Seed Classes: Sowing the First Seeds, Reaping the Rewards

Here at the Foundation, we love promoting seeds through seed classes! We love seeds because they represent life, our future and our potential. Without seeds there would be no food, no food means, no life. It is as essential and as simple as that. Because seeds are all encompassing as life itself, we should really all care about seed preservation. Or perhaps try to be a part of a growing global movement to save seeds. Or how about seriously considering simple ways how we can be a seed saver in our everyday life? No matter what step you take, each small action helps gets us closer to creating a healthier and inter-connected generation.

How are we promoting seeds anyway?

We promoted seeds through educational seed classes to young minds in our neighbourhood. In collaboration with Sprouting Chefs Society, Barb McMahon, founder of the Society facilitated the seed classes. 806 students in Forest Grove, Windsor & Lochdale Elementary schools learned how to plant seeds  using organic growing principles. The curriculum goals from Kindergarten to Grade 7 were integrated in these classes, too.

Organic master gardener funded by Plant a Seed Foundation teaching seed classes in Burnaby schools

Barb McMahon, founder of Sprouting Chefs Society taught the seed classes in Forest Grove, Windsor elementary and Lochdale community schools in the district.

Through these seed classes, we wanted the school children to:

  • Firstly, learn how to plan and grow their own gardens,
  • Secondly, work and collaborate together to improve their school community,
  • Thirdly, discover and study where their food comes from

Students planting seeds

So, what happened in our seed classes?

All schools reported that they were delighted with the classes! It met all their learning objectives.  Specifically, the seed classes gave an opportunity to the students an “age-appropriate real-life, hands-on experiential connection to the food source and garden concepts. It gave the students a chance to work together and see the results of their collaborative work.″

The seed classes taught many lessons and insights. Students discovered the role of worms. They now know how to gather castings. They also learned about the importance of crop rotations. Students were eager to demonstrate their science-enriched vocabulary with accurate word usages such as pests and decomposers. Windsor elementary grade one students were particularly enthusiastic to share their knowledge of bugs in the garden. Now more aware of their natural environment, students understood how seasonal weather affects the availability and price of food.

Furthermore, what was really exciting to hear from teachers and principals was that students continued visiting the garden during their breaks. Some wanted to do more weeding to protect the garden plants. Consequently, some students pursued their new interest and joined their school’s garden club!

 

Two Lochdale Community School students planting

Students at Lochdale Community School handled their plants with care.

 

The impact

Connection, Ownership and Aspiration

  • The seed classes spurred meaningful conversations among students and their family members about their garden and its significance to their school.
  • Students and teachers reported that grandparents shared many untold garden stories to their grandchildren including a First Nations anecdote.
  • The students were inspired and excited to work together to create a garden that would be beautiful and relaxing.

Healthy Eating and Garden Power

  • The seed classes also generated interest in harvested fresh vegetables that can be shared within the school community and beyond.
  • Students saw their garden produce as an alternative to store-bought food.

 

Kids harvesting their radishes

Through the seed classes, the students got to harvest their very own radishes.

In short, our first batch of seed classes in our very own community reaped a promising first harvest! We helped nurtured a sense of responsibility and aspiration. Through partnership and education, we empowered young minds to the life-long benefits of growing food and healthy eating. We used gardens as educational tools that make new and strengthened connections to family, generations and to the community. Many thanks to Sprouting Chefs and the wonderful students and staff of Forest Grove, Windsor and Lochdale elementary schools who continue to care for their gardens and keep their seed lessons alive, real and delicious!

If you’re as thrilled as we are with this progress update, please take the pledge and become a Friend of the Foundation. It’s free and it’s an acknowledgement of our shared values.

“One seed can grow a forest, one child can change the world, one idea can inspire a generation.”