Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to Prep for the Seed Exchange

As of last night's count, I have 30 spaces left for the Brookside Gardens location and 40 spaces left for the Green Spring Gardens location of our annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchange this Saturday, 1/30. To guarantee a spot at either event, you can print out and overnight /deliver your registration to us by Friday evening.
   Or take a chance and come to either location on Saturday at 12noon to register on-site. It will be first-come, first-serve. Once we are full, that is it.
   You can speed things up by printing out the registration form from here and bringing it filled in already with your payment. (Check or cash only at the event and no, there are no ATMs on the grounds of the public gardens).
Here are a few tips to prepare and make the day a success:

~ You can bring unused seeds from purchased packs or seeds you gathered from your own garden. Carefully pack and label your seeds as best you can. The more information you can provide, the better. More details on seed packing and labeling are on the registration form. Did you know tou can make your own seed packs? Get great free downloadable templates are here:
   Please do NOT bring large quantities of seed in one bag. Our volunteers are over-whelmed at the check-in tables already with sorting seeds into table categories, please break them up into smaller quantity packs ahead of time or we will not be able to put them out.
(No, you don't have to bring seeds. It is great though if you do bring them.)
(Yes, you can bring bulbs, tubers, corms, etc. to the swap. They should be bagged and labeled just like seeds.)

~ We recommend eating lunch before coming. We will be serving a healthy, light snack break mid-way through the event -- fruit, granola bars, etc. We have spring water - if you have a travel mug, bottle, or cup with lid you like, please bring that to fill up. We will have some plastic/paper cups on hand, but are trying to keep this event as “green” as possible and cannot allow open containers in the room with the seeds as an accidental spill would be devastating.

~ We will give away a prize for the most creative name tags :-). Please make a name tag or recycle one from another event. If you do not bring one, we will have generic blank name tags on-hand. Again, we are trying to recycle and make this event as eco-friendly as possible.

~ When you get your goody bag at check-in, please make sure to label it with your name -- all the bags look alike and can get easily mixed up. Bringing a few sheets of those personalized address labels you get with charity mailings will come in handy for this and for labeling your seed packets, giving out your contact information to fellow gardeners, etc.
~ If you are bringing seed catalogs for our give-away, catalog recycling table, be sure to rip off the address labels and tear out any order insert with your personal information on any seed/garden catalogs you bring in.

~ We screen incoming seeds and do not accept any invasives listed in the "Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas" booklet from the National Park Service. So please check your seeds against the invasive listing at:

~ Bring extra seed envelopes/baggies, in case you want to break up a bigger seed bag/pack or share with another attendee.

~ We have a Show & Tell portion of the schedule and participation is strictly voluntary. We encourage you to introduce yourself, share some fun facts and background on the seeds you bring, or tell us about any local garden projects or garden-related groups which you are involved in. You can also use this time for special requests for any particular seeds you have been seeking. You may want to jot down some speaking points before the event.

~ If you are attending the Maryland location, here is a link to directions to Brookside Gardens and a map:
We will be in the Visitor Center in the Main Auditorium.
There is additional parking down the hill at the Conservatory entrance.

~ If you are attending the Virginia location, here is a link to directions to Green Spring Gardens and a map:
We will be in the Horticulture Center in the Main Auditorium.
~ Here is the updated event schedule*:
12:00-12:30 Registration and seed drop off to WG Staff & Volunteers12:30-12:35 Introductory remarks and overview
12:35-1:25 Speaker 1
1:30-2:00 Speaker 2
2:00-2:30 Refreshment Break & Seed Swap Preview
2:30-3:00 Seed Show & Tell
3:00-3:30 Seed Swap!
3:30-3:45 Garden Photo Contest Winners Presentation
3:45-4:00 Final Door Prizes and closing remarks - Kathy Jentz Washington Gardener magazine
*As with all live events, the schedule is subject to last minute change.

Our featured speakers are:

Brookside Gardens in Wheaton MD

1 - the essentials of container gardening, things every container gardener should know
Barbara Melera, D Landreth Seeds

2 - In Search of African-American Heritage Seed
Michael Twitty, Afro-American Foodways

Green Spring Gardens in VA

1 - Seed Timing - When to Start Your Edibles- Cindy Brown, Green Spring Gardens

2 - What Happened to Growing Thing From Seed? The Forgotten Annuals, Janet Draper, Smithsonian

Snow Plan
It is wait and see right now. We are determined to still hold it as planned on Saturday.
If there is a bit of snow, we'll ignore it and carry on.
If it is a real blizzard and we have to change things, we'll send out an email to those who are pre-registered and post to this blog by 10am to alert folks IF anything changes.
Again, we’ll make the decision by 10am so check in after 10am, if there is any question about the weather. No note from us means we are still on as planned.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Hope everyone has a GREAT time! I'm regretful that I won't be able to make it but can't wait to attend next year.