Capsicum Seed Exchange
Imagine the following scenario. At the end of the year, your peppers have matured and you have saved a bag full of seeds so that you can grow them again next year. You only plan to grow three or four plants but that didn't stop you saving more like 200 seeds. You also got a bit carried away and bought seeds for far more varieties than you have room to grow. So what do you do with all those spare seeds? Well you could hang on to them, or you could give them to someone else who will grow them. After feeling bad about hoarding seeds myself I gave them all to a pepper forum seed bank. I felt glad that others would benefit from them. I also took the opportunity to get some new seeds from them, for varieties I have not yet grown.
The ability to swap seeds with other people who grow peppers already exists and works well. So why did we want to get involved?
When we first offered our growing lists feature back in about 2008, the only way we could get it to work the way we wanted it to, was to require people to register an account. To be honest we weren't sure that many people would be interested; we all know what a pain it is when websites make you remember yet another username and password. But we have had nearly three thousand people register with the site and create their own personal growing lists. To our amazement, our registered members are holding seeds for more than half of the known capsicum varieties! As a website designed to promote the capsicum species, we could not ignore this.
Buying quality seed
There are some absolutely fantastic seed sellers out there such as chileseeds.co.uk, fataliiseeds.net and semillas.de to name just a few, who offer a lot of variety and who also have more reliable seeds than you may get through seed swaps. If you want to be certain you get good quality seed that will germinate well and that will grow true to type, then visit an established seller and spend a few dollar pound euros for peace of mind.
If you have some spare seeds kicking about, we wanted you to get them listed on our seed exchange and make some new contacts. Whether you have one or a thousand varieties to offer, you could swap them with other people who may have varieties that you would like to grow. Only a few hours old, we already had a dozen or more varieties on offer. The more people who took part, the more varieties we were able to offer.
We take your privacy seriously and by taking part in the exchange, nobody got to see your contact details. If you opted in to the exchange, people are able to send you an exchange request via a website form. It was up to you whether you email them back and set up an exchange. Although temporarily offline, going forward we sincerely hope this new feature will allow more people to grow more varieties.