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Let's Create a Seed Exchange!

 
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Lewis County, WA
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I started my seeds in February before the COVID-19 pandemic was considered a pandemic. I bought them from Adaptive Seeds. I had planned on saving seeds this fall and joining a local seed exchange anyway, so how about we work out a mail seed exchange geared towards what grows best in the PNW?
 
pollinator
Posts: 198
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
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Beth Johnson wrote:...how about we work out a mail seed exchange...?



I'm nowhere near the Pacific North West, but I'd trade with you, if you're into diverse, crossed-up, landrace-y seeds.

I'd be interested in seeing something like this get off the ground. Here's a link to my half hearted attempt to start something similar. Maybe you can learn "what not to do" from it. Note that the time of year was probably part of why mine didn't work out. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
 
pollinator
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Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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I am interested.  I have mostly perennial edibles and natives (and perennial edible natives). But in the fall I'm going to finish my hugelkultur veggie garden. So I'll be looking for seeds this winter.

What I would be most interested in is information about varieties that people like and that do well here.  I have about 250 varieties of edibles and another 100 or so natives.  Some are very happy, some are not.  
 
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I am interested! I'm in Southern Oregon.
 
Beth Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Lewis County, WA
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Cool beans. In case it isn't obvious, , I'm brand new to permaculture. I live in a small city and have ~0.75 acre, so my needs and plans are more limited than most of yours. I have lived here for two years, and this is my first year planting.

Apologies for making this sound like an exclusive project. Anyone and everyone is welcome. I focused on the PNW for my own selfish purposes.

I don't have many seeds on hand, and they're pretty pedestrian. I'm looking at what I'll have by the winter and what I might need for next year.

When I was planning for this year, I went all Italian and planted 24 tomato plants, cilantro, basil, and zucchini. I also planted peas, catnip, Brussels sprouts, cabbage - your basic vegetable garden.

I don't have a wish list right now - I need to see how this season goes.

BUT some of you might have needs and surplus right now you can share with each other.

Maybe this process should be organic where people post and share and make arrangements between themselves rather than create a centralized hub for seeds. Maybe this post can be the centralized hub.

What do y'all think?
 
pollinator
Posts: 610
Location: Montana
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I think that I am done exchanging seed till next winter at which time I should have an abundance of many things. The reason for this is I need to focus on growing seed and vegetables right now.

Seed trades are great and homegrown seed is the best especially when people involved are like minded amateur plant breeders working with diverse populations. Trading seed from those is incredibly worthwhile.

I think it would be a really good idea for me personally to become better organized with my seed to facilitate seed trades and even sales next winter. It is incredibly time consuming and too hard when I'm busy with other things and disorganized. If I had things organized and packets of trade items made up I could simply post an inventory and a wish list.

It would be neat not to need to buy seed any more and I think that is possible with exchange.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
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Location: Montana
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What does an organized seed trade look like?
I.E. how to trade seed like a pro or what I've learned by trial and error.

Preparation:

Supplies:
seed packets either small clear plastic or paper coin envelopes.
Bubble mailing envelopes
Tape
Pieces of card stock
Seed labels

Save seed of your favorite varieties, grexes, and landraces. Including: vegetables, herbs, medicinal plants, native plants, and fruiting plants of all kinds as well as edible plants of all kinds.

Figure out what you have seed for in excess of your own needs. You may not be able to collect an excess of everything you grew for seed.

If you plan to sell seed as well as swap test the seed and register as a seed seller with your state. (I haven't done this yet but am getting close to that as a goal).

Make up seed packets and make up a list of what you have to offer. Label seed packets.

Then come up with a wish list. (Be open to new possibilities and don't necessarily expect to get exactly that new variety only Adaptive Seeds seems to carry).

Post both lists to a seed exchange.

When a swap is agreed on, take the list of seed you've agreed to send. Take the appropriate packets and tape them neatly in rows to a piece of card stock (this is optional and not always practical but boy does it make you look like a pro when you can pull it off). Insert cardstock and packets neatly into bubble mailer. Write addresses on mailer. Take to post office. Get receipt with tracking number. Contact your trade partner with the tracking number.

Quantities to send: hmm this is tricky. When making up packets I would err a bit on the side of generosity especially if you think seed trades will be few this year. I.E. assume your trading partners will want to both grow food and save seed from what you send.

Commercial Seed and seed not grown or collected by trading partner. I accept this in trade, but do not offer it. Best practice in my opinion is to only offer homegrown seed but to be open to other possibilities especially from beginners or for seed that is hard to grow. For instance it is hard for me currently to grow seed from biennials I can't overwinter in the ground like cabbage. Unless I figure out how to overwinter it I can't save my own cabbage seed with current facilities.
 
Bihai Il
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William Schlegel wrote:What does an organized seed trade look like?
I.E. how to trade seed like a pro or what I've learned by trial and error.



Thank you. This is great information.

I'm still learning how and what to grow, how and what  to save. I'm already surprised with the viability of what I saved last year. Any help and experience is appreciated.  It's very helpful to know now to guide my efforts through the season.

I was wondering about using a format like the review chart for seed exchange offers. A chart to show a person's name and growing zone/region. Then click the name to see their posted list, which could be maintained as needed, and description of their goals and other applicable info. Something easier to navigate.
 
Posts: 75
Location: Idaho
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I'm interested in sharing seed. We're in N. Idaho but most of our seed is from our time in Denver so I don't know how it will do up here. In another year I should be getting a handle on some of it. Right now I wouldn't want to share the seed I have mostly because it suffered a lot of damage during the move. Too hot too long in trucks. Next year or definitely the year after should be good.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
Posts: 610
Location: Montana
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Robin Katz wrote:I'm interested in sharing seed. We're in N. Idaho but most of our seed is from our time in Denver so I don't know how it will do up here. In another year I should be getting a handle on some of it. Right now I wouldn't want to share the seed I have mostly because it suffered a lot of damage during the move. Too hot too long in trucks. Next year or definitely the year after should be good.



Here in Western Montana seed trades from Colorado do great. However just like Western MT much depends on Elevation and Location within N. Idaho. Do you know your new gardening zone?

Also Native Seed Search landraces from Colorado are very desirable compared to low desert ones!
 
Robin Katz
Posts: 75
Location: Idaho
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William, we're in zone 6a and that's the same as Denver suburb we lived in. But (and this is a big but) it feels much moister and cooler here except for July and August. Also, much less sun. It was a total beotch to garden in the Denver area. Intense burning sun scorching leaves (I had orchids burned black in less than an hour the first time I set one out for a little sun), packed clay soil, lots of hail recently, dry winters (yes, you have to water in January or your trees may die). Now that I think about it, it's rather amazing that two places with the exact same USDA zones can be so different. I know that the zone designation is based on temperature, but that really only tells a small part of the story.

I am optimistic that the seed that survived all of that will do really well here. At least the ones that survived the move here. The intense heat loving plants such as chilis may have a harder time so I'm looking at surrounding then with stones to retain heat. Micro climates in the garden are my new thing to research and test out.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
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Location: Montana
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Robin Katz wrote:William, we're in zone 6a and that's the same as Denver suburb we lived in. But (and this is a big but) it feels much moister and cooler here except for July and August. Also, much less sun. It was a total beotch to garden in the Denver area. Intense burning sun scorching leaves (I had orchids burned black in less than an hour the first time I set one out for a little sun), packed clay soil, lots of hail recently, dry winters (yes, you have to water in January or your trees may die). Now that I think about it, it's rather amazing that two places with the exact same USDA zones can be so different. I know that the zone designation is based on temperature, but that really only tells a small part of the story.

I am optimistic that the seed that survived all of that will do really well here. At least the ones that survived the move here. The intense heat loving plants such as chilis may have a harder time so I'm looking at surrounding then with stones to retain heat. Micro climates in the garden are my new thing to research and test out.



To reassure you, I am also in zone 6a here in Western Montana. In essence we are neighbors. So you now share my ecoregion! I strongly suspect therefore that anything I can grow you can grow as well! I have the word "supposedly" in my tag line in reference to my zone because I haven't yet adjusted to or fully accepted the 2012 change in zone map. Yes zone is a strict reference to minimum winter temperature, it is not your climate.
 
Beth Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Lewis County, WA
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William Schlegel wrote:For instance it is hard for me currently to grow seed from biennials I can't overwinter in the ground like cabbage. Unless I figure out how to overwinter it I can't save my own cabbage seed with current facilities.



Huzzah! I'm going to experiment with cabbage seedlings and Wall O Waters. After work I'll plant 24 seeds in a covered seed tray with 12 cells and a cover, and tomorrow I'll put it outside in a Wall O Water and see how quickly (if?) they germinate. When they get their true leaves, I'll transplant each seedling into its own Wall O Water and see how they do compared to the ones that are outside hardening.
 
Posts: 2
Location: Azusa Ca.
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I would like to get my hands on seed that grows Well in  desert climate zone 9b ...both food crops and polinators.  I HAVE 4  LOQUAT  SEEDs.  Not a picky eater try anything once. Currently in the food forest dreamingstages.  Have an attempt at an urban farm here in Azusa, Ca. I tried Egyptian spinach but no luck on the second try.  The okra looks marvelous.  Suggestions please.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
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Location: Montana
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https://permies.com/t/120/11200/Seed-swap-letter

Maybe we should combine these two threads.
 
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