Testing Seed Viability, Teaching Kids Gardening


An important part of raising children on the homestead is to teach the children how to do all the different homestead chores.  Not only for them to learn for themselves, but to also learn responsibility for their share of the work.  Now, my children are too young to be sent off to work in the fields, haha, but they aren’t too young to start learning.

I plan to spend the summer focusing on projects to do with the kids, mostly in the garden, to get them to going on actual helpful tasks.  This year will likely be a lot of playing and slow going gardening, but they need to learn somehow.  I want it to be fun for them so I keep their attention and it doesn’t turn into dreaded chores that they are forced into doing.

Kids also want to help, while they are younger especially, so take advantage of their motivation and curiosity.  The more they absorb as they dig in the garden bed with toy trucks, the more you will not have to teach them later.  So here we go, let’s keep the kids busy, teach them something, and keep their attention all summer.

The first little project we did was to test the viability of some squash seeds I had saved from the previous year.  They got to help me gather the seeds from the squash that they had first watched grow and cut off the vine.  Think “circle of life.”  They also let a tiny bit touch their tongue and decide that they did not like squash soup.

We also talked about how saving seeds helps the plants adapt to, or get used to, growing here.  They can learn about our weather as they grow and then they can grow stronger the next year.  And, we don’t have to buy more seeds next year, if they are viable.

So we lined up 12 little squash seeds on a wet paper towel and put in in a warm dark place.

Two days later, many seeds have already sprouted.

This means that the plants will grow.  I have no guarantee that they will bear fruit, but I have no reason to think they wouldn’t.  Non hybrid seeds that were planted separate from other squash should produce good squash fruits.

And a couple more days…

11 out of twelve seeds sprouted.  Fantastic percent viability!

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

The Prarie Homestead

Farm and Dairy

Natural Family Today

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