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The Fate of the Peas,Beans, Fruit, Flowers and Herbs Seed Parcel

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  • The Fate of the Peas,Beans, Fruit, Flowers and Herbs Seed Parcel

    Well folks I am baring news but it is up to you if it is good or bad

    I have had an annual clear out of old seed from the pea, fruit, herb and flower seed parcel (they are sent out as bonus seeds) and it is looking very sad. There are over 70 varieties of flowers however there are less than 30 varieties for everything thing else. If there is little or no change I am afraid this part of the parcel will be closed by the end of next year.

    I personally love the VSPs and don't want to see them lost, however for them to remain we need

    1. Fresh/ new seeds
    2. People to use them

    Here is the link to the lists https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...sts_91830.html

    It is up to you all what happens


  • #2
    That is sad news.
    But for me personally they no longer work being split into groups .
    Iím also very aware that grouping them was the only solution and itís incredibly unfair to have one person doing it all.......again . And we are all very lucky we had a crazy chicken that did it for so long.




    FYI all those running the VSP groups are pretty amazing too . I really do appreciate all the time and effort you all put in even if I donít use them as often anymore.
    https://m.facebook.com/Isle-of-Mull-...9854614879285/

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh nooo, I was looking forward to using it when it opens later in the year. It’s a fab idea and would be such a shame to lose it but I understand how much work it is to take care of. Thank you for all that you do NG and others who admin the vsp.
      All at once I hear your voice
      And time just slips away
      Bonnie Raitt

      Comment


      • #4
        I completely understand NG. It can be so disheartening, being guardian of a mountain of ageing seeds that nobody seems to want.
        Perhaps Seed Circles are the way forward and stop the VSP?
        Whatever you decide gets my vote.

        Comment


        • #5
          It isn't gone yet, it will be open in Nov and again in March and you can add requests in with seed circles to keep p+p down.

          I don't mind the work but it is scary that it has gone from 400 varieties to 100 in 3 years
          maybe I need to get a pointy stick to prod you all in to using it

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the seed circles are the way forward. The regulars that contributed to the VSP are usually the ones that also join the seed circles.
            The chilli seeds are mostly out of date...they really need to be reasonably fresh to expect germination.

            The tomato VSP seeds are used a little more, generally a variety or two is requested at the same time as the circle seeds are sent in. Some lovely grapes growing and bagging up extras that they've grown just to keep the varieties going.
            Tomato seeds also keep well so I hope to keep this little bit open for while longer.

            In an ideal world we would have a little team logging in and out heritage and unusual seeds but at the end of the day no one ever requested moneymaker toms but we had literally dozens of them sent in.

            Comment


            • #7
              Similar story to Moneymaker toms, when I ran the VSP I noticed some people were eager to swap what I called "Free with a mag" seeds that everyone had, or cheap seeds from L1dl/ W1lko. They'd split a 20p packet of Little Gem seeds into about 10 packets and want to swap them for 10 of the most unusual/heritage seeds in the VSP. So the VSP would end up full of common stuff nobody ever asked for. It watered down the value of the VSP and turned it into a £shop collection.
              I'm happy to run the Random Excess seed swap again next year if that helps Grapes to find a home for the commercial seeds they'll never grow?

              Comment


              • #8
                So a couple of the problems, as I understand it are - too much cheap commercial seed that is being used as 'currency' to access the rarer varieties, and seed going out of date due to lack of use?

                Could a call be put out to grapes to nominate themselves to support a specific category in the VSP by submitting and / or growing out some of the rarer varieties to keep stock fresh (I think from what Scarlet said above some peeps are already doing this but perhaps the wider membership don't realise they could join in?) I'm a 'bean queen' and hopefully should have some good HSL and rarer varieties next year and I'd be more than happy to send in stock to the VSP.

                Could people requesting rarer seeds be asked to send back at least one pack of saved seed of that variety from their swaps? I know not everyone will bother, but some might?

                Maybe the magazine might do a small editorial encouraging growers of heirloom varieties to join the vine and take part.

                As regards the free and cheap seeds, I hope someone brighter than me has a solution. Maybe the 3 months and 50 posts could be dispensed with for anyone selecting those varieties?
                Last edited by muckdiva; 27-09-2019, 03:03 PM.
                All at once I hear your voice
                And time just slips away
                Bonnie Raitt

                Comment


                • #9
                  The issues are that generally the people who want new and unusual seeds never have anything new or unusual to swap with....some people were requesting in excess of 50 packs!!! That is extreme and often to grow those out and save they would need some serious space.

                  If you join a circle at the end of the growing season you generally receive several varieties to try - 30 ish bags of tomatoes etc. Much more than one could grow in one season.
                  If I want another variety I ask on here - there's usually a grape who comes up trumps.

                  I think the VSP has probably run its course.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by muckdiva View Post

                    As regards the free and cheap seeds, I hope someone brighter than me has a solution. Maybe the 3 months and 50 posts could be dispensed with for anyone selecting those varieties?
                    The Random Excess Seed swap was open to all Grapes - no restrictions - to encourage people to join in who may never have swapped before.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
                      I'm happy to run the Random Excess seed swap again next year if that helps Grapes to find a home for the commercial seeds they'll never grow?
                      That sounds like a good idea and a way forward thank you. Anytime you don't fancy running it I will take over for you if you want

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                      • #12
                        I could make a couple of packets of peas, beans and other stuff to help the stock levels
                        in fact the true potato seed would be best to do this as there isn't enough for a circle really.

                        I also am new and have mostly offered "cheap" common varieties as this is mostly what I have grown and saved. I would be happy to offer to replace the marmande and mortgage lifter toms with fresh "this year" seed.

                        My pulling out of the tomatos circle was mostly as Id realised they were "full" in the VSP and people probably aren't interested.

                        Would happily replace some of the rarer heirloom seeds if that is something that is required..

                        My allotment is with the salvation army who are in the business of feeding people, they encouraged us to hand produce in (kitchen closed now), I wonder if they would be interested in the excess common seed? if it need to go that is.

                        Sincerely
                        Steve
                        Last edited by Workslave; 27-09-2019, 04:26 PM.
                        I live with autism spectrum disorder. Please be gentle. Sincerely Steve.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you workslave. There is yet another VSP that has true potato seed in but that section has been used less than mine

                          I think the circles along with Veggiechickens excess seed swap is the way forward.

                          I think most of us are seedaholics that like parcels. When all the VSP's were run by Veggiechicken it was abused by quite a few one way or another (not all on purpose). When I joined I think I pestered VC 2 or 3 (maybe more) times in the first year with lengthy lists it was like being a small child in a sweet shop and Veggiechicken was too nice to tell me to clear off

                          It is difficult to find a balance as well as there is such a wide range of people. New to growing, new to seeds, seed collectors etc. etc. And the aim is to encourage people to grow but it is unfortunately too easy to deter someone from trying.

                          Sorry, I must stop waffling
                          Last edited by Norfolkgrey; 27-09-2019, 05:19 PM.

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                          • #14
                            You were never a pest, NG, quite the opposite. You were fun and always appreciative.
                            I didn't like the ones who complained because they hadn't had their seeds back by return of post (not quite that bad but you know what I mean) and never managed to say Thank you.
                            There were some great contributors and sharers and quite a few who were just scroungers.

                            If anyone wants to grow a specific seed with a view to sharing it, please do so. You don't have to be part of an organised VSP/Circle to swap.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had recently been pondering the boringness of my seed collection with regard to swaps and circles. I was wondering about the best way to get some ideas for more interesting varieties that would be desirable to other Grapes. Ask in the individual groups for recommendations or varieties? Scan the old lists of what people were sending in to try to avoid overlap? It's a big wide world of seeds out there and I don't know where to start. I would love to be a giver as much as a taker if I can get the new allotment up and running.

                              Comment

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