Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seed Exchange FAQ

Seed Exchange Frequently Asked Questions (UPDATED 2/1/13)

I have been getting a number of emails and phone calls about the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange at Green Spring Gardens THIS Saturday. February 2. I thought I'd put together the following FAQ. Feel free to pass it on to any fellow gardeners:

- Yes, you can still register. We have plenty of spaces open. The preregistration to have the forms mailed has ended, you can still fill out the registration form and bring it with payment to the event starting at 12:00noon on Saturday. The form is posted here: http://issuu.com/washingtongardener/docs/wgseedexchang2013 or email wgardenermag@aol.com before 5pm Friday and we can email it directly to you.

- The event is at Green Spring Gardens and parking should be plentiful for our event. It
Here is a link to directions and a map: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/
We will be in the  Horticultural Center in the Main Auditorium.

- 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 filtered water - if you have a travel mug, bottle, or cup 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.

- We will have generic blank name tags -- but we ask participants to be creative and make their own tags or if you have your own name tag from work or another event, by all means bring it. We will do prizes for the most creative name tags :-). Again, we are trying to recycle and make this event eco-friendly.

- 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 table, be sure to rip off the address labels and tear out any order insert with your personal information on it. 
~ We also welcome gardening books for swapping, so feel free to bring those too.

- 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. See the listing at: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/toc.htm.

~ 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 you can make your own seed packs? Get great free downloadable templates are here: http://tipnut.com/seed-packets/

   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 the 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. Store-bought is fine.)
    (Yes, you can bring bulbs, tubers, corms, etc. to the swap. They should be bagged and labeled just like seeds.)
   (Older seeds are fine, if you can test for viability that would be great. The exceptions are lettuce, onions, and impatiens seeds, which should all be less than a year old.)

~ Make a list of your seed “wants” in advance.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the day and forget the basics that you came for or the rarities that you had been seeking.

- Here is the updated event schedule*:

12:00-12:30 Registration and seed drop off to WG Staff & Volunteers

12:30-12:35 Introductory remarks and overview

12:35-1:25 Speaker 1: "Growing Great Greens Year-Round" Cindy Brown
 1:30-2:00 Speaker 2: "Seed Collecting from Herbs & Flowers." Ira Wallace

2:00-2:30 Refreshment Break and Seed Swap Preview
2:30-3:00 Seed Show and 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.

**Show-and-Tell participation is 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 groups that you are involved in.

3 comments:

Angela said...

What a great idea! I love the spirit of seed exchanges with each person sharing from their excess so that everyone gains. It's such a win/win thing. Thanks for sharing on the link up!

Janet said...

The seed exchange at Brookside Gardens was terrific, and the speakers were great. As promised, here is the link for making your very own origami envelopes for the seeds you will save this year for the 2014 seed exchange!
http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/make-your-own-paper-seed-packets/
Janet Young

WashingtonGardener said...

Thanks for sharing, Janet. I'll pass it on. And thanks also for joining us at the Seed Exchange. :-).