Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seeds, seeds, and more seeds!

As we're heading quickly into our first official outdoor growing season, we realized that our seed bank needed a bit of a makeover. Until the end of March, it consisted of a few large cardboard boxes with individual bags of seeds tossed in willy-nilly. Then our ENVI 200 lab decided to use a drizzly Thursday afternoon to organize our thousands of seeds (yes, thousands!) into a better system.

The first task was to sort through all of the small bags to group similar seeds together, then to systematically add each type of seed to an electronic inventory, and finally to group similar seeds together in large labeled envelopes that make finding what we want much easier. In the process we discovered that we have a lot of beans and squash (each of these piles spread over half a table!), several herbs, some sunflowers, and so much more. We also found a few surprises - purple carrots, anyone?

Many seeds in our collection are heirloom seeds donated to our seed bank by groups like the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and American Indian tribes including the Seneca and Cherokee. We plan to expand our selection as we can; any donations of heirloom, organic, and/or non-GMO seeds are welcome!

All of us here in RC's garden club and ENVI 200 class are excited to get some green in our garden as soon as the risk of frost is gone. As some of our recent posts show, we've already planted a few things at the garden site, including potatoes and strawberries. We have hot peppers, tomatoes, and several other plants started in our indoor lab area just waiting for their chance to move to the garden on Elizabeth Campus. Hopefully some of our newly sorted seeds will be part of the excitement!


  1. Kim--do you want that i should find you some photos to post of the earlier kids sorting and bagging seeds? these would be some of the set that was on the classroom door.

  2. Sure, if you'd like. I wish we had taken some shots of the before and after to see the difference our sorting made.