Wednesday, March 3, 2010

seedy times

I have been thinking about seeds a lot the past few weeks.

First thinking about what seeds I need and ordering them, as well as thinking about what seeds I have on hand. I have saved some seed the last few years, though perhaps not with as much thought and care as I should.

Then there's the challenge of when the early seeds can go in. Very rainy winters like this are pretty difficult. I've been sowing when we get a couple of dry days and will see what happens. The biggest challenge is not seeds, but wanting to put in potatoes this year, when the spot I'd like to use is muddy and needs much improvement - and the break of a dry week, when I could do it, appears not to be happening.

Monday, before the Sonoma County Food System Alliance meeting I went on the brief tour of the gardens at Lynmar Winery. I was mightily impressed by Michael's seed saving and seed improving efforts. I wish I'd had my camera, so I could show you a picture of his shelves of bins - so much accomplished in just his few years of gardening there.

Then yesterday an email arrived from Occidental Arts and Ecology with an invitation to download their publication on seed saving for school gardens. This is a comprehensive 90+ page resource with lots of good background and lesson plans cued to California standards.

I, of course, began to think about how congregations with gardens might use this - first with information on seed saving, and second to provide good science background for lessons for Sunday School and vacation bible schools.

So often we talk about seeds with kids in our churches and leap right to the metaphorical. Just because St. Paul was a lousy botanist doesn't mean we need to be. The very first lesson plan here, "Do seeds need soil to sprout?" made me think about doing the science and then doing the parable of the sower. My favorite lesson, though, which would be a big stretch for Sunday School, was the one on how to read a seed packet - and how to make your own for the seed you've saved.

Download "A Handful of Seeds" here:

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