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8th Graders Run the MCS Seed Bank

Friday, October 5, 2018

The MCS Seed Bank is an eighth grade project at the Farm. It will be a year-long study on seed saving. During the students' recent fall farm trip, we discussed what a seed is and the importance of seeds in the history of human civilization and agriculture.

By saving seeds from plants in our garden, we will have seeds to plant next year at the farm and to share with our community.

  We are saving seeds from our gardens as an act of resistance to the increasingly commercial seed businesses, which are working to privatize a natural resource that should be inherently common, that all should have access to collect and share. 

The eighth graders walked through the garden and chose specific crops from which to save the seeds. These included tomatoes, zucchinis, delicata squash, green beans, echinachea and cucumbers. Each crop calls for different seed saving techniques, whether it is fermenting or drying the seeds before storing. We worked together to clean the seeds and leave them to dry. During their winter farm trip, the eighth graders will design packets for the seeds they saved!

In addition to collecting seeds from crops in the garden, we collected the seeds from Pigweed, a species or the genus, Amaranthus, a common weed that grows in the garden beds. This is for a study being done at Columbia University by an MCS alumnus. The study is examining the changing genetic traits of the plants, which are allowing it to resist herbicides and pesticides. The students collected seeds from different Pigweed plants in our garden and around the farm and labeled them accordingly so that they can be used for this research.