Friday, January 24, 2020

SEED EXCHANGE FAQ

I have been getting a number of emails and phone calls about the upcoming Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges. I thought I'd put together the following FAQ. Feel free to pass it on to any fellow gardeners:

-The online registration links are -

Saturday, January 25 at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD go here:
WGSeedExchange-BR.brownpapertickets.com
Online Registration ends at 6:00pm on Friday, 1/24/20.
If you miss that online window,  you can register in-person at the event starting at 12noon on Saturday, 1/25/20.

and for 
Saturday, February 1 at Green Spring Gardens, VA go here:

WGSeedExchange-GR.brownpapertickets.com
Online Registration ends at 6:00pm on 1/31/20.
If you miss that online window, you can register in-person at the event starting at 12noon on Saturday, 1/1/20.

- We recommend eating lunch before coming. We will be serving a healthy, light snack break mid-way through the event -- fruit, granola bars, etc. There are nearby water fountains - if you have a travel mug, refillable bottle, or cup you like, please bring that to fill up and label it with your name. 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/garden catalogs for our give-away table, be sure to rip off the address labels and tear out any order inserts with your personal information on it.

- We are adding a new, separate table this year for houseplant cuttings and divisions.
We encourage everyone to bring your cuttings/divisions labeled and packed in individual baggies to share.

~ 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. You can also see the listing at: 
https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/Invasives/invintro.aspx.
(We do not allow GMO seeds in either, but chances are slim that any home gardener would have access to them.)

~ 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.    (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 and Volunteers12:30-12:35 Introductory remarks and overview12:35-1:25 Speaker 1
1:30-2:00 Speaker 2

2:00-2:30 Refreshment Break and Seed Swap Preview2:30-3:00 Seed Show and Tell
**3:00-3:30 Seed Swap!
3:30-3:45 Garden Photo Contest Winners Presentation (only at VA location)3:45-4:00 Final Door Prizes and closing remarks 

*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.

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