Many of the food crops planted in gardens ripen and become ready to eat during the summer months, when students are not in school. Seeds, however, mature in late August through the fall, allowing for a curriculum to be in place when the school year resumes. With this change in perspective, the garden is not "dead" in the fall, but full of seeds and learning opportunities.
Seeds you collect are free and are more likely to bear successful crops. Selecting seed from the strongest, most productive plants in your garden each year - taking care to collect seed from a variety of plants to maintain genetic diversity - gradually results in a genetic bank that is highly suited to the unique characteristics of your own specific micro-environment.
School-aged children are beginning their journey of understanding the world around them and are developing socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Seed saving provides ample opportunity to enrich development in these four areas. Refining these skills provides a solid foundation for academic learning throughout life.
By allowing students to experience the full cycle of a plant, from planting the seed to harvesting the seed, the concept of cycles is experienced more deeply than by simply looking at a poster or handout. Seed saving reinforces the natural rhythms of the seasons.