Seed bank stocktake – done!


Who knew stocktaking was fun?

By Lou Bull

On a very chilly June evening a group of seedy members warmed up by working through our bulk stock of seed to sort, stack, stream-line and skill up.

Over a couple of hours we:

  • refreshed our knowledge of what viable seed looks like
  • ran through how to do a simple germination test
  • discussed how long certain seed stays viable for
  • removed seed of considerable age from the main stock
  • checked all labels for full information
  • identified and gathered older seed stock where we need members to grow it to get fresh seed
  • identified the gaps in what the seed bank library holds, and
  • started the process of storing the seed in a system that’s easier to manage.

What stood out for me was the lovely chatter and banter as everyone worked through the seed.  It was a great chance for members to really understand how the system for the seed bank library of our group works.

It is incredible what we do have in the seed bank library.

Another big aspect of the evening that really hit home was the value of the data sheets.  A few of us (me included) groan when it comes to filling these out however they really are incredibly valuable.  Several members used the opportunity to work through the submitted data sheets to identify what they wanted to grow. This is a big benefit of our shared seed bank library and experiences!

So next time you access the seed please take the chance to look through the data sheets, have a look at the gaps in what is stored, and most importantly, please grow something, so you too can collect the seed and bring some to share with us all.

If you’re interested in testing your seed’s viability, be sure to check out Lou’s notes about the methods discussed in this session. We used the Seed Savers Handbook on the night to check many details of the seeds and plants. A reminder that we sell copies of this great book at a discounted rate of $20 for members ($25 for non-members).

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