Sunday, August 24, 2008

News from National

NARGS National is seeking a Chapter to assume the responsibilities for Phase 4 of the Seed Exchange. This part of our fabulous international seed exchange involves packaging 2nd round requests for surplus seed, a much, much smaller group by far than those in the initial round. The overview of what this entails is outlined below.

Your Chapter Chair, Carol, is putting out the call to you - the Adirondack Chapter - to solicit interest in assuming this important role for National. Please respond to Carol if this looks like something that you would be willing to volunteer for. I know that you've had great participation and in fact enjoyed helping out with Phase 1 which is much more tedious (counting, packaging and labeling seeds).

Also, there's need for a place to set up and for several large tables. If you have a space, again, please contact Carol. It may be possible with enough volunteers to compress this operation into fewer days. Carol's contact info: or 607-387-5823. Thus far leads from other Chapters had led us to dead-ends. Thank you for your consideration.

Description of Phase 4, Seed Exchange

Surplus Seed Distribution (aka Second Round) takes place in mid- March, working a few hours to set up, three to four full days (depending on number helping) filling orders, a couple hours distributing the remaining seed to chapters, and, lastly, dismantling. The Great Lakes Chapter worked one Sunday at the beginning for set up and started processing orders, then two to four weekdays (~1-8pm) the first two weeks-with most volunteers working in four hour shifts. The last week they worked one weekday to finish orders and the final day (a few days after the deadline for orders) was for any late orders, dividing the remaining seed among the requesting chapters, and dismantling and storing supplies till next year.

This project can be done by 10-12 volunteers working multiple shifts, or up to 25 individuals. Our set up was ideal for 3-6 people each shift to avoid getting in each others way - but the optimal number can vary considerably based on your set-up. Approximately 33 table feet is required (for ex. 5 six foot tables and a card table - enough tables to hold the seed trays, 1 table for preparing orders for shipping, 1 table for repacking, and the card table for logging orders as they arrive. More tables would allow you to spread out the work more and would help accommodate more volunteers.

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