BX restructuring

Johannes-Ulrich Urban johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de
Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:38:20 PDT
Dear Jane, dear All 

Here is my reply to Jane‘s questions, replies written between the questions. I want to say that for me the seed and bulb exchange is the major reason to be a paid member.

1.1. Do you participate in the BX frequently, occasionally, or never?


2.2. If you never participate, why not?

3.3. If you do participate, what problems, if any, have you had with the BX?

The time difference between the USA and Europe has often had the effect that I applied too late for the rare seeds. By the time I could read the offer, they were already gone. I do not know how to solve this, something like an offer-order delay would help, is this feasible?

On the other hand my last year’s donations appeared so late that I felt very frustrated having invested so much time and effort to send the seed in time for sowing. Also this late summer I sent in bulbils that needed planting which have not yet been offered. My posting of seeds afterwards this autumn was relatively late because I am so busy.

Another point: I like to write comments or information on the items I donated and added them when I informed the BX director that a donation is under way. They were mostly not included when my seeds or bulbs appeared in the forum. I recently changed that. Now the comments and information are posted when my seed is being offered. I understood that it is extra work to store my email and think of it in due course.

4.4. Do you obtain bulbs, seeds, or both from the BX?

Mostly seeds, occasionally very small bulbs like bulbils. Big bulbs will not pass customs in Europe. 

5.5. Do you pay your BX shipping charges promptly upon receiving the 

Yes, always, and always with a note of thank you.

6.6. If you donate to the BX, at what time(s) of year do you send items?

For perishable seeds or bulbs I send them when available. But my last main donations were for autumn sowing (northern hemisphere) because I now live in a Mediterranean climate where most bulbs are winter growing. But I also sent a lot of summer growing seeds and some small bulbs. All these were sent in time for sowing or planting but can also be stored. With these items it is not so much the length of storage time that matters but the right time to sow them.

7.7. If the BX occurred at a few specific times of year, what times 
would best suit your needs?
 For seeds that can be stored one distribution in spring and another one in autumn. For perishable seeds or bulbs the current procedure or a suitable alternative is necessary.

8.8. Do you donate plant material to the BX that cannot be held in 
storage for more than a week or two? If so, what kind of material?
Not recently. I wish I had these plants.....

9.9. If you specialize in plants that cannot be held in storage, are you 
willing to exchange them directly with other members rather than going 
through the BX?
Yes, I would be happy to do so. In the past I sent material to members after private correspondence. But not very often. 

10.10. Do you think that donors should have priority in having their 
orders filled? If not, why not?
 Yes, I think donors should be rewarded in a  way. Personally I would prefer a certain priority in ordering rather than a reduction in postage fees. I quote the Alpine Garden Society again which demands a minimum of donations to qualify as a donor who then has some priority. This should not go as far as to discourage non donors from ordering but should be looked at as an incentive to collect and share seeds and or bulbs. This often is only a matter of thinking of it. I have also been in the position not being able to donate and only being on the receiving end, not only with the PBS. Everybody has started at some point. And we as PBS can help others to have a good start with good plants. It should be made very clear that ordering is possible and welcome without donations.

I agree with the policy that only paid members should be able to order from the BX or SX. But I would not mind leftover seeds being offered to non paid members as an incentive to join the PBS. This would be extra workload and needs attention to detail so it may not be an issue right now. But on the other hand I was surprised on several occasions how much left over seed (including my donations) was still on offer in the big SX lists in the past.

Happy to discuss more about it, bye for now 


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