The journey of good health begins with a single seed.
We all hope our NJHCN grant programs encourage a paradigm shift in our audience, to nudge them closer to healthy living & show them a different, better way of life. So when I found myself thinking a different way after viewing Deeply Rooted by the Slow Foods organization, unable to sleep, seeing new connections in our lives, I only hope the experience was as deeply felt by the participants as it was by me.
John Coykendall’s “journey to save our seeds and our stories” was more than a documentary about seed saving. The history of his county and his artwork were key in telling those stories as well as the people who know him. His seeds were started by folks who are no longer with us. The stories he keeps in his notebooks remind us where we come from.
Why are Seed Banks and Seed Saving so important? From one fluffy seed pod of an arugula sprig, a whole bed of lettuce can be harvested the following spring. From one overly-ripe tomato, if saved correctly – several rows of tomatoes can be harvested the next year.
In a few months we will be starting a seed bank with 4-H at Montclair Community Farms. We have a refrigerator to store the seeds in envelopes and plastic bags. On October 27th we’ll show where seeds are kept inside the fruit and vegetables, then next winter the seeds will be available for anyone to come and take a garden’s worth of seeds to watch the magic unfold for themselves. Our January workshop will be about planning the garden so we can help the community figure out their challenges. In February they can start their seeds early in our hoop house or enjoy watching them sprout on their windowsills as the snows fall.
We so grateful to be part of this grant because it allows us to be this passionate about helping our community to lead healthier lives and giving them good resources to do so.
As the Master Gardener in charge of creating and organizing the programs and activities that are designed to improve the overall health of the community, I am so very grateful to work with New Jersey Healthy Communities Network and Partners for Health Foundation. We can't believe we get to be involved in these special projects through this wonderful grant which makes us overall, healthier, too!