On Wednesday we had the pleasure of our first school visit! A group of just under 30 3 to 6 year olds came out to the farm to see what growing food looks like on a scale. What a time it was! It has been a while since my days wrangling gaggles of giggling short people, and I had forgotten the level of energy and interest, like a wave about to break. If you are lucky, no white caps, just rolling. It was very enjoyable fun to see and be a part of.
We talked a little about how different plants have different seeds and we planted some, and then walked around looking at the plants in the field. What we didn't talk about was why the seeds are so different! The seed is the a capsule that the parent plant sends the young off into the world in to seek their fortune. They provide food for the growing plant, protection from the elements, and a method of dispersal.
These factors come together, morphing the appearance of the seed and the fruit that it arises from. Plants have evolved all different ways of spreading their seeds. They often offer creatures (like us!) delicious fruit to entice us to carry their seed to a new location. Plants also get a little more creative. Some use exploding seed pods! We see that in the broccoli and kale family on the farm, although it rarely comest to that. Here is a really cool video (with a very dramatic voice over) from the Smithsonian youtube channel showing violets and other plants with their exploding seed pods:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsIojj4PzAo
Helen, Jim, and Exie the Dog
Peas: Sugar and snap, both sweet as candy!
We don't have quite as much as we would have liked for this time of year, but the bounty is coming. After this week has passed, you can expect beets, beans, and an abundance of summer squash to join the delicacies at our table.
Markets this week, always rain or shine!
Metuchen Farmers' Market
Senior Center parking lot
Corner of New and Center Street
9 am to 2 pm
Scotch Plains Farmers' Market
Municipal parking lot
430 Park Ave
8 am to 2 pm