For today’s garden-to-table adventure, learn about seeds!
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WHAT IS A SEED?

If you ate anything today you should thank a farmer because they grow the food we eat; or they grow the food that feeds the animals that we eat. Most of the food that the farmers grow starts out as a little seed. That seed when planted in the ground  grows up to be a yummy vegetable or fruit. You have probably eaten many seeds and not realized it. Sunflower seeds, coffee, corn, peas, beans, and coconuts are all seeds that you eat.

A typical seed includes three basic parts: (1) an embryo, (2) a supply of nutrients for the embryo (cotyledon), and (3) a seed coat. Part I of this week’s Garden-to-Table adventure will be dissecting a lima bean. Watch Molly dissect a lima bean to see these parts inside, then find a large bean and try it yourself. And here’s a video to show you what a lima bean busting out of its coat looks like.

SEED DISSECTION, SPROUTING, AND ART!

Watch Molly dissect a lima bean to see what’s inside. See seedlings growing at her house and learn to use seeds you can find outdoors or in the kitchen to make art. 

Here are a few more seed art ideas, or make a seed mosaic

 

PLANT SEEDS

If you would like a kit so you can grow your own seedlings, the library made some available for families to pick up at the U-Access Food Pantry, 315 River Street, Ypsilanti, the site of a new pop up food pantry started by D’Real Graham and Tyler Weston. When you visit, make sure you maintain social distancing to keep everyone safe and feel free to drop off food or cleaning supplies for others if you are able. Seed kits are also available at Parkridge Community Center at 591 Armstrong Dr. on Thursdays from 11 to 1pm and from 4 to 6pm.

GROW AN AVOCADO TREE FROM A SEED
  • Remove and clean the pit.
  • All avocado pits have a top (where the sprout will grow), and a bottom (where the roots will grow). The slightly pointier end is the top and the flatter part is the bottom. 
  • Take 3 toothpicks and place them evenly around the middle of the pit. This will allow you to rest the pit in a glass of water. 
  • Place the pit in a glass of water (see first photo) and let it sit on a sunny windowsill. It’s handy to use a glass container so you can see the seeds. 
  • Wait for your pit to sprout. The second photo shows what happened about a month after I started. You can see the crack and the taproot is about to emerge. Soon a small sprout will peak out of the top.
  • When the sprout is about 6 inches tall it’s time to plant in a container with topsoil. Avocados love sun so bring it outside and keep it watered.
COOK WITH SEEDS

Chia seeds are a so-called superfood! They provide awesome nutritional benefits. They’re high in healthy fats, fiber, and protein, contain no sugar, and they’re delicious. You can sprinkle them on your cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. And you can use them to make healthy, chia seed energy bites. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of oats
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ¼ cup of any nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS

In a bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed. Feel free to also add nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or whatever sounds good. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and then shape into bites. Enjoy!

AND THERE’S MORE!

Log your Summer Challenge books and secret codes!

SUMMER CHALLENGE SECRET CODE

COTYLEDON

Make a nature mandala. 

Molly shows you how. 

There are several books available through Hoopla about seeds, plants, and gardens. If you’re interested in how seeds move around, one of my favorite books is A Fruit is a Suitcase For Seeds and it is available any time.

HOW TO ACCESS HOOPLA
  1. The first time you go to Hoopla you have to register.
  2. When the login screen pops up click on the “sign up” link.
  3. Use your preferred email and create a password.
  4. Click on Ypsilanti District Library (YDL) and then click next.
  5. Enter your library card number.
  6. Enter your 4 digit PIN. If you don’t know, it, call 734-482-4110.

Make a bird feeder from a toilet paper tube. 

Nicole shows you how!

Watch a time lapse video of a kidney bean turning into a plant (germination). It’s beautiful but also a little creepy.