Cottage Gardening forum: 2014 Seed Swap Chatter #4

 
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ImageDanita
Dec 6, 2014 7:04 AM CST
Name: Danita
GA Zone 7b/8
Ella has more details at the top of this thread, but for any new piggies, here is my version of what needs to be done before mailing your box to Ella.

C-mail your Mailing Address to Ella ASAP ( if not done already for this year)

Update your Incoming and Outgoing lists in your Database after the swap closes on December 10th or before.

DO NOT DELETE YOUR DATABASE!
Keep everything up and listed until Ella gives you the okay (generally after everyone receives their piggy box back.)

Pack Up Your Individual Packs of Seed

Use small plastic baggies, paper envelopes, etc. but be sure that whatever you use is secure and doesn't allow seeds to wriggle out of small cracks.

Some general labeling notes:
Sharpie marker on plastic bags rubs off and smudges. By the time people receive the seed, they may no longer be able to read it.
Be sure labels are inside baggies or securely attached.


Label each individual Seed Packet with :

1) Plant's Name (both scientific & common is preferred, if known. Scientific is better than common.)
2) Year the seed was collected or purchased if it's commercial
3) Including your "username" is preferred (see notes in following "Parts" sections)

Example:
_______________________

Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph'
Texas Sage
2014 commercial
(from Danita)
_______________________

Feel free to include sowing directions or any other useful information, but it's not required.

How to prepare your box to mail to Ella:

Part 1 - Oinking Swap

Prepare an individual Baggie or Envelope for each Piggy that is receiving seed from you.
Make sure that whatever you use is secure and won't dump the seed packs out during shipping or sorting.

Label each receiving Piggy's Baggie/Envelope with:

1) Piggy's Name (written clearly and large)
2) Number of Total packs of Oinked-for Seed (written clearly and large)
3) Number of Total packs of Gift Seed
4) Including your "username" is helpful (but not required,) as long as you use smaller letters and include "from" so it doesn't get confused with the receiver's name

Example:
_______________________

To: Starlight1153

Total Oinks = 12

Gifts = 3

(from Danita)
_______________________

Your labels can be hand-written or printed, plain or decorated, as long as the vital information above is easily visible and read (no illegible or microscopic handwriting, please.)

Fill each Piggy's Baggie with requested seed. Be sure to double-check that everything requested has been included. Printing out a copy of your "Outgoing" database section to use as a checklist can be really helpful for this.


Part 2 - One-to-One Swap
(if participating)

In a separate bag (be sure to clearly label it "Part 2") :

Send 1 - 100 packets of seed.

No more than 3 packs of seed per individual type.
(example: 3 packs Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph', 3 packs Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire', etc)

No tree, shrub, true weed or universally undesirable seeds.

Label Seed Packets as mentioned above.
Be sure to include your "username" if you want to lessen the chance of accidentally getting your own seeds back.

Place all seeds in the "Part 2" Bag & Make sure the Bag is labeled with "Part 2" and the Number of Seed Packs included:

Part 2
Total seed packs = 37


Part 3 - Bottom of the Barrel
(if participating)

In a separate bag (be sure to clearly label it "Part 3") :

Send any number of seed packs.

Try to avoid sending tree, shrub, true weed or universally undesirable seed. Use your common sense here.

Label Seed Packets as mentioned above.
Including your "username" is helpful if receivers have questions, but is no guarantee that you won't accidentally get your own seeds back.

Extra Seeds:

For extra seed that you want to give freely with nothing in return, basically just follow the "Part 3" directions but label the bag as "Extras" and include a short note saying that you don't want anything in return.

Pack into your Box:

1. Piece of paper with your Real Name and your Mailing Address.
2. POSTAGE - send $7.00 in the form of cash, stamps, check or U.S. Postal Money Order (the only type of M.O. accepted.)
3. Part 1 Seeds
4. Bag of Part 2 Seeds (optional)
5. Bag of Part 3 Seeds (optional)
6. Bag of Extra Seeds (optional)

Use a Box or Bubble Envelope to pack your seeds.

Be sure to tape your package securely as packages tend to get abused in shipping at this time of year.

Mail box to Ella using the address she has c-mailed to you.

Important! You must get Delivery Confirmation with Tracking!
It costs less than a dollar and can be a life-saver.

Priority Shipping automatically comes with Delivery Confirmation with Tracking at no additional cost, plus you can use the free Priority boxes and envelopes.

Make sure to keep the receipt with the tracking number safe & C-mail the number to Ella immediately.

Then breathe a sigh of relief that your box is on its way & start tapping your hooves in anticipation of its return! Hurray!

*****
Ella, if I left out anything important or made anything more confusing, let me know. ^_^


[Last edited Dec 6, 2014 7:15 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1105972 (1)
ImageDanita
Dec 6, 2014 7:08 AM CST
Name: Danita
GA Zone 7b/8
Sorellina, that's fun about the correspondence. Do you mean that you get emails from people that receive seed that has been passed around a few times and that you've never "met" or swapped with directly? ^_^
Weedwhacker
Dec 6, 2014 9:05 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Danita, thanks so much for taking the time to spell out the details for me... I'm sure I wasn't the only newbie with some confusion, and I'm definitely all for anything that will make all the sorting easier for Ella !
Thumbs up
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
ImageRedLeopard
Dec 6, 2014 9:24 AM CST
Name: Ron
Naples, FL

I would like to add something here about the flat-rate priority mail boxes. These are convenient but overpriced unless what you are shipping is heavy.

This past fall I did a trade with another ATP member. Because the trade included cuttings and small plants, the box I used was similar in size and shape to the medium flat-rate box.

The sender used a flat-rate priority box and paid $12.65 flat-rate to ship to me. By using my own box with about the same amount of plant material, I only paid $5.83. I SAVED almost $7.

This was still priority mail shipping which automatically includes package tracking.

There are two different priority boxes from the post office. The flat-rate box SAYS flat-rate. The other box looks very similar. In another trade at about the same time, the sender reused a box she thought was a flat rate box but was just Priority Mail. She thought the postal clerk had miscalculated the postage as the price was so cheap compared to what she was expecting to pay.

Just a head's up!

Imagetcs1366
Dec 6, 2014 9:33 AM CST
Name: Terese
Leesburg, FL zone9b
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
Danita -- WOW excellently done!!

here is a snippet of my "seed tags" --

I do a word doc with 3 columns, so each "tag" is roughly 2x4" and will fit in the seed baggie.

I've received the range of TONS of info including a pretty photo of a bloom, to the other extreme of a hand scribbled word that i have to use google to decipher. I try to keep it simple. Scientific name is pretty much a 'must' as you can find out any and all details with just that term.
Thumb of 2014-12-06/tcs1366/6c0ca1

I find "knowing" where the seeds came from is a good thing, whether commercial or grabbed from a garden somewhere [not from the traders garden] and when they were harvested. If they are older seeds, and you don't get germination, you can say... "well, they were old seeds" ~~ Little things like that.

When I was living in the midwest, I'd mostly choose seeds that were drought tolerant or good for xeriscaping -- so I'd add that to the tag too.

and obviously, having your userID included is very handy in case someone needs to contact with questions. ~~ I will do that on occasion.
Terese -- Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi
My Email is my userID at hotmail.com

Weedwhacker
Dec 6, 2014 9:43 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Thanks for the additional info, Terese ! (maybe all of these informative posts about managing seeds for swapping could be put together and made into a "sticky" ... ?) Smiling
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
ImageDanita
Dec 6, 2014 9:53 AM CST
Name: Danita
GA Zone 7b/8
Ron, Great points about the Priority boxes! You do have to check carefully.

I've noticed that mailing First class packages (which now includes all bubble envelopes) with delivery confirmation ends up costing nearly as much as the cheapest Priority package.

Terese, great example of seed pack labels!
I used to be better about including more information beyond the required, but I've gotten lazy in the last few years. Hilarious!
It is nice to have, though. I usually print the seed packs when I have several packs of the same seed and hand-write the packs when I only have one pack. I have to fight with my printer so it takes too much time. Big Grin
ImageSorellina
Dec 6, 2014 9:59 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Danita, most of the people I trade seeds with I've never met. Several of them, like all of you, I've interacted with in forums or via chat or via email, but there are others whose only interaction with me is via swaps or the seeds I offer via Seed Savers Exchange. I grow a lot of rare tomatoes, several that are not offered commercially. This is beginning to extend to other vegetables and will most likely eventually spill over into flowers, but still, within the flower arena, I'm far far behind a lot of you in my knowledge.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
ImageDayjillymo
Dec 6, 2014 10:35 AM CST
Name: Jill
NW Missouri
Sorellina, how do you keep the varieties from crossing unexpectedly? Do you bag and deliberately pollinate or do you separate by X number of feet? It sounds like a monumental task - one I'm happy to leave to you experts. Keep up the good work!
Imagegreene
Dec 6, 2014 10:50 AM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, Georgia, USA
All this is very good information. It would be good if this were available for all piggys before the 2015 swap so we can pre-pack and pre-label and be better prepared.

A couple of months ago RedLeopard was kind enough to send me a template that I could use to type/print my paper labels. Thumbs up This has been a big help for me and my seed packs will look less messy. (Thanks RedLeopard!!) For other piggys like me who are not totally computer savvy, perhaps helping them to find a word program or a template and including this information in the sticky will make less work for them next year.
ImageDanita
Dec 6, 2014 10:56 AM CST
Name: Danita
GA Zone 7b/8
Julianna,
I doubt many of us have ever met a trader in person, but I feel like I've "met" a lot of people online, like here, to some extent. It is fun to know your seed is flowering or fruiting in new places, including on the other side of the globe. It sounds like you're doing some important preservation work, too. You seem like you're pretty good with the flowers already. Big Grin
Imagegardengus
Dec 6, 2014 11:53 AM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5a
Truth is worth finding
Thumb of 2014-12-06/gardengus/767dbf


Just found these seeds and added
Aster tartaricus
perennial/ herb
Tall 6' in my garden
ImageLeBug
Dec 6, 2014 1:07 PM CST
Name: LeBug 6b
Greenville, In.
I've gotten a lot of Dmails/cmails from people that got my seeds somehow wondering how to plant etc. from seeds I have sent out I think putting our name on our seed packets is really important sometimes the data base of that person got deleted and when I go to put the name on the seed I'm planting so I can brag about it coming up if I don't have the name I don't know who to brag to or who to thank. I like to keep names on my plants outside of who I got the seed/plant from too. I must admit I have lost a few due to fading and not keeping up with them though Grumbling
ImageLeBug
Dec 6, 2014 1:09 PM CST
Name: LeBug 6b
Greenville, In.
gardengus very pretty!
Weedwhacker
Dec 6, 2014 2:45 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
LeBug wrote:gardengus very pretty!


I agree And TALL !!
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Imagetcs1366
Dec 6, 2014 3:51 PM CST
Name: Terese
Leesburg, FL zone9b
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
for those of you who are shipping out early, and do not have Ella's / Starlights home address....

I know she's usually off line on weekends...

post in the thread that you need it, and I know there are a good handful of us that have her address...
someone will get back to you, via Cmail.

I'm heading out for dinner and will be back in a few hrs.
Terese -- Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi
My Email is my userID at hotmail.com

Imagegardengus
Dec 6, 2014 3:53 PM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5a
Truth is worth finding
Yes!! mine is all of six foot and The data says it can reach ten Blinking

Of course the butterflies like a tall landing pad Smiling
Imagegardengus
Dec 6, 2014 3:55 PM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5a
Truth is worth finding
Star sent her address to us when we sent our mailing address to her.
ImageSorellina
Dec 6, 2014 4:23 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Jill, I grow 48 different indeterminate and 12 determinate tomato varieties each season here at home, more at the community garden. I harvest the very first best specimens and save seeds from those fruit. Tomatoes have perfect flowers which means they have both female and male parts, not solely relying on bees for pollination - a breeze can do it. Those first tomatoes have less chance of cross-pollination because those pollinating insects are not in large numbers yet. I get about a 5% chance of crossing which is a good bet as far as I'm concerned. Commercial seeds have higher rates overall. I don't guarantee no crossing because that's impossible - nature finds a way.

I do not save seeds from cucurbits other than pumpkins and gourds, only growing one type per season. I grow a fair number of zucchini and cucumbers, however, and as Joseph will tell you, they're quite incestuous. They do NOT have perfect flowers and DO rely on pollinators. I grew a lovely tiny melon called Plum Granny this year and it had an amazingly strong fragrance. Victorian ladies, so the story goes, held these melons in their pockets as a type of perfume. I was not quick enough to rescue the seeds before the fruits dried up, but I may try again next year. As far as corn goes, it's the same with cucurbits - I only save seed if I'm growing one type. This year, I grew Glass Gem at the community garden and Miniature Blue Popcorn here at home. I did not get my act together with shucking that last one to include it in this swap.

Danita, I owe a lot of my limited flower-growing knowledge to what I've picked up here from you all. As long as it doesn't need cold-stratification or germination times past a few weeks, I have a decent shot at success. And you're right, it is nice to see my vegetables and flowers bringing others a lot of joy. In addition to preserving biodiversity, it's a huge reason why I love to share my seeds.

It's still early December, but I've already got a big New Year's resolution and that is to get my seed room better organized. I found 5 bags of flower seeds that I didn't get around to looking up and a lot of them will not grow in my climate. When growers include the Latin name but not the common name on the seed pack, it makes it hard for me. I think I'm finally on board with Asclepsias being milkweeds, but there are a zillion others that I have no and I mean NO clue what they are. Shrug! There's got to be some kind of flower database or list out there that is somewhat comprehensive without being a botanical textbook that I can use as a reference. Maybe one of you can recommend one. Thumbs up
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Imagetcs1366
Dec 6, 2014 6:32 PM CST
Name: Terese
Leesburg, FL zone9b
Wisconsin Dells Area, zone4
gardengus wrote:Star sent her address to us when we sent our mailing address to her.


Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

She never replied to mine, but then, I'm sure she knows I know her address.

I made this post because i was contacted by someone who needed her address.

Terese -- Leesburg, FL & Lake Delton, Wi
My Email is my userID at hotmail.com

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