Kissed by Bees - How Seeds are Born

Tom Stearns of High Mowing Organic Seeds shares how bees get his seeds off to a great start; and he’s giving away a “pollinator’s collection” of seeds to 10 lucky readers.

Tom Stearns is the founder of High Mowing Organic Seeds opens in a new tab and a friend of Whole Kids Foundation opens in a new tab®. High Mowing Organic Seeds provides Whole Kids Foundation school garden grant recipients with a starter set of seeds, as well as seed packets that the foundation uses to inspire families to grow together in their yards or on their window sills.Through the Share the Buzz campaign, Whole Kids Foundation is working to educate families about the importance of bees and even to provide a few schools with bee hives so that kids can see firsthand the integral role bees play in everything we eat! Many thanks to Tom for sharing this post and his seeds with us. Read on to learn how you could win A Bee's Garden seed collection from High Mowing Organic Seeds.

It is early summer and I am about to experience one of the most amazing events of my year. At High Mowing Organic Seeds we are seed growers so all of our crops must flower. Yes, even the broccoli, spinach, lettuce, radishes and mustard greens. It is into a field of 20,000 mustard green plants that I walk this morning. They are now 3 feet tall and in full flower – brighter yellow than you can imagine. Each plant has over 200 open flowers – that’s over 4 million flowers in an area about half the size of a football field! And even more will open as the week goes on.

Honey bees and other pollinators are essential partners in our life as seed growers and without them we would have nothing. With each pollination visit to a single flower, 15-20 seeds will grow. If the weather behaves, we’ll have 80 million mustard seeds beginning to grow today.

I slowly walk through the buzzing, intoxicatingly sweet air and settle myself on the earth in the middle of the patch. As the jostled bees resettle around me, I watch and listen as they do all of this wondrous work for us.

They battle and fight with wasps and flies for territory, but there is enough nectar, as well as enough work for everyone. There are hundreds of thousands of bees in the patch today and I owe each one my thanks. We’ve done our job, preparing the soil with organic compost, planting the seedlings and weeding them.

Now the crop is in the hands of the bees, our essential partners on our little organic seed farm in Vermont. An old beekeeper told me once that bees “kiss” the flowers. That means that each of our seed begins with a kiss. Not a bad way to get started in life.

Think of them as you plant seeds in your own garden this year. How about some seeds to get your backyard buzzing? Tell us why you love bees in the comments below by June 27th and five randomly selected winners will each get A Bee's Garden seed collection opens in a new tab from High Mowing Organic Seeds.

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