The NARGS Seed Exchange is now open to NARGS members. You may now check out the seed selection and processes on the NARGS Web site; Go to http://nargs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=75&Itemid=123
Awesome! It all seems well organized, and with clear instructions, I have already started pouring through the seed list. I like that there are three options for viewing the seedlist; I opted for the "spreadsheet version", which I downloaded and opened up in Excel, then I can number and highlight my first choices in a color (red) and my alternates in another color (blue). I also clicked on the link to see the donor names, which loads as a PDF, keeping it open for easy access while reviewing the seed list. The only thing hard about the process, is narrowing down my selections to just my allotted quota ;D
Well done to all of the many volunteers who make the NARGS Seed Exchange a reality.
I echo Mark's comments ... a wonderful experience ... just a shame that entries can't be mailed electronically, though I am certain that this facility will follow in the fullness of time! Thanks to all involved.
I hate to be a 'wet blanket' on this issue, but why couldn't the seedlist, the donors and the ordering information and ordering form be available in one simple download? It's much more cumbersome than I imagined it would be, and it requires a variety of maneuvers, which for those of us who are 'sophisticated' users of technology is relatively simple, but for those who find spreadsheets (for example), an alien concept, it's virtually impossible. With all the know-how we have, why couldn't this simply be 'simple?'
and try 'cutting and pasting' to fill in the order sheet. Maybe I'm not doing something correctly, but this is way too complicated.
I kinda agree with Peter here. I would "expect" the PDF to be the whole hard copy booklet that would include everything. Then, the other forms for people that have problems downloading large files, or just want them that way.
I too prefer the spreadsheet download. As a reminder to all, and especially to any who have trouble downloading the PDF file, the spreadsheet can also be opened in MS Word, and you will get a comma delineated format, which is the NARGS traditional way of listing. Opening in MS Word also relieves the need for changing column widths in Excel to see the complete information contained in said column.
The main Seed Exchange page gives an email address to contact the Seed Exchange committee. Perhaps the 'suggestions' should be directed to them.
I did get through the process, albeit with some extra time figuring out how to handle the peculiar way the whole thing was handled, but I think that rather than chastising volunteers who have put in a huge amount of time getting us what we do have, I'd rather simply focus on making the website access more convenient for the next time we have a seed distribution. I'm not a website expert, but I'm sure we can figure out a way to make the process more logical and less challenging for the Luddites in our midst.
Overall, I'd say the seed choices were pretty good. We are a bit short on Western dryland stuff, but then again, we usually are.
It is the job of the webmaster to help the volunteers get their information online. Other than a few suggestions here and there, I am not in charge of the layout and/or anticipating the spectrum of computer skills of the NARGS members. I am sure the committee would be open to suggestions. Happy Holidays and Seed Days to all.
The NARGS Seedex was the third one I had to tackle having already done the SRGC and the AGS ( and being able to submit "on-line") applications. But I found that it was easy to navigate the 3 pages I needed open:the pdf of the donors ( nice to know who's donating what!); the order form and the actual list - but not the pdf -for some reason that wouldn't open on this computer. Of course I also had to frequently resort to checking the Australian Quarantine site to check if what I was ordering was on the "allowed list"! After completing the order form it was simply a matter of printing it out and popping it in the post to get to the USA. Now that's where the time will be wasted! Let me know when it gets there! ;D
Fermi, glad to hear your managed ok with the seed exchange ordering process. So far as the donor list PDF not opening for you, I took at a look at the PDF. I see that it is created in Acrobat Distiller 8.1.0 version (so if your Acrobat Reader is an older version, that might be an issue), and that it uses a Georgia truetype font (a downloadable Microsoft font used for web documents) which might also be related to the problem of the PDF not opening for you. If you want a copy of the donor list in a plain text file, I'm happy to send you a copy.
don't worry, it's the new computer here at work - even the SRGC Bulblog won't open everytime! I just go to another work-station and use an "older" computer and there's no problem!
One of these days I'll contact IT to do something about it ;D