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Seed Division

Click Here for  Seed Order 2009

Our Heirloom Tomato Seedlings are listed and ready for immediate sale. 

Our own  Seed Labels

bean smile

    ... works to save heirloom variety seeds that produce healthy and nutritious foods. We are committed to helping keep our food supply safe. We grow some local, older varieties in order to promote biodiversity which is being lost with modern hybrids. 
    The bulk of Our company also packages seeds through the FEDCO Seed Company.   
    The Seed Division sells seeds to local growers while learning money management and sustainable business practices.  We have fun and learn some Mathematics, English and History along the way.  

        The THMS Seed Company was been developed in cooperation with Eli Rogosa Kaufman,  a International Development Research Centre  doctoral fellow in sustainability education.
        Eli has excellent ideas, hands-on projects and an Activity Guidebook for Seed Saving.  Her work is featured in FEDCO's seed education program, From Generation to Generation.

        Visit jerusalemcityfarmers and for ways to be involved in her program.

Why Save Seeds?

    Everyone knows the expression "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket".  We practice this concept whether we are buying stocks, trying to eat all sorts of different foods to get a variety of nutrients, reading many books or websites for variety of ideas or when we choose a variety of friends to do a range of activities.  This practice may be most important when it comes to growing varieties of plants for seed and food.  The more we lack genetic diversity in our food and seed crops the greater the risk of damage from pests and disease.  Think of the Irish Potato Famine or the Dutch Elm Disease.  seed jarsLearning to build biodiversity in our garden through seed saving is one of the most important human activities we can participate in.  
    Look through any cookbook from 100 years ago and you'll see many more vegetable choices in the recipes....and lots more information about food preservation and preparation.  Even when developing new resistant varieties of plants you still need the old breeding stock many of which are being lost and forgotten.   It is a challenge to all of us to learn about our food system in order to understand the source of our nourishment.
    Seed saving is also a powerful way to learn about our own history and culture, whether it's cooking bean-hole-beans using the beans my grandmother saved & grew or it's growing out the "Old Jake" rutabaga (turnip) saved off a shipwreck in Witherspoon's Cove in North Haven, collected and saved by our friends at Medomak Valley H.S.  The students become engaged in history when it can be brought to life using tangible examples such as our wall of seeds. 


Before being hired into the THMS Seed Division, students should have
completed their apprenticeship and interview

harvesting sunflower seed

Try this math exercise testing seed germination to determine the viability of your own seeds.  Have students conduct two trails:
Trail 1 in 80 degree temperature,
Trail 2 at 50 degree temperature.

packing seedHave the kids draw the seed packet labels for your packets (or print out a Seed template).  Use last years garden catalog for inspiration.  Make copies and have the kids color.  Cut and paste onto the seed packets. Include a separate sticker on the back of each packet with germination rate and planting instructions,

Have students make pencil drawings of vegetable names and images.  Rub drawings onto linoleum and carve (use board for carving surface).  Stamp onto different color ink pads or roll on paint.  Carefully place stamp on the seed packet and lightly tap.  Do not push as it will distort the image.  Practice on paper before stamping your seed packets.  If the stamping gets too messy or time consuming you can always scan the image and print onto stickers.

            This is a great project to integrate with the Art teacher.  Bring in some parents on this one.

Don't forget to put your business name, address and contact info on every packet.  The children should add a short set of directions on how, when, and where to plant the seeds.  

seed clean
There are all sorts of fun ways to save seeds.  Of course, the bigger they are the easier they are to clean but we like the challenge that saving our own lettuce or tomato seed brings.  Our favorite is to put all of our different colored beans into baby jars which we keep on shelves in Mr. Thurston's room.  We learn a lot of history through the stories we learn about the seeds we save and the plants we grow.tomseed

A few of the students are responsible for keeping the thousands of seed packets in our supply room labeled and organized.  These seeds are used for our own planting and experimenting.  Other students test the viability (germination rates) of our seeds while others keep a separate inventory of current seeds which we use for retail.  Most of the gardening students give tours and workshops to kids from other schools which we always give seeds to for their own garden projects.

In the spring, a small group of seventh grade gardeners teach all of the sixth grade students a lesson on Maine beans before everyone gets a chance to plant our own saved beans.  

In the fall, after the new garden students shuck the beans,  they are cooked in a hole in the garden so we can enjoy some bean-hole-beans just like our ancestors did during wood-cutting season. 

Please drop us a note      if you have any questions.


Seeds of Diversity

SEEDS of CHANGE Organic Garden Seeds

Johnny Seeds of Maine

Seeds of Diversity Canada's Heritage Seed Program

HEIRLOOM SEEDS   over 600 varieties of non-hybrid seeds including heirloom vegetable seeds, heirloom flower seeds and heirloom herb seeds. Free weekly newsletter. Gardening books, tips and planting information.

Fedco Seeds

Public Seed Initiative

Medomak Valley High School Heirloom Seed Catalog, twelfth edition

National Agricultural Library  A Guide to Heirloom Varieties and Community-Based Stewardship.

The Scatterseed Project
Preserving the diversity of our crop heritage

Wood Prairie Farm

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This site was created and is maintained by THMS Garden Students