Next Generation Harvests Seeds from the Breaking Ground Green Roof!

Each little orange spike on the top of the cone flower is a seed! CLICK ON THIS PHOTO for a closer look!

As part of our continued efforts to educate the young people of this planet about their connections to Earth, Kevin Songer, of MetroVerde, and I had the pleasure of conducting a seed harvesting workshop on the Breaking Ground green roof. Kevin began the workshop with a couple of amazing, local, home-schoolers by presenting to them a packet of seeds purchased in the grocery store. The packet held about 35 seeds and cost $1.79. Then he proceeded to take the seeds out of the center of a purple cone flower grown on our roof, and to the girls’ surprise, one flower held close to 100 seeds!! Yes…ONE flower produces about 150 seeds. So, if we compare this to the packet of seeds,  this ONE flower represented over $7.50 in seeds if sold in the store. So…taking it a step further…if we’ve had 500 purple cone flowers on the Breaking Ground green roof over the course of the summer, which is entirely possible, that represents over $3,800.00 in seeds!!! And that’s only ONE species of plant we have growing up on our roof. We have so many other varieties of flowers, fruits, vegetables and green plants. We even have loofah growing on the roof! (For math teachers: 150 purple cone flower seeds, divided by 35 (number of seeds in our sample store packet) = 4.28 x 1.79 (cost of our sample packet) = $7.67 worth of seeds per cone flower. $7.67 x 500 flowers = $3,835.71 just in cone flower seeds alone!

Kevin estimated over 2 million…yes, thats 2,000,000 seeds have grown on our roof. If you don’t believe me, I counted over 18 seeds in one, little grape tomato and there have been thousands growing on the roof over the past six months!

About 18 seeds per tomato!

So what does this mean? This means that not only do we have a sustainable green roof growing constantly over our heads, and that we are sustaining a food source through harvesting and replanting of seeds, but there is a very viable option to create revenue from this. Yes, MONEY!!! Seeds can be harvested and packaged for fundraisers. They can be planted and seedlings can be sold or given as gifts. But most importantly, we are sustaining the plants and foods from the roof through a constant cycle as nature intended. Grow, thrive, die, harvest, replant, grow. Nature’s perfect life cycle.

The great thing about this workshop was that we incorporated science, math and a social awareness about the need for sustainable food sources all in one-hour of pure fun on the roof! Teaching and learning at its finest…hands on, relevant and natural. Take a look at our August video and watch for yourself how to create a sustainable flow of plants, flowers and food.

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