Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sharing Seeds From The Farm

Apparently, not everyone knows that you can collect seeds from the flowers and fruits of plants. This was a quick and easy lesson that promotes sharing of our harvest.

One of our classes' garden theme was "Peace, Love and Herbs". They chose to plant a big patch of marigolds in one of their beds. Marigolds are very easy to grow and also are beneficial on our farm because they keep some of those pesky pests away. We started our seed lessons with Marigolds since we have an abundance of them.

The flower of a marigold only lasts a day or two and then they start to look droopy and they begin to dry out. This is the time for "dead-heading". I teach the kids to pinch off the flower part of the plant (which is where the seeds are).

After we pick them, we put them in a bucket to dry out.

When they are dry, we separate the seeds from the flower head and that is where we get the seeds to share.

The seeds are now ready to be shared.

You can do this with many types of flowers and herbs. The term "goes to seed" is when the plant has produced flowers, which will then give you seeds. You can stop that process by snipping off the flowers and your plant will continue to grow. That is what we do with our basil so that it will grow all season long.

When a plant "goes to seed" you can collect those seeds and start over again with a new plant grown from your seed harvest.

A great lesson in sharing comes from seed collecting. It also is a good way to share our farm love and get kids and their families interested in digging in at home.  Give it a try and brighten up someone's day with a tiny bag of seeds to share.

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