BCSS seed distribution

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colser
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Branch: BERKHAMSTED & District
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Role within the BCSS: Seed Purchaser

Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by colser » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:44 pm

The seed distributor has dealt with approximate 600 orders this year, as stated above during the xmas and new year festive period. The orders this year have been dealt with in a very timely manner. This is a large job for a volunteer.
Whilst others may be able to offer suggestions to improve the perception of fairness and ways to modernise, unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to assist then i'm afraid these are just words.

The packers count out approximately 20,000 packs each year (35,000 if you include the MSG list which is counted by a subset of the BCSS counters) . This is a very time consuming and painstaking process, especially for some of the more minute seeds (anyone that fancies splitting and counting out Conopythum and Dinteranthus into packs for the members please get in touch :0)).

I think a little respect for all the "elbow grease" the distributor and counters have to put in each year is warranted.
Without these volunteers giving up a lot of their spare time throughout the year neither the BCSS or MSG seed list would exist.

Not perfect, granted, but a very valuable service none the less.
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MatDz
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by MatDz » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:04 am

colser wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:44 pm
[...]
I think a little respect for all the "elbow grease" the distributor and counters have to put in each year is warranted.
Without these volunteers giving up a lot of their spare time throughout the year neither the BCSS or MSG seed list would exist.
[...]
I feel called out here, so just to explain my comment about the "elbow grease" - I'm nothing but grateful for all the work the volunteers do every year (although it's only my first), what I wanted to say is that more elbow grease won't make this process any different for the final recipient, it won't suddenly become less prone to mail delays or more fair for late(r) participants. Hope it's clearer now.
Mat

Based in London, slowly expanding my modest C&S collection. In love with P. compactum & Co. and columnar Crassulas.
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el48tel
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by el48tel » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:16 pm

colser wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:44 pm
The seed distributor has dealt with approximate 600 orders this year, as stated above during the xmas and new year festive period. The orders this year have been dealt with in a very timely manner. This is a large job for a volunteer.
Whilst others may be able to offer suggestions to improve the perception of fairness and ways to modernise, unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to assist then i'm afraid these are just words.

The packers count out approximately 20,000 packs each year (35,000 if you include the MSG list which is counted by a subset of the BCSS counters) . This is a very time consuming and painstaking process, especially for some of the more minute seeds (anyone that fancies splitting and counting out Conopythum and Dinteranthus into packs for the members please get in touch :0)).

I think a little respect for all the "elbow grease" the distributor and counters have to put in each year is warranted.
Without these volunteers giving up a lot of their spare time throughout the year neither the BCSS or MSG seed list would exist.

Not perfect, granted, but a very valuable service none the less.
Colser
Well said.
I think I would paraphrase the speech by JFK at his inauguration, "ask not what your seed-counter can do for you, ask what you can do for your seed-counter"
Attempting to grow Aeoniums, Aylostera, Echinocereus, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Lithops, Matucana, Rebutia, and Sulcorebutia.
Currently being wooed by Haworthia, and attempting hybridisation.
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ragamala
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by ragamala » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:42 pm

colser wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:44 pm
The seed distributor has dealt with approximate 600 orders this year, as stated above during the xmas and new year festive period. The orders this year have been dealt with in a very timely manner. This is a large job for a volunteer.
Absolutely. But colser are you aware of the BCSS membership figures? I can't see any record of that anywhere right now. How many BCSS members actually buy seed?
colser
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Role within the BCSS: Seed Purchaser

Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by colser » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:07 pm

Hi Ragamala,
Not sure on the point you are making.
I'm don't know actual membership number but believe it is considerably higher than 600. These 600 orders resulted in all the seeds being sold out very likely resulting in quite a few members being dissaponted. We know for sure that every year potential demand is considerably higher than the amount we can supply. We also know that some members are frustrated with the perceived fairness of current ordering system. The seed distributor doesn't feel he would be able to cope with more species. I would only be able to supply more packets per species with a sizable increase to the number of volunteers who are prepared to give up quite a bit of time throughout the year to assist with the counting.
Brexit brings with it extra costs and quite a bit of red tape that not all suppliers and donators are willing to go through which is also going to add extra complexity for future lists. Any of our UK members able to donate or contribute would be very greatfully welcomed 😁
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ragamala
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by ragamala » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:16 am

colser wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:07 pm
Hi Ragamala,
Not sure on the point you are making..........................
Many thanks for the reply. I wasn't actually making any point, just trying to seek info in case there was one to be made! To explain - I was wondering about BCSS membership to see how many took advantage of the seed offer. Unfortunately the Membership Secretary's report to last year's AGM doesn't give total membership, just new member figures. There is some guide as to the membership from the income and expenditure accounts, although because the membership income is obviously net rather than gross, and because there is no split between senior and junior membership, with different subscription rates, nor a split between UK and overseas members, it seems only possible to get a rough estimate. If I am wildly out then someone will no doubt tell me so, but it seems that membership must be at around the 3,000 mark, up or down depending mainly on overseas membership.
I was interested to read that 600 orders exhausted the seed supply, I had assumed that more "late" orders would have been coming in after the New Year period.

So on my guesswork about 1 in 5 of the membership had advantage from the seed offer. I am not sure what to make of that, except that I am a little surprised the proportion is low, I had probably assumed higher. So maybe I was exaggerating the importance of the "fairness" of the system. From similar calculations I assume the MSG membership stands at around 600, as a side-note, and seed had not sold out in June for the majority of the offering, which was a temptation for some of us to put in a second order to help MSG rather than leave seed unsold.

What this adds up to I don't know. Maybe things should be left until the full implications of Brexit are known. But I think at least payment by cheque or postal order for UK members should change in this modern day. And given (again from the accounts) some £13,000 was spent on "website" last year members should see value from that, not only helping them but streamlining membership and seed ordering systems and helping the Society's volunteers.
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Tony R
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by Tony R » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:35 am

ragamala wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:16 am
... but it seems that membership must be at around the 3,000 mark, up or down depending mainly on overseas membership....
The only figures I can find for you are by extrapolation of data attached to the Feb 2020 BOT minutes which I happen to have to hand. Approx. numbers for 2019 members are:
FULL 1792, SENIOR 1220, JUNIOR 64, ASSOCIATE 222, TOTAL 3298
Tony Roberts
Chairman, BCSS Dartford Branch
Treasurer, Haworthia Society
Chairman, Tephrocactus Study Group
Moderator, BCSS Forum
Kent
(Gasteria, Mammillaria, small Opuntia, Cleistocactus and Sempervivum are my current special interests)
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ragamala
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by ragamala » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:39 am

Tony R wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:35 am
ragamala wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:16 am
... but it seems that membership must be at around the 3,000 mark, up or down depending mainly on overseas membership....
The only figures I can find for you are by extrapolation of data attached to the Feb 2020 BOT minutes which I happen to have to hand. Approx. numbers for 2019 members are:
FULL 1792, SENIOR 1220, JUNIOR 64, ASSOCIATE 222, TOTAL 3298
Thanks very much, Tony
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el48tel
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by el48tel » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:17 pm

That ...... makes very scary reading.
At least 37% of the society membership is aged 65 plus.
Around 2% junior members ....
Obviously "doing it this way because we have always done it this way" is attracting young members ......NOT.
Attempting to grow Aeoniums, Aylostera, Echinocereus, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Lithops, Matucana, Rebutia, and Sulcorebutia.
Currently being wooed by Haworthia, and attempting hybridisation.
HaoBao
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by HaoBao » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:47 pm

Should there be a separate thread made for discussing ways to increase the membership? This one used to be about Conophytum Foggy Dew, sorry Darren.

I put a post up on the ‘Society Discussion’ part but that was only trying to explain what I was doing on Reddit and asking for some content or ideas for it. Maybe a broader based discussion would be better?
Plant sales: www.CentralSucculents.etsy.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/CentralSucculents
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All my plants are kept indoors and I started collecting in August 2018. Favourites are Pachyphytum, Echeveria, Haworthia, Mesembs and oddball Cacti.
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