By Sebastian Lopez
Our organic garden at Richmond Vale Academy consists of four green houses. One of them is dedicated exclusively to producing our own seeds. Being able to produce your own seeds is challenging, but is a very critical point to be sustainable. It is not only providing the perfect conditions for the plants, but also dealing with unexpected outcomes. Some time ago, we decided to have chickens in the garden. The purpose was to collect eggs for the kitchen and to use the chicken manure in the compost, since it is rich in nitrogen.
However, the chickens manage to give us a hard time escaping every time they wanted and causing serious damage. Especially to the plants we had designated for seeds. But we didn’t give up. After some disappointments and many tries, we were able to obtain our own eggplant seeds. It was very satisfying considering eggplants were also very vulnerable to pests. The knowledge we gained by dealing with the previous problems prepared us to be ready when the eggplant season arrived. After we waited for the eggplant to ripe.
We took the seeds, dry them and save them. We kept them in the fridge waiting to be used, and the moment arrived. New students came to begin with their climate compliance program, the same program I started before them. Full of expectations as I once was when I first arrive. They came to the garden to receive their first introduction. Making seedlings was the chosen lesson. As I moved forward with the explanation about how to plant the seeds, I thought about all the things that we had to face to have those seeds in our hands.
The lessons went well. It’s always good to have new people full of ideas and most important, with a will to learn. I could see that among them are some garden enthusiasts that will be the ones taking care of the garden when my time here finishes. The next step is to actually see the seed growing, planted in a bed and providing us with a nice eggplant for the kitchen. I can finally say I was grateful for being able to share this moment with them. A moment that I hope they can repeat with new students coming in the future. When they will be the ones in charge of transferring the knowledge that begun with this simple lesson.
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