If there must be fundraising in schools…

…we can probably agree that some fundraising projects are better than others. From experience, I tend to classify them as follows:  ones I detest, ones I can live with, and ones I can get excited about.

The Garden Club has recently tried out one that we can get behind wholeheartedly.  Called “Seeds to Grow,” the fundraiser is a packaged program for selling heirloom seeds through Seed Savers Exchange (SSE).  SSE is dedicated to “preserving our diverse but endangered garden heritage for future generations.”  In other words, they collect, sell and propagate seed varieties that could be lost because they are not the (very limited) ones that are grown commercially on a large scale and thus found in supermarkets.

In so doing, they also tell stories, thereby preserving our cultural and historic roots as well.  I opened to a random page of the catalogue for an example:

Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Bean:  Given to SSE in 1977 by the late Dr. John Wyche, SSE member from Hugo, Oklahoma.  Dr. Wyche’s Cherokee ancestors carried this bean over the Trail of Tears, the infamous winter death march from the Smoky Mountains to Oklahoma (1838-1839), leaving a trail of 4,000 graves.  Green 6 inch pods with purple overlay, shiny jet-black seeds……

Reading through the catalogue is a history lesson itself.  And the pictures!  Who knew the vast diversity of fruits, herbs, vegetables and flowers available for planting?  Not many people, turns out, so we like the idea that our garden can be a vehicle for introducing this important idea/movement.  Year after year, I’d like to see our school not only promote this sale at our school but also in our larger community.

I also like it because it is user-friendly.  The brochure introduces six collections, each with four seed packets. (For example, there is a “Big Salad Bowl” collection with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and radishes.)  Each collection of four packets costs $10.  You remit $6 per packet; you retain $4.  Colorful and well-laid out brochures are available.  People pay for the seeds with a check to your school, you later send one check to SSE, and you receive the packets quickly. (I’m delivering orders this week.)  And they are adorable!  (Note: this fundraiser could be run by any group, although it fits in nicely with garden projects!)

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4 thoughts on “If there must be fundraising in schools…

  1. Very exciting; I love the options pictured. Don’t know if our Church community’s “Garden Stuff” would fundraise this way but I’d like to purchase some seeds all the same. Let me know if/when you do another. Thanks! Lisa

    • I will do that! The cool thing about this fundraiser is that there is no advance purchase or minimum orders. You sell what you sell! We tried it on a small scale this year just to familiarize ourselves with it, so next year we’ll advertise more broadly!

      Thanks for following the blog!

    • Here’s some more fun examples, Dad.

      “Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon”: Has enchanted melon fanciers for centuries; gives off an unforgettable perfume. Victorian women carried these tiny melons in their pockets in the days before aerosol deodorants.
      “Cheyenne Bush Pumpkins”: Very early pumpkin adapted to the Great Plains. Developed from a cross of Cocozelle and New England Pie by the USDA Field Station in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1943.”
      “Spinning Gourd”: Sent to SSE by member Junior Gardener from Hickman County in Tennessee. Years ago children would carry these gourds in their pockets to play with at school where they would spin them on their desks. Hard shelled when dried, great ornamental.”

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