A Handful of Seeds

Published May 30, 2013 | Updated October 18, 2017
Subject: Nutrition Education, Science, Other
Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
Place of Learning: Garden, Academic Classroom
Resource Type: Program Management
Grade Level: Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2 , Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8
Uploaded by:
Janel Healy
Program Affiliations:

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center's School Garden Program is proud to present “A Handful of Seeds," a publication by Tina Poles on seed saving and seed study for educators.


This resource provides lessons linked to California Educational Standards; practical Information on seed saving for school gardens; and interesting history and lore.

Although there are a number of stand-alone lessons included, the primary intention of this publication is to help answer the following questions:

  1. How can a school’s seed-saving project bring a coherent and increasingly complex understanding of ecoliteracy through the grades?
  2. How can the same resource—a handful of seeds—be used to teach and support standards across grades as well as within different subject areas?
  3. How can seed saving help apply a standard as well as teach a standard? What are the opportunities to practice fractions or estimation even if not directly teaching those concepts?
  4. How can seed saving increase student understandings of natural cycles, stewardship, delayed gratification, responsibility, and connectedness to a place?

"A Handful of Seeds" is meant to inspire you as teachers and students to be part of a “Delicious Revolution,” to use Alice Waters’ term, to awaken your students to all their senses, to feed them physically, emotionally and intellectually, and to help them see their connectedness to each other and to the rest of the world.