QBARS - v20n4 Seed Exchange Notes

Seed Exchange Notes
Esther Berry
Aberdeen, Wash.

The seed exchange committee packaged and distributed approximately 6000 packages of seed in 1966. The quantity of seed distributed has doubled each of the three years that our program has been in operation. Fortunately we have also had a corresponding increase in contributors and the quantity of seed contributed. Of course, there were still many requests that we were not able to fill but it seems that this will always be true. Things that are rare and choice will always be in short supply.
We have also increased the geographical area of our service. We sent seed to Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and England. There was an exceptionally brisk demand for seed collected in the wild, and surprisingly there was considerable interest in seed of the tender kinds. Hope springs eternal! The largest number of requests continues to be for the seed of hand pollinated species; unfortunately our supplies are far from adequate. We are not yet doing as well in this area as we should. On the other hand, our fine list of hybrid crosses could hardly be improved and it was most enthusiastically received.
I want to acknowledge my indebtedness and that of the Society to Rose Haines and Alma Manenica who have worked with me on this project. They gave many valuable days to the seed exchange, at a time of year when it is hard for a gardener to spare even a minute.
While we are still hovering over the little seedlings sown last spring, it is already time to start preparations for next year's seed exchange. Many of our members have expressed the desire to obtain seed earlier in the year. It's a lot more fun to plant seed in February rather than in May and there is no denying that there are many other advantages, but the mechanics are very difficult. However, we are trying to find a way.
List to be Mailed with January Bulletin Therefore, this year we are asking our contributors to submit a list of the kinds that they expect to contribute, by December 1; we can then publish the seed list with the January Bulletin as we did the first year. If we wait until we have all the seed in hand, an early publication date is difficult since some of the seed we list cannot be collected before December. This procedure will be much less costly and it might be possible to allow a little more time between publication and distribution so that those who receive their bulletins late because of their geographic location would have a more equal opportunity. It seems worth a try.
There is, of course, the risk that some of the items listed may not materialize. However, all the seed pods should be fully grown by December 1, so that the presence of normal seed content could be estimated fairly accurately. In fact a large portion of the seed should be mature enough to collect by that date.
We are especially eager to locate sources for any of the species that we have not yet listed. We would appreciate any information that the membership can provide on this score.
We have made the usual number of goofs this year and we are grateful for the patient forbearance of those who have been inconvenienced by our shortcomings. We would welcome any constructive criticism; we'd like to do everything perfectly, if we only could.