Let’s Grow Seeds?

“A small garden, a vegetable garden, any piece of land is a whole natural world of its own, called microcosm…
t teaches us not only the values associated with our emotional connection with nature
life, death, survival ,
but the values of patience, perseverance, creativity, adaptation, transformation, and renewal.”
 “A boniteza de um sonho” (The Beauty of Dreams) , Moacir Gadotti  


Human beings have a very deep connection with nature. After all, it is our natural habitat, our big home. Not by chance, often when we sunbathe, get into the sea, or breathe the fresh air of the forest, we feel an indescribable pleasure, a sense of harmony and belonging to a commonplace that gives all of us a kindly welcome.

Fostering children’s contact with nature through learning activities that drive the development of perception, creativity, and the physical and cognitive health of the little ones has always been high on the agenda at be.Living. This concern figured even more prominently amid the pandemic. But how to nurture a relationship with nature when we are indoors, in social isolation?

If we take a moment to look around and feel, nature is always there, even indoors. It’s the sunlight streaming into the room through the window, the plant pot soothing the living space, the moonlight that gets the body and soul ready to sleep, and the food we eat.

Livia Ribeiro, environmental educator at Reconectta and advisor to be.Living for sustainability issues, states that this is an auspicious moment to nurture a more conscious relationship with the universe, from a new standpoint. “Let’s keep in mind that nature is not just plants and animals; it is the sky, the rain, the wind, the moonlight, the stars, the clouds, and the sun.” Spending more time at home can be a great opportunity to explore and perceive nature from different angles, in every small detail. It’s about realizing where and at what time of day the sun hits the house, the characteristics of the different plants, the sound of birds, the rainwater running through the windows, the water we drink. Cultivating this awareness of natural phenomena and what nature shares with all of us is a way to rediscover the world we inhabit.”

Livia and the teachers thought about practical and simple activities that could take place inside the children’s homes to foster that connection. She saw in food a great opportunity for them to look deeper into nature and proposed an activity called “Let’s Grow Seeds?.”

“Today, in our society, we do not know where our own food comes from, nor how it was produced. So, we thought about regaining somehow the autonomy we had in the past and that we lost over time, which was producing our own food. In addition to shedding light on food autonomy, growing seeds at home will help kids find enchantment with nature through the magic of the germination process, also encouraging the development of scientific thinking and virtues like care, patience, and responsibility.”

Livia explained that the sprouting of a seed is a great representation of the origin of life, of new cycles, one of the most beautiful and captivating processes of nature. “This activity aims to awaken in children and families the beauty of a new plant coming to life and make them realize that every home offers us great potential and autonomy to produce our own food, even if it is our seasoning, or at least to produce seedlings that can be replanted elsewhere.”

She recalled the importance of germination in showing that the processes of nature are not fully controllable by humans, that is, anything can happen with the seeds we are trying to germinate. “Seeds may not sprout, roots may rot… there are many factors involved. It is an invitation to an open experience, to restart the process that did not go as planned, to try changing places, spaces, possibilities.”

This process brings so many lessons – from thinking about what you eat to looking into which seeds you have at home, to prioritizing a diet rich in fresh, organic, and natural foods –, and is being conducted differently for each classroom.

“At the moment, one classroom is studying the bulbs, another one is studying photosynthesis, and another is studying what is needed for plants to grow. Despite the different approaches, everyone is going through this amazing experience, and it’s amazing not only for the children, but for the entire family.”

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