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Classic Threads: Heirlooms: Accession cards and other data

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Forum: Classic ThreadsReplies: 6, Views: 642
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Richmond, KY
(Zone 6b)

January 14, 2002
11:32 AM

Post #21197

Based on both the recent beans RR and other inputs, one lesson many heirlooms collectors haven't learned is the importance of accession information. And, while necessary for all heirlooms, it's particularly important for family heirlooms and landraces. We want to save the information about these varieties, as well as the varieties themselves.

What's important? Not everybody keeps the same information. But at a minimum, here's what should go on your card:

Name of variety. Scientific name. The date you obtained it. Who you obtained if from. Any known history (documentable and anecdotal), and a summary of your own grow-out history with that variety.

How you keep this information is up to you. I actually use 4 x 6 index cards. I know one seed saver who uses 81/2 x 11 paper, 3-hole punched, and who includes a photo of the plant---a really nice idea, because it helps record what "true to type means." These sheets are kept in a loose leaf binder, indexed by plant families.

When trading heirlooms, as much of this information as possible should be shared. On the seed envelope, the _minimum_ information you should include is: Name of variety, scientific name, where you got it, and the date the seed was grown out. Your own name, address, and, if you want, email address _must_ be put on the envelope, or else the recipient won't know who it came from. Naturally, the more information you share the better.

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