs just labeled Ironweed. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange packets from 2006-2009. Mary's Heirloom Seeds from 2019. Baker Creek Heirloom from 2010, 2019, 2021. Labeled coin packs from a local nonprofit from 2016-present. Burpee and Seeds of Change and Johnny's Selected Seeds and so much more.

So my question: How would you approach giant ziplock bags of random seed donations of all varieties, years, and sources? Would you toss the whole batch? Presort? If you sorted, what would your criteria be for keep/test/toss?

Thank you!


Susie Jenkins
 

The first thing that comes to my mind is to use the mystery seeds in a seed swap "as is" (you could give them a funny category name like "Seeds of Adventure", or something).   Pre-covid we have always had our "Seedy Saturday" the last weekend in January. Of course that didn't happen last year, and may not happen this coming January either depending on what the group gatherings protocol is by then.

I have been trying to think of alternative formats to host seed exchanges, but haven't come up with any ideas yet.  If we had the space it might be nice to have a longer version -- maybe a week or two instead of all in one afternoon, that way people could participate without bunching up.  It might be more difficult to keep the area clean and organized though.  At our regular seed swaps I always have volunteers and master gardeners in attendance to keep it fun, informative, and organized. 

I agree with you that it always seems like such a shame to "weed" our seed selection.  This fall I had just a few carrot seeds that have been here since 2017 and, rather than tossing them in the trash, I planted them in a large pot on my patio. I didn't expect much to happen, but the pot is now full of carrots... go figure!

--

Susie Jenkins
Adult Programming
Sandy Public Library
38980 Proctor Blvd., Sandy OR 97055
503-668-5537

This e-mail is a public record of the City of Sandy and is subject to the State of Oregon Retention Schedule and may be subject to public disclosure under the Oregon Public Records Law. This e-mail, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please send a reply e-mail to let the sender know of the error and destroy all copies of the original message.


Sara McCamant
 

Hi 
I would save all the packets that are 2018 and on.  I would either dump the rest or create an area that is a no guarantee, old seed space and people can choose to take them if they want.  
Random seed with out dates we toss.  
Sara


EBo
 

I missed the original post, so I do not know if the uncertain seeds are unknown species, known species of unknown origin, or simply out of date. Speaking for myself, we have a seed basket at the house which, last I looked, has seeds in it some older than 10 years. Sometimes we plant the really old seed just to use it up. This year we came across some old carrot seeds, and they were planted in a spot in the winter garden to see if they would come up, and low and behold most of them did. If there were seeds in date and of known species, but of unknown origin, I would probably trust them if you generally trust the people you get seeds from. If the seeds are of unknown species I would throw them out. Who knows, someone might have given you a packet of pretty flowers and in it is wisteria! I do not know about you, but some pretty plants are not worth having around if you know what I mean, and if you do now picture a 100' tree being pulled down by wisteria vines that are as thick as your fist. I have them on a derelict farm I purchased a few years back, and yes they really are that big and killing trees.

On Nov 21 2021 2:47 PM, Sara McCamant wrote:
Hi
I would save all the packets that are 2018 and on. I would either dump the
rest or create an area that is a no guarantee, old seed space and people
can choose to take them if they want.
Random seed with out dates we toss.
Sara


Klump, Holly
 

Regarding an alternative format to the swap this year:


We have not started a seed library YET (I joined this group in preparation for!) but we have been holding a seed swap for the past 5+ years, except last year. Generally we do a presenter on a gardening type topic, then a seed swap after. This year we are going to do a virtual presenter, then sandwich the days before/after with a seed swap so it is more spaced out. It will be more work on our part since we will do a lot more sorting and putting things in coin envelopes ourselves to avoid extra touching of seed packets (in past years we have the coin envelopes out but participants just kind of have at it, taking what they need themselves) but it will be a way to space out the swap, since we usually have quite a few people. I think we will have people register for time slots, or a certain day, but we are lucky in that we have the space to do that. So our seed swap event will be more of like, a seed swap week!


Holly Klump

Nashua Public Library

603-589-4633

________________________________

From: main@seedlibraries.groups.io <main@seedlibraries.groups.io> on behalf of Susie Jenkins via groups.io <sjenkins@...>
Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2021 2:40:21 PM
To: main@seedlibraries.groups.io
Subject: Re: [seedlibraries] Uncertain donations

The first thing that comes to my mind is to use the mystery seeds in a seed swap "as is" (you could give them a funny category name like "Seeds of Adventure", or something). Pre-covid we have always had our "Seedy Saturday" the last weekend in January. Of course that didn't happen last year, and may not happen this coming January either depending on what the group gatherings protocol is by then.

I have been trying to think of alternative formats to host seed exchanges, but haven't come up with any ideas yet. If we had the space it might be nice to have a longer version -- maybe a week or two instead of all in one afternoon, that way people could participate without bunching up. It might be more difficult to keep the area clean and organized though. At our regular seed swaps I always have volunteers and master gardeners in attendance to keep it fun, informative, and organized.

I agree with you that it always seems like such a shame to "weed" our seed selection. This fall I had just a few carrot seeds that have been here since 2017 and, rather than tossing them in the trash, I planted them in a large pot on my patio. I didn't expect much to happen, but the pot is now full of carrots... go figure!

--

Susie Jenkins
Adult Programming
Sandy Public Library
38980 Proctor Blvd., Sandy OR 97055
503-668-5537
www.ci.sandy.or.us/library/<http://www.ci.sandy.or.us/library>

This e-mail is a public record of the City of Sandy and is subject to the State of Oregon Retention Schedule and may be subject to public disclosure under the Oregon Public Records Law. This e-mail, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please send a reply e-mail to let the sender know of the error and destroy all copies of the original message.

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