In celebration of SpringThursday Mar 20 2014
There's certainly something magical about sending seeds out into the world – packing them up into little boxes and puffy envelopes and thinking about colourful gardens and the harvest that follows.
This past November at the Atlantic Canadian Organic (ACORN) conference, seeds made up a good part of the agenda, from a Regional Seed Advisory Meeting to presentations about growing high-quality organic seed. While seed swaps and Seedy Saturdays (and Sundays) have been going on for some years, it's promising to see how much of our discussion about growing food considers the whole process involved and the fact that plants don't just grow in isolation. Farms and backyard gardens and even potted plants on the balcony are all part of something bigger.
It strikes me that seeds, too, are so dependent on this bigger picture. How exciting is it that a seed was passed on for generations, or found in the gullet of a drowned goose, or grown-out and adapted to a particular regional climate? And seeds aren't just part of a story that lives on, but living examples of these stories.
A seed is very much alive! I guess it's easy to forget this when we've got a bag full of seed sitting on the shelf or tucked away in storage. But every so often I like to remind myself of that little pocket of energy inside those things – how a seed will slowly nibble away at the food it has stored and use up (metabolize) that energy to survive. And how seeds can't be printed or manufactured; they must be grown and grown-out in order to live on. They must be saved and planted, again and again.
Recently, we've been astounded by a collection of bean seeds that has been sitting around for years – thought to be too old to sprout and headed for the pressure-cooker before Andrea caught herself: why not try to test the germination and see if we can't grow these out? And suddenly, just in time for Spring, Suzana is pulling the fresh smell of bean sprouts from the germination box and we're cheering on a summer bean project.
Here's to living seeds and the coming of Spring!
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