Transition Bondi offered their first Zoom workshop Savouring Seeds last month. It was fun to organise, and exciting to learn how to operate the video conferencing platform.
As a first time, we made it free of charge, and had a mix of experienced gardeners and people tip-toeing their way toward growing their first veggies. Ten people attended.
I love the sense of exploration, risk taking and creativity that the Transition Towns movement invites. Catching the momentum of pursuing a new project, and finding collaborators to play with.
The huge topic of seeds can be approached from many angles: growing veggies in urban environments, the sharing economy, agriculture and the hazards of mono-cultures, botany and plant reproduction, fostering biodiversity, soil management, saving our pollinators, the threat of giant corporations….. Where to begin, and how to proceed?!
We decided on a simple structure as a launching pad for these topics: Why? What? When? Where? How? and What if?
- WHY are seeds important? Why are mono-cultures a problem?
- WHAT are seeds – the life cycle of plants (a game of sequencing pictures of the life cycle of a bean plant was a good way to convey this information). What are different shapes, containers and forms of seeds? What are methods of dispersal?
- WHERE do you find seeds on a plant?
- WHEN do they form? When do you collect seed?
- HOW to save seeds? Stories from those present filled out this picture. How to plant seeds? How to use them – apart from planting?
- WHAT if (miscellaneous questions)…. my garlic develops a seed head, is that as good a method of reproduction as sowing the bulb?
We included a list of family names of common edible plants.
We drew on the following resources:
- Seed Savers’ Handbook by Michel & Jude Fanton, A Seed Savers Book1993
- New Internationalist: Seed Savers: the frontline against world hunger Sept 2010
- Sustainable Food: Michael Mobbs A Choice Book 2012
- Video by Vandana Shiva https://youtu.be/Xar4vixyzUs (15 mins) spelling out the global issues relating to GMO and peasant farmers, and food security.
And some fun questions:
- What’s the difference between an egg and a seed?
- Is coffee a seed? Coconut?
- What about grains?
Scroll down for a sneak peek!