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Understanding Seed Circles and the VSP

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  • Understanding Seed Circles and the VSP

    VSP (Virtual Seed Parcel)

    Is a permanent seed collection/swap, which consists of 3 sections (had it not split a couple of years ago it is likely it would no longer exist as it had gotten too big/too much for one person, there was a 4th section but I don't think it exists now, I am sure GL will soon say otherwise)

    VSP Chilli, Pepper & Tomato Seed Lists (run by Scarlet) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...sts_92072.html
    VSP - Cucurbit, Lettuce Family and Miscellaneous Seed Lists (run by Sparrow100) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...sts_92073.html
    VSP - Peas, Beans, Fruit, Flowers and Herb Seed Lists (run by me, Norfolkgrey) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...sts_91830.html

    So 3 sections have lists (see links above) you can pick what you 'want' from. If there are 10 packs you want (all in the same section) you need to send a min. of 10 packs in exchange along with a SAE.
    Each section has times for when you can request seeds usually around Nov. and again Jan-Mar. ish.
    We (Scarlet, Sparrow and Myself) ask that you list what you want to both 'put in and take out' for ease/transparency/okaying on the request threads (see below). Over the years there have been a few people taking the piddle i.e take out 10 different rare packs in exchange for a split pack of little gem lettuce seeds in return. (I am not mean by nature but I will be if put in that situation). Also the seeds can be self saved or bought/commercial packets. We are currently trying to clamp down on some of the more common varieties just to get the quantity down.

    VSP Chilli, Pepper & Tomato Seed Requests https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...sts_92164.html
    VSP - Cucurbit, Lettuce Family and Miscellaneous Seed Requests https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...sts_92074.html
    VSP - Peas, Beans, Fruit, Flowers and Herb Seed Requests https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...sts_91832.html

    The seeds you send in in exchange will stay there until someone else requests them.

    Seed Circles

    These are done on an annual basis.

    The All In Seed Circle 2018 (run by Norfolkgrey) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...8-a_95689.html
    The Flower Seed Circle 2018 (run by Norfolkgrey) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...8-a_95685.html
    The Chilli and Pepper seed Circle 2018 (run by Scarlet) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...8-a_95681.html
    The Pea and Bean Circle 2018 (run by Scarlet) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...8-a_95502.html
    The Tomato Seed Circle 2018 (run by Scarlet) https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...8-a_95680.html

    All self saved seed that year. Everyone saves enough for everyone in the group so once distributed everyone has the same seed minus there own.
    Scarlet has no issue with peeps putting VSP requests in at the same time as 1 or more seed circles (all must be run by Scarlet) to reduce postage, so just the 1 SAE instead of 2 or more. (The same goes for me for my VSP and circles)

    The soft fruit swap is unlikely to happen this year due to lack of interest and I am not sure about the biennial swap as nothing has been posted since last year.

    All exchanges on the vine single swap, circle, VSP etc. require 3 months as a member and 50 posts to try and reduce the risk of someone taking the piddle. See swap rules https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...nce_76437.html


    Please say if that still doesn't make sense. I know some of it seems overcomplicated but there is method to much of the madness
    Edibles (All In) Seed Saving Circle 2020
    Pea + Bean Seed Saving Circle 2020
    Flower Seed Saving Circle 2020

    sigpic

  • #2
    Makes sense to me.
    Well said, NG.

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    • #3
      While I think the VSP is a fantastic idea, I have had no requests this year and few last year.

      Given that the seeds are of varying ages, if there are no takers in the next season I don't think it's worth keeping my section going.

      Very happy to be persuaded otherwise...
      http://mudandgluts.com - growing fruit and veg in suburbia

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      • #4
        As you suggested NG, the brassicas and roots is no more, the seeds that were left were donated to local community groups and two primary schools (carrots)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sparrow100 View Post
          While I think the VSP is a fantastic idea, I have had no requests this year and few last year.

          Given that the seeds are of varying ages, if there are no takers in the next season I don't think it's worth keeping my section going.

          Very happy to be persuaded otherwise...
          Same here to be honest

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          • #6
            Maybe its time to close the VSP?
            Stick to Seed circles and individuals offering seeds to swap.

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            • #7
              I haven't had many requests either. Will leave it till March 2019 and as mentioned it may be it for the VSP So there you go grapes it is now in your hands. Request times are Nov and Jan-March.
              Edibles (All In) Seed Saving Circle 2020
              Pea + Bean Seed Saving Circle 2020
              Flower Seed Saving Circle 2020

              sigpic

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              • #8
                Ok I'll embarrass myself by asking a stupid question about the VSP

                I know you send in as many packets as you want out. Also know you would prefer self saved or slightly unusual varieties. Not 300 packets of cress.

                Do the seeds that have to be sent in need to fall into your categories? I'm assuming yes.

                This is where I personally have difficulties because on the very rare occasion that I have seeds to swap ( as some of you may know, I grow everything ). I usually want something from a different category .

                It would be very sad to see the VSP close. But then there is no point you putting lots of time and effort into something that's not being used.

                Thank you all for your hard work with the VSP and seed circles. Even though I may not use them much. I appreciate the work that goes into it
                https://m.facebook.com/Isle-of-Mull-...9854614879285/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Small pumpkin View Post

                  Do the seeds that have to be sent in need to fall into your categories? I'm assuming yes.

                  This is where I personally have difficulties because on the very rare occasion that I have seeds to swap ( as some of you may know, I grow everything ). I usually want something from a different category
                  I think this is where the VSP falls down it needed to be split as it was a full time job for VC. It really was getting to big for one person.
                  Putting it into categories was the only solution....
                  That said, when the vsp was originally started all the seed circles had stopped - it was the only way for us to swap seeds. With the circles now in place personally I find it a fairer swapping system. The seeds are fresher too.
                  The “opening times” have stopped a lot of new grapes joining for 3 months, requesting a pile of seeds and then disappearing.
                  It seems that most of the regulars that used the vsp now use the circles instead.
                  When regulars are looking for something they almost always get an offer of seed from another grape.

                  And now with your nutty chilli seedling swap we have something else to look forward too

                  Though we could add in a seed circle of opened/ not wanted commercial/ selfsaved lucky dip swap. We had one before? Send in 10 packs of what you don’t want and receive 10 mystery ones in return? Or something like that! could be a bit of fun?
                  Last edited by Scarlet; 21-05-2018, 09:00 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Scarlet View Post
                    Though we could add in a seed circle of opened/ not wanted commercial/ selfsaved lucky dip swap. We had one before? Send in 10 packs of what you donít want and receive 10 mystery ones in return? Or something like that! could be a bit of fun?
                    You're a genius! That's a brilliant idea
                    Mystery seeds would make me try new things and new varieties .
                    https://m.facebook.com/Isle-of-Mull-...9854614879285/

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                    • #11
                      How did the VSP come about? Was there a seed parcel at one point before the VSP?
                      Edibles (All In) Seed Saving Circle 2020
                      Pea + Bean Seed Saving Circle 2020
                      Flower Seed Saving Circle 2020

                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Yes, there was a seed parcel that used to get sent to a grape, you'd take out what you wanted and put something back and post it to the next grape on the list.
                        There were a couple of problems - grapes disappearing off the vine along with the parcel or the parcels getting lost/delayed in the post.
                        Escalating postage costs.
                        Time, many grapes didn't manage to get to the post office that quickly.

                        Then the seed circles were stopped as someone's seeds didn't arrive and they complained I think to admin/the "old" mod team as the seed circle runner didn't follow it up due to illness/being away (can't remember exactly and also didn't know the details as the then mods dealt with the problem).....so the vsp was born.
                        Last edited by Scarlet; 21-05-2018, 11:21 AM.

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                        • #13
                          That about sums it up, as Scarlet said. I think there were several seed parcels - some specific to certain veg, like toms and there were problems with parcels going AWOL. Its all before my time too but I was around at the birth of the VSP - the idea being that one person would hold all the seeds so that they couldn't stray and that person would handle all the swaps.
                          After a year or two, I was asked if I'd take it on - "it" being a large supermarket bag of seeds. From that it grew and grew and became a weight on my shoulders!

                          I remember the lucky dip seed shareout - that was fun. Maybe it would be a way of disposing of the VSP seeds? Or as "bonus" seeds to seed circle participants?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
                            I remember the lucky dip seed shareout - that was fun. Maybe it would be a way of disposing of the VSP seeds? Or as "bonus" seeds to seed circle participants?
                            I did of load a few when I posted back the seed circle seeds...requests and surprises.

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                            • #15
                              OK, so I think I've read all there is to read and can ask questions and check understanding.

                              Vsp - I offer up my unique seeds, and request what I want from whichever list my offer is from. If I send 1 variety can only request 1.

                              Seed swap - I send in my seeds (can't be something common that everyone has) 1pk per group member. In return I get 1 pack from each member. So for a tomato swap with 12 members I should get 11 types of tomato seeds for sending in 1 unique one?
                              What I don't understand is members sending in multiple varieties. So if I send 1 variety and say Scarlet sends in 3 will each member get 11+2 and Scarlet gets 11?

                              I'm sure s/one mentioned they could appreciate ppl might not want 20 different tomatoes and so on so. Does that mean there is some leeway to decline seeds? Clearly we don't want the coordinator with a bagful of seeds going to waste too. How has that worked in the past?

                              Thanks in advance.
                              https://beingbears.wordpress.com

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