Growing School Food Gardens

 View Only
  • 1.  Seed balls

    Posted 05-16-2022 10:19:00 AM
    Hello everyone I was wondering what you all do with your seeds over the summer break? Do you give them to the students? Store them in a freezer or share them with your teachers? As one of Jehova's Witnesses I don't celebrate Easter, but last month one of our student brought me a seed ball in celebration of easter and since then i've making seed balls with some of our students and at least share them with our students, so they're not waisted. 

    I've been sending them home with some of our students who were interested. Does anyone have some other ways to use them? We've discussed seed sharing and I'm not sure about cross planting.

    Shella Moritz
    Macolm C. Hursey Elementary
    N. Charleston SC

  • 2.  RE: Seed balls

    Posted 05-16-2022 03:44:00 PM
    The South Carolina Garden-based Learning Network uses seed balls as miniature adobe gardens throughout the year. Our  clients even make
    them as wedding and party favors. Seed ball themes are endless and children love to introduce their own themes....pollinator gardens, hummingbird habitat, sensory gardens, herbs for butterflies, kitchen gardens, cat grasses, pizza garden, wildflower meadow, cool-season greens... Cover crops like buckwheat, fava beans, clover and rye can easily be dispersed with seed balls. 
    Seed balls are a wonderful project for students to introduce as horticulture therapy at nursing homes. 
    Seed balls are great gifts for service learning projects. Urban Habitat Chicago scatters seed balls on vacant lots to bring back life to blighted areas. In New Mexico schoolchildren made seed balls of native grasses and wildflower to restore acres of burned forested land. SanDiego students donated 2 million seed balls of native sagebrush to replace 200 acre sagebrush habitat destroyed by wildfire. 
    What better way for humans to help disperse seeds throughout the year than via seed balls! 

    Arlene Marturano
    Director, South Carolina Garden-based Learning Network

    Arlene Marturano

  • 3.  RE: Seed balls

    Posted 10-06-2023 12:05:00 AM

    Dear Arlene Marturano,

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring and heartwarming message about the incredible work being done through the South Carolina Garden-based Learning Network and the power of seed balls. It's truly remarkable to see how this simple yet ingenious concept has such a profound impact on various aspects of our environment and communities.

    The versatility of seed balls, as you've described, is indeed impressive. From promoting pollinator gardens to restoring burnt forested lands, and even bringing life back to blighted urban areas, it's clear that seed balls are a powerful tool for positive change. The fact that children are actively involved in making them and coming up with creative themes, even as wedding and party favors, is especially heartening; it's a wonderful way to instill a love for nature and a sense of responsibility for our environment in the younger generation.

    Your mention of using seed balls as horticulture therapy at nursing homes is particularly touching. Gardening has proven therapeutic benefits, and the idea of seniors being able to participate in this activity through seed balls, perhaps even as wedding or party favors, is both meaningful and therapeutic.

    Service learning projects and initiatives like the one in New Mexico, where students are helping to restore acres of burned forested land with native grasses and wildflowers, are a testament to the positive impact that young individuals can have on the environment. It's heartwarming to hear about the San Diego students' contribution to replacing sagebrush habitat destroyed by wildfire, showcasing the potential for collective action and environmental stewardship.

    Indeed, as you aptly put it, using seed balls as a means to disperse seeds throughout the year, including as wedding and party favors, is a beautiful way for humans to play their part in nurturing and revitalizing our precious ecosystems. Your dedication and the efforts of the South Carolina Garden-based Learning Network are an inspiration to all of us. Keep up the fantastic work!

    With warm regards,

    Jack William

  • 4.  RE: Seed balls

    Posted 06-15-2022 12:27:00 PM
    Hi Sheila!

    If stored in a cool, dry place your seeds will last for a very long time. We keep ours in a plastic box in a closet and even though they may not have 100% germination rates going forward, the kids tend to over plant any way so it works out fine. 

    Some seeds store better than others, so in late winter we do germination experiments and the kids plant 10 seeds in a plastic bag with a paper towel and we check on their viability.  So it turns into a fun math and science activity for everyone.

    Sarah Pounders
    Senior Education Specialist
    The Woodlands TX