“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in ’em”……
Retailers who sell seed to the public sell the most current years’ harvest of seeds, as that guarantees the best quality and prospect of germination to the buyer. But what happens to unsold seed each year? Unfortunately, sometimes it is just disposed of in the landfill.
Being aware that most seeds can remain viable for the next growing season and sometimes for many growing seasons — (see chart below from WVU Extension Service) — representatives from the Ranson Gardens and the Berkeley-Jefferson Extension Master Gardeners looked for opportunities to receive donations of 2016 seed. Thanks to the generosity of Boltz’s Hardware and Garden Center in Martinsburg, we have just received a quantity of 2016 seed, including many varieties of cucumber, kale and collards, lettuce, melon, peas, popcorn and sweet corn, pumpkins, spinach, squash, turnips, zucchini and others.
We received the seeds as non-profit organizations with the understandings that the seeds cannot be sold, and that they will be used for non-commercial educational and charitable purposes. We are checking state law regarding the sharing of this seed, and if possible we will share the seed with other nonprofit organizations, and maybe send some down to our fellow WV Master Gardeners in the areas devastated by flooding this past year. But first we have to do our homework. More later. Thank you Boltz’s for the opportunity you have provided us!