Please also refer to this discussion:
(which is now closed in favour of this, more recent one)
Valerie we have a seed/plant/cuttings swap at the Garden Visits - see the Coming Events calender and/or the Garden Visits Group. For people who cannot attend GVs the envelopes Scarlett has will be a boon.
I think there is a good possibility for a centralised mailing seed saving/ swap system.
It could operate on credits, like the LETS system does.
If you make a deposit of seeds, you get credit. You can withdraw different seeds with those credits. Excess seeds could go out to whoever wanted them, credits or not. An online inventory/ store would rock. Needs a suitable seed storage location.
I could supply the coordinator with an annual supply of envelopes and stamps worth $150. I'm not sure that would go too far, but then you could possibly crowd source more funds if it got bigger?
That sounds like a great idea Scarlett. I have a few pre-stamped envelopes I could donate too although they have 50c stamps on them so need 10c added before postage.
What about people starting out who have nothing to swap?
Yes. I guess if there are extras then a no-credits needed starter pack would be good. Some seeds -e.g. small quantities of locally bred garden varieties - would be considered precious and you'd only want them in safe hands for multiplying.
There's always Eden Seeds - several places you can buy them in Brisbane. Often you get too many in a pack - so people could donate the leftovers and start that way?
It would be good for someone to take on central seed saving again. Not me I'm afraid, but I would be happy to donate and withdraw. Some lessons on seed saving for beginners is also a good idea. I'm pretty lacksadasical myself but have a big box of bought and saved seed so I suppose I'm not going too badly.
As Elaine mentions, we do seed, produce and plant swapping at each of the Garden Visits anyway and many of us post seed to each other as well. All are welcome to come and share whether they have anything to contribute themselves or not.
With Caboolture Seed Savers what I have noticed is that people just send along seed/pods/twigs/fruit and expect the convenor to do all the seed cleaning. With the Seed Savers which Anne Gibson is associated, the seed is communally cleaned when they have meetings. It's OK to say "let's have seed saving, swapping, posting" but ultimately someONE has to take charge or it's a shambles. Personally I am not interested in doing that. I'm happy to give excess seed away at Garden Visits and that, for me, is 'it'.
The original idea that fell down when Donna moved, was that BLFers who had excess seed could ask Donna for x-number of stamped envelopes. Then would say on here what they had available and members would write off-list to ask for x.y.z seeds. That way the cleaning, packaging and posting was shared among many members. If something like that was re-introduced, then if the Seed Savers Group was re-activated and one person had the stamped envelopes available, then that system could work without the need for any one member to be the custodian of a seed bank and without any one member doing all the cleaning and packaging.
Yes, it's also a good model - probably better even: more organic and less controlled/ bottle necked.
I suppose I could do an annual post out to people who are probably going to have excess seeds. I just checked the postage rates:
and I can send about 7 envelopes per time (just folded in half inside a standard envelope), but it's too thick for standard postage (has to be under 5mm to be 60c) so the postage would be $1.20. Which is okay I guess.
Packet of envelopes is what, $3? So, each package costs .24c + $1.20 + 7 * 0.60c = $5.64. So I could do that 26.5 times, once per year.
I'll be up for that - except it has to wait several months until the next lot of revenue comes in. Should be at the end of April - which is not bad timing for the main seed saving season.
So, what do you think? I can start a discussion asking who wants seed envelopes and start up a mail-out seed sharing/ saving group, using the no central coordinator model (as per Elaine's post above).
It makes sense for me to do it because I have to buy the envelopes and post them to someone anyway :)
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