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AGS Seed Exchange: Seed Exchange 2012

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Started by: Helen Johnstone

Go to latest contribution by Diane Clement, 18 March 2013, 07:54. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Helen Johnstone 01 November 2012, 12:12top / bottom of page

New to the Society so was wondering when in November, roughly, the seed list was expected to be sent out?

Contribution from Diane Clement 01 November 2012, 15:02top / bottom of page

Hi Helen, I'll fill you in on the process at the moment. I've just spent the last fortnight with volunteers, filing, checking and numbering the seed packets donated. It takes so long because we have so many packets. We also started making the boxes up for the volunteer packers (there's about 100 of these boxes and each packer will make about 1100 packets from their box). I'm now back home and continuing the process of making up the boxes, for another few days. Then I will prepare the seed list for the printer and also for the website. The seed lists should be posted out in the last week of November and the list will go on line about the same time.

Contribution from Diane Clement 01 November 2012, 15:29top / bottom of page

Some pictures of the Seed Reception process:

The seed is filed by the 5 seed checkers who receive your seed. This is part of the filed seed from one of the checkers:

The seed from the 5 checkers is amalgamated

This shows the variety of packets from the donors - these are all donations of one variety of seed

The seed is all filed into A5 brown envelopes bearing the name of the seed. We have 12,000 envelopes, although not all of these are used each year. The brown envelopes stand in rows in plastic crates, we use about 20 - 25 crates each year to file the seed

The seed packets are then checked against the master list as donors do not always write the same thing on their packets as on their list! When all the packets are checked, the numbers for this year are allocated to the names. Then all the seed packets then have to be numbered

Once the packets are numbered, the packers' boxes are made up. There are about 100 boxes, here they are in my living room. The yellow boxes are the packing boxes, the others are boxes of filing envelopes

To work out how many packets to pack, we look at previous years packing figures and audit figures, in order to devise this years packing numbers. I have records of packing figures going back 11 years, but it is still a very inexact science as there are so many different factors that affect what people choose to grow each year.

Contribution from Diane Clement 01 November 2012, 16:08top / bottom of page

And now I must get back to the job of making up packing boxes!

Contribution from Helen Johnstone 01 November 2012, 17:00top / bottom of page

Many thanks Diane - a huge job thats for sure. I am looking forward to my box arriving for sorting.

The RHS seed list came out today which is what got me wondering.

Contribution from Helen Johnstone 17 November 2012, 10:28top / bottom of page
My experience of sorting the seeds
My experience of sorting the seeds

I have sorted my first box of seeds for AGS and sent them back. I thought you might be interested in the blog post I have written about it

Contribution from Tim Ingram 17 November 2012, 16:39top / bottom of page

Diane - fantastic and humbling to see the seed sorting/packaging process. I've always known how much work must be involved from collecting and cleaning seed for the nursery, but the scale of the AGS Exchange is really remarkable.

Helen - had a look at your blog and hope it will stimulate others to 'get into seeds'; I've always found it one of the most magical parts of gardening and opens up so many opportunities to grow plants you might never think of, and to discover new gardeners!

Contribution from Jack Meatcher 05 December 2012, 15:34top / bottom of page
Possible volunteer for 2013-14 exchange


I haven't volunteered before as I assumed the sorting and packing take place at Pershore. Reading this thread, I get the impression that packing can take place in the packer's home. Is this true? If "Yes", all things being equal, I'll have a go as a packer next year.


Contribution from Diane Clement 05 December 2012, 21:07top / bottom of page

Hi Jack

Different stages of the Seed Exchange process take place in different places. Every year I need about 100 volunteers to pack a box of seed in their own house. Making up seed orders takes place at Pershore, and volunteers for this job are either local to Pershore, or they make up a car load of volunteers from their own group to come along for the day.

Thanks for offering to pack a box of seed next year, I'll be in touch in about 8 months time!

Contribution from Mr. Jaroslav Klima 11 December 2012, 11:55top / bottom of page
On Line Order

is excelent!

Thank you.

Jaroslav Klíma

Contribution from Jan Fouquaert 12 December 2012, 11:00top / bottom of page

I love the online seed order, especially the option 'google' when you browse the list. Easy to look at pictures of the plants.

Easy, fast and simple.

Contribution from Gail Harland 15 December 2012, 17:10top / bottom of page

My seed arrived safely this morning - I mostly received first choices even though it was a couple of days before I noticed that the exchange was online and put my order in. I am meant to be studying this week end but I think an urgent trip to the garden centre for compost may take priority.

Many thanks to all involved in the exchange, including of course the donors of some very exciting seed.

Contribution from june saddington 17 December 2012, 18:47top / bottom of page
Seed Safely Here

This is my first time using the seed list, it found it easy to use and very informative with the google links.

I recieved 22 of my 1st choices, 7 of my 2nd choices and 1 interesting looking miss sort.

Many thanks to all those involved with the Seed Exchange.

Contribution from Ron Mudd 18 December 2012, 18:03top / bottom of page

Are seed and rice/small bulb selections posted separately?

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 18 December 2012, 19:31top / bottom of page

Ron, all in one envelope...said he after another hard day order picking.

Contribution from Ron Mudd 18 December 2012, 20:19top / bottom of page

Thanks for clarifying that ( rather disturbing ) information Martin.

Contribution from Ron Mudd 19 December 2012, 12:55top / bottom of page

Thank you to Diane and team for the quick resolution to my enquiry.

Contribution from Lesley Baker 06 January 2013, 22:52top / bottom of page
on-line ordering

Very late doing my order this year - almost too late!- but it was really easy to do on-line, and the 'google' facility was extremely helpful. Many thanks to all involved.

Contribution from Fermi de Sousa 25 January 2013, 06:35top / bottom of page
Seed arrival

Hi Diane and Seed Team,

the seeds arrived this week in our Post Box at Redesdale in Central Victoria. I've heard from Cynthia in Melbourne that hers hadn't arrived (by 23-01-2013) but others in Leongatha had received theirs already.

Thanks for all the hard work - this year we'll get the donations in a bit earlier!



Contribution from Diane Clement 25 January 2013, 21:09top / bottom of page

Hi Fermi

Glad to hear that your seed has arrived, thanks for letting us know. Cynthia's was sent at the same time as yours, so it should be arriving any time soon I hope.

I look forward to your early seed donation this year ...

Contribution from Marianne Kuchel 09 February 2013, 16:21top / bottom of page

Hello Dianne,

As I have not received my seed yet, could you please post when they were sent. I might have to start inquire here.


Marianne Kuchel

Fairlee, Vermont

Contribution from Diane Clement 10 February 2013, 17:24top / bottom of page

Hi Marianne

I had a technical problem logging on the site so in the meanwhile I have replied to you privately. Your seed was posted a couple of weeks ago.

Technical problem now sorted, so I can reply on this forum.  Thanks to Jim McGregor for sorting it out.

Contribution from Nils-Jorgen Rasmussen 17 March 2013, 16:46top / bottom of page
Possible typo

I have received the species 2595 called Erodium fitidum, but cannot find any references to this name anywhere. My guess is it is E. foetidum?

Contribution from Diane Clement 18 March 2013, 07:54top / bottom of page

Hi Nils-Jorgen, I'll look into this and let you know

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