Since Earth Day fell during our Spring Break, FAIS held an All-School seed planting day on campus last Friday. Student seed ambassadors – from Peter Ovington’s 6th grade Environmental Science class and 6th graders from our Middle School Green Team – educated groups of faculty, staff, and administrators on the story behind the seed cocoons and the importance of native species. Then, they led their groups in planting more than 650 seed cocoons (each containing 27,000 seeds!) along entrances and walkways, surrounding parking lots and buildings, below stairs, Discovery Park, and the Center for the Arts!
What are seed cocoons?
- Seed cocoons are seeds that have been wrapped in soil matter and then dried.
- The soil in ours is a mixture of clay and potting soil.
- The cocoon mixture keeps the seed safe until it is in the ground & has what it needs to grow.
Purpose and history of seed cocoons
- Seed cocoons let you grow plants without the need for opening the soil with tools like a plow.
- Seed cocoons were popularized by a Japanese farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka.
- Fukuoka is known as the father of natural “do nothing” farming and believed that disturbing large areas of land for farming destroys the health of the soil, is a waste of time and energy, and is not necessary.
Benefits of native plants
- Biodiversity = a variety of life
- Native plants form the basis of food chains for native wildlife and pollinators (and humans!)
- Native plants provide the best habitat for native wildlife
- Plants improve air quality by trapping airborne particulates;
- Plants enhance water quality by filtering sediments;
- Plants stabilize stream banks and hillside slopes by slowing erosion
- Native plants are low maintenance; they need less fertilizer and water
- Native plants are beautiful
Thank you to everyone who participated, and thank you to our student seed ambassadors!