In a few minutes I'll be leaving for a three-day national horticulture conference. I've been before and always come back thinking that I've learned more than anyone else at the meeting (probably because I know less than anyone else there!).
These meetings are beyond wonderful. You are surrounded by dirt-under-their-fingernails REAL gardeners who are anxious to learn and even more excited to share what they've learned. They are book smart....but also have profited from the proverbial school of hard-knocks. They KNOW things because they've tried and failed, then retried and succeeded.
There are lectures, of course, but there are also garden tours and workshops....and an optional seed exchange. The more I've read about collecting seeds (my usual theory is to let Mother Nature sow to her heart's content and I'll contend with the volunteers that land in inopportune places later) the more intimidated I became. What if I supply 'dead' seeds by collecting them at the wrong time? (My name is going to be on the lables!) What if they aren't dried enough and I give someone seeds that mildew or mould? Most of the things I grow are so common, would anyone even WANT what I have?
After much soul-searching, I decided to rely on what I know.
Quercus Merino with a few Quercus Blue-Faced Leicester thrown in. In other words....wooly acorns.
I hope I don't get thrown out of the meeting.