Wintersowing-Seed Trade Packaging From Straws




Introduction: Wintersowing-Seed Trade Packaging From Straws

The following is a technique relating to Wintersowing.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Wintersowing is a method of starting seeds for your garden.
No need for complicated light setups or heat mats or any of the bother that starting seeds indoors using traditional methods is usually associated with.
No need to buy expensive seed starting flats.

You simply sow your seed in easily prepared, "found", recycled containers and set them out in the yard in the dead of winter.
They freeze, they thaw, get snowed and rained on and, come Spring, grow.
Sounds crazy but it works. Just like it does in nature. 

See or the Wintersowing forums at for details on what types of seeds can be sown in this way. 
The method is also popular as it is a great method for recycling discarded plastic items into useful things.
You can look at my other Instructables post for info on how to prepare these to be used.
If there is one thing that Wintersowers love as much as collecting seeds it’s trading them.
Sow something, grow something, come fall harvest the seed heads and trade them with others so you can grow something new.
Very cool way to gather a diverse number of plants you may not otherwise have access to.
So, you have harvested a bumper crop of seed heads from some special plant, put some away for yourself but still have tons left.
What is the most economical method of dividing them up and packaging them to be traded?
To do this efficiently you need to divide and package the seed in some way and label it so you know what’s what.
Many folks use tiny ziplock bags but these may be difficult to find. And there is still some cost involved.
Others print out pretty full color folding templates to make seed packages much like the commercial companies use. Nice but printer ink is expensive and you still need to take the time to cut out and fold the envelopes.
Got no time for that. 
Others just do little origami folded affairs but again, no time for that.
So what to do?
Plastic drinking straws (you can “find” these at all kinds of places you know) and pre printed cheap labels.

Step 1: Preparing Labels

Well you need some kind of label. Most word processing programs have the templates for standard addres labels built into them.
You can open up the program and either input your info one cell at a time or, if you have a lot of one type of seed to trade simply print out an entire page of one label.
Just print out on plain paper and cut the labels apart. A paper cutter is nice but scissors work just fine also.
Plain text, draft mode is fine for this so it’s economical. If you want to go further with color graphics or other embellishments your free to go nuts.

Step 2: Preparing the Straws

OK, you have the seed and have printed up the labels. How do we divide and package.
Take one end of the straw and fold over about an inch. Staple it closed.

Step 3: Loading the Straws

Slip the straw thru the seed to pick some up. You can easily meter out how much each has visually

Step 4: Sealing and Labeling

Cut the straw down if need be, fold over the other end and attach a pre-prepared label sealing everything up with another staple.

Step 5: The Finished Product

Now you have all your seed packaged and labeled and ready to go out for trade.

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Do the French actually eat radishes for breakfast? :)