In vitro plantlets were a new offering this year and I am still working out the kinks. That should be no surprise, as it has typically taken me about three years to really figure out every new product that I have offered.
(Everything that follows will apply to orders taken after today – or whenever the prices change. Existing orders will ship on the next batch date in the previous count and packaging.)
I am reducing the count for plantlets from 5 to 3. I am also reducing the price from $30 to $20. This is possible because I will ship plantlets in a new container. I now will send three plantlets in one large vial. This is a major material saving over five plantlets in five separate vials. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The most unfortunate disadvantage is that it requires you to transfer all the plantlets at once, which increases the risk. There is just no way to avoid that while reducing materials. This is a pretty substantial labor savings as well, which is important because there is only one of me to go around. The more compact size means that I will also sometimes be able to ship varieties together in one box, which allows me to save a bit on postage, which is about half the cost of the item.
I have also enabled the restriction to one item per order (you can order as many varieties as you like, but only one vial of each). I never really expected anyone to order 100-200 plantlets of the same variety in an order, but that has happened several times now. I am not running a big production facility and that is not the business that I want to be in. This is more of a small, private genebank. My goal is to supply a minimum of high quality material to get you started so that you can multiply it up on your own. If you really, really want more than one vial of a particular variety, you can always place a second order, but if you go too crazy, I will probably just cancel the duplicates.
I previously changed the shipping times for plantlets, but didn’t make an announcement about it other than to change the main page. Plantlets now ship in three batches each year, in March, June, and October. This reduces shipping risk, aligns well with times that are usually convenient for people to start the plants, and keeps me out of the lab at times when I need to be outdoors all day. This also helps to economize on shipping when possible, which keeps the price reasonable. March shipping is timed for growing outdoors, June shipping is timed for producing minitubers in pots, and October shipping is timed for greenhouse propagation over the winter.
I think this new method will be an improvement overall. These probably won’t be the last changes though. Everything about this business is an experiment and we’ll have to wait on the results.