The Initial Plans for the Society Seed Exchange
Ester Berry, Aberdeen, Washington
After considerable discussion by the ARS directors the seed exchange program begins to take shape. For this first year the program will be limited to the seed of species rhododendrons.
Members will collect the seed during the coming year and mail them to the Grays Harbor Chapter which will package and distribute them. The January Bulletin will publish a list of the seed thus made available. Members will have until February 1 to send in their requests, at which time the orders will be drawn as received and filled.
Those who have contributed seed will have their orders filled before the general distribution takes place. There will he a charge of 50¢ per packet for open pollinated seed. This charge seems necessary, not only to cover the cost of packaging, supplies and postage but also to prevent valuable seed from being wasted or used carelessly. It is possible that there may be a limitation on the number of packets that any member may receive; this will be determined prior to the publication of the seed list.
To achieve success a large part of the membership must participate in the program. Each chapter will appoint a seed chairman who will canvass the membership of that chapter to determine which seed they may have available. The chapter chairman should compile a list of seeds his chapter expects to supply and forward it to the distribution committee. In this way it may be possible to prevent an over supply of some kinds and possibly improve some of the shortages.
It is important that contributors should make reasonably certain that the seed parent is correctly identified Where a choice exists, seed should he collected from better forms only.
In the fall the seed chairman should see that the available seed is collected. It would be most helpful to the distribution committee if the seed were removed from the capsules before mailing. If this is done, every precaution should be taken to make certain that the different kinds are correctly labeled and that the seed does not become mixed. Members may also submit seed which has not been cleaned where this is necessary.
We hope that the membership will understand that the cooperation of the Society members will determine the success of the venture.