Seeds 101

| 2/9/2018 9:02:00 AM

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The really neat thing about home-school is that you can add classes to your schedule and give the kids more depth to their education. I'm not knocking public schools or teachers. But they are governed by state rules and a board who stipulates the types, length, and quality of classes. Most teachers I know are really frustrated by this and would give anything to be able to devote more time to subjects and expand their classes. Fortunately, home-schoolers are not governed by these rules.

As an addition to my grandchildren's home-school, my daughter-in-law and I are going to do gardening classes one afternoon a week after the regular classes are finished. This will go toward a science credit. As they get older, farm classes can be credited toward an agri class.

Our first class started at the beginning with seeds. Which came first, the plant or the seed? Actually the plant did, but the book I bought to use as a resource (Seeing Seeds by Teri Dunn Chace) begins with “A seed is both the beginning and the ending of a plant's life.” I had never looked at it that way before, but it is absolutely true. You can't have a plant without a seed, and you can't produce the seed without the plant. As I read through this book I became more and more fascinated with the conception and life cycle of a single seed.

1 seed book

A seed has three basic parts: the seed coat, stored food, and the embryo. Its a bit like a baby in the womb. Seeds lie dormant (the incubation period) until three perfect conditions end the dormancy: the correct soil temperature, the correct air temperature, and sufficient day length and light. When these conditions (which differ for each species of plant type) are met, the seed coat begins to split and the cotyledon (or new embryonic plant) starts to emerge. As the cotyledon splits apart, the leaves emerge and the young plant is born.

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