We are grateful to the Napier Herb Society, and Jean Perks and Ella Flack who have volunteered to undertake the role of receiving, collating and distributing seed to members. It is a very valuable service and they deserve your full support. To ensure that this very valuable service continues, please do your part, save seed and send it to them at the address below.
The saving and distributing seed to members of the Herb Federation, the exchange of seed, including flowers and vegetables, needs your support in sending any spare seed that could be of interest to members, to Ella Flack at the address below. The collection and distribution of seed, can only continue, if you support it by saving seed and sending it to Ella Flack
Please take time to share seed from both ordinarily well known plants and any special varieties of herbs with superior flavour or scent, or rare herbs that we would all love to have especially those from other countries that you have had success with.
Typically, seed has come from a relatively small number of individuals. We need far more of you to collect seed to support the seed bank. It is not enough to just order seed from the seed bank, we need you to contribute seed as well. Please collect your seed and post it to us by the end of June, then publication of the list can be done as early as possible making it easier for ordering so that seed can be sown during the optimum season. Let me know if any of your seed is other than open garden pollinated. Seed from F1 hybrids will not come true to type and should not be collected. However heritage seed will be great to collect and distribute also. Interesting vegetables and flowers are also acceptable.
A Guide to Collecting Seed
- Choose plants that are strong in growth, vigorous and free from disease. Flowering and fruiting times vary each year so check your plants regularly for seed development. As seeds ripen they change colour from green/white to brown/black.
- As a general rule, seeds can be collected when they darken in colour and before they have dropped from the plant. Most seeds can be harvested before they are completely ripe. If they have a small portion of stem attached they will ripen even though detached from the plant.
- Put in a paper bag and hang them in a warm, dry place. You may need to make several gatherings as all of the seed will not all be ready for collection at the same time. Catch the seed before it falls from the plant.
- Use paper bags for collecting seed. Do not use plastic bags, except for collecting fleshy fruits from which you intend to extract the seeds.
- As the seed head approaches ripeness it can be covered, while still on the plant, with a fine muslin bag. This will protect the seed head, particularly from wind and rain. It also allows air movement about the head, which will therefore dry more quickly after rain.
- Collect seed on a dry day. Date and name it correctly. The importance of correct naming cannot be over–emphasised. Seek help if needed.
- Ripe seeds can be separated from their capsules by rubbing and winnowing. Soft fruits need to be cleaned of their fleshy parts by squashing and washing in a sieve. Spread the separated seed on newspaper to dry.
Collected, dried, named and dated seed is now ready to be sent to the Seed Bank for distribution. Please send seed to:
2 Hill Road
Seed is available to all members of the Herb Federation for free. We would appreciate it if Herb Society Secretaries could circulate this list to members and send us one joint order per Society. We are perfectly happy to send out individual orders as well. Seeds will be sent out as soon as possible after receiving your order. Orders before Christmas are preferred but can be sent through at anytime during the year.
Send a stamped (80 cents) and addressed envelope — No larger than 130mm by 235mm (normal business size envelopes). Send two envelopes of this size, if your order is more than 20 seed lots.
There is no longer an Overseas members seed sending service due to increasing Biosecurity regulations around the world.
Print out and fill in your order form and send to:
2 Hill Road
Please could everybody start to include a phone number or email address for a cheaper and more efficient form of contact, in case of queries.