Seeds are fantastic! These little dry insignificant beads can give life to your lettuce, tomatoes or even a huge mango tree!!! Can you imagine? As the master of seeds here at RVA, I have the privilege to work with them at least twice a week during what we call Common Action.
What does it mean to work with seeds? Well, with my accomplices, we set seeds to make seedlings to plant in our gardens. We make sure that we have enough of each type of plant we want to provide in the garden. It is important that we produce a wide diversity of seedlings as we work according to permaculture principles and intercropping and promoting biodiversity is key! Mixing plant families together and adding a lot of aromatic herbs on the same beds reduces the risk of diseases and increases the fertility of the soil. Students that work with me in the seed nursery, learn about the different plant families, they learn how to recognize the seeds and the seedlings from the different plants. After a few months, they are able to advise their teammates about the plants that need to be directly seeded in the beds or the ones that need to become strong seedlings before being transplanted in the beds. It is a really important and interesting activity. Every week, we use our newly made, rich compost to set our babies! We make a few trays of lettuce seedlings (Lettuce is our ground cover crop that goes in between of a lot of other crops. It grows fast and keeps the ground covered until the taller crops are big enough to keep the area weeds free! it’s a good combination!),
As part of the Seeds master job, I am also in charge of the seeds greenhouse. In this space, we grow plants that will be used to save seeds. Nobody is allowed to harvest anything to eat out of this greenhouse! We are used to seeing
One of my favorite parts of the job is to find new species and new seeds wherever I go and try to collect them to expand our seeds collection! Our seeds greenhouse is like an experimental lab! We plant new species found here and there,
The Seed nursery also includes a Trees Nursery. Whenever someone eats any local fruit, the tradition wants that they keep the seeds. This allows to always have a supply of local fruit trees ready to be planted, either in our beautiful fruit forest or in the community, in someone’s backyard garden or in a local school. Trees demand a lot of care and specific conditions to grow, but what
Working with seeds is a joy and a very rewarding process! All students and teachers that engage in this work