How do you explain a seed to a three year old?

“Tell me more about seeds,” asked my three year old, way back when. It was spring. We’d been mucking about in the dirt all morning, depositing tiny treasures in the warming earth.


Now 5, even more helpful on the seed front.


A seed is an inkling, I wanted to say. It is its own ambition and instruction book, all bundled into one. It is a packet of information. It is your heritage and your birthright, little man, even though you are inheriting a world in which the control of more than half of the world’s seed stock has fallen into the hands of a few mega-chemical companies. Some people call that bio-piracy. But I don’t want you to know about this yet. Because thinking too hard about these things makes me want to crawl into bed, pull the duvet over my head, and refuse to get up again.

But you, Small, you make me want to sit on my haunches in the warming earth, with some trowels and forks and little packets full of seed. You make me want to cajole a beautiful harvest out of the little square of world I find myself inhabiting, and so, every spring, we start at it, with just a handful of seeds and a fistful of hope.


And by this time of year, I look at the Life Force asserting itself in my garden, and feel it coursing through me, as I pick strawberries, admire the calendula, tug up a radish, measure the height of the sunflowers just by standing next to it and gazing up… Hope. Hope. Hope.

(And weeds. Of course. Let’s not get too precious.)


“Every young person should recognize that working with their hands is not a degradation. It’s the highest evolution of our species. Start a garden. Create a playground in the way you grow food. Save seeds. Cook. Create community. We are not atomized producers and consumers. We are part of the Earth family. We are part of the human family. We are part of a food community. Food connects us. Everything is food.” ~ Vandana Shiva

Thank you to Evelyn Coggins for sharing this video with me.