Today in garden program we would be saving seeds. The kids displayed keen interest in the concept, spouting remarks like, “So you can save any kind of seed? Can I save pepper seeds? Peppers are my favorite.” Or, “Why doesn’t everyone save seeds? This is more fun than planting!” As we scooped out seeds from the sliced bell peppers, we discussed the incredible amount of pepper plants just one pepper could produce. The gleeful students proclaimed, “We’re going to have so many peppers, look at all of these seeds! There must be thousands! “We also shelled beans and peas, carefully selecting the driest pods and stripping away the yellowing shell to reveal bright white beans and wrinkled peas. An assembly line was formed under the direction of one student, and we each fastidiously performed our duties of sorting, smashing, and shelling legumes.
With the seeds, beans, and peas tucked safely away from the damp, cold fall day and produce chopped and frozen for later use, our days in the garden are coming to an end. The few sunny days will still call us out for further exploration, despite the bleak landscape of empty garden boxes. Even though the change of the season brings snow and frost, it also shifts our mindsets to a new and critically important technique of growing. In the coming days, we will transition to grow lights and hydroponics, and students will watch water flow through the bare roots of lettuce instead of our resting winter soil.