For Future Planters

I’m savoring these last few days of spring.  The mornings are still cool enough that I need a long-sleeved shirt, and the evenings make me want to linger in the garden as long as there’s still light.  On Wednesday night I sat on a large flat rock near our compost pile, meticulously removing dried peas from inside their crunchy shells.  I could hear neighborhood children splashing in their pool, taking a chilly plunge for perhaps their first swim of the season.  I loved how the temperature was just between cool and warm.   It was a peaceful moment for reflection about life and the seeds I was harvesting.  

I have been interested in saving seeds for several years, thanks to the people at Native Seeds/SEARCH.  For the past few years the school has received a seed grant from them, and part of the grant agreement is to make an attempt to collect and share seeds with others.  We’ve been doing this at the school, and this year have one garden bed exclusively devoted to seed saving.  I’ve extended this practice to my home garden as well and use them for replanting year after year.  This year’s pea crop was one of my best, all grown from third or fourth generation seeds.  

For some reason, this year the seed collecting seems more important.  The world in general seems less reliable, and saving seeds is one small way that adds a bit more security to the future.  We don’t grow enough to completely sustain our nutrition at home, but it is nice to have a season of fresh tomatoes, assorted greens, onions, peas, and carrots.  It’s also enjoyable have available the volunteer dill, cilantro, and basil that seem to reappear annually.  I’ve intentionally taught my grandchildren and great-granddaughter how to plant and care for a garden, with hope that someday they’ll decide to grow food on their own.  

Cultivating actual seeds for the future serves as an excellent metaphor for the work we continue to do here at the Seed.  Each crop of students is nurtured and the children grow and bloom into the next version of themselves.  One year’s group of tiny toddlers become four-year-olds presenting facts about the Ice Age to their classmates.  The preschoolers turn into emerging readers and writers in kindergarten, then go on to awaken into climate change activists in their elementary years.  Children who once looked up to their older buddies are now asking to arrive at school early to be helpers on the toddler playground.  

This work involves our whole community.  On Saturday morning we will gather for our annual picnic to celebrate Earth Day and our entire village.  We will have special live music, face painting, crafts and games for the kids, a lemonade stand, gardening activities, free seeds, and our annual silent art auction.  The event will start off with a special dedication of our new climbing structure at 11:00, honoring some of the families who made significant contributions to the project.  Please plant to arrive in time for this special event.  And thanks for whatever you’re doing to make Planet Earth a friendly and nurturing place for all.       

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