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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