Friday, March 15, 2013

Seeds to Grow: Spring Fundraiser

It all starts with a seed...

Mindful Mothers is happy to promote home gardening with our kids by offering these unique heirloom seeds from The Seed Savers Exchange. Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to “preserving our diverse but endangered garden heritage for future generations.” In other words, they collect, sell and propagate seed varieties that could be lost because they are not the (very limited) ones that are grown commercially on a large scale and thus found in supermarkets.

For every $10 collection of seeds purchased, $4.00 is donated to Mindful Mothers! The other $6.00 goes to the ongoing preservation work at Heritage Farm.

"The SEEDS TO GROW fundraising program benefits [Mindful Mothers] and the gardening public by promoting heirloom gardening and healthy eating.

"The market for heirloom seed has expanded as millions of gardeners break ground every year. The topic of food - how its grown and prepared, who grows it, and its connections to wellness - is foremost in many peoples minds.

"Selling heirloom seeds can cultivate curiosity in gardening, history, nutrition, biodiversity, organics, and the culinary arts. The education possibilities are endless."

Online Garden Planning Tool


A few reasons why we love SSE:
- All of their seeds are heirloom, non-GMO, open pollinated, and many are certified organic.
- At the heart of Seed Savers Exchange are dedicated members who have distributed hundreds of thousands of heirloom and open pollinated garden seeds. 
- Seed Savers Exchange collection started when the founders terminally-ill grandfather gave them the seeds of two garden plants, Grandpa Ott's morning glory and German Pink tomato. Grandpa Ott's parents brought the seeds from Bavaria when they immigrated 1870s.

- In addition to preserving seeds, they preserve stories thereby preserving our cultural and historic roots as well. Here are a few great examples from their catalog:
  • “Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon: Has enchanted melon fanciers for centuries; gives off an unforgettable perfume. Victorian women carried these tiny melons in their pockets in the days before aerosol deodorants."
  • “Cheyenne Bush Pumpkins: Very early pumpkin adapted to the Great Plains. Developed from a cross of Cocozelle and New England Pie by the USDA Field Station in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1943.”
  • “Spinning Gourd: Sent to SSE by member Junior Gardener from Hickman County in Tennessee. Years ago children would carry these gourds in their pockets to play with at school where they would spin them on their desks. Hard shelled when dried, great ornamental.”
  • "Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Bean: Given to SSE in 1977 by the late Dr. John Wyche, SSE member from Hugo, Oklahoma. Dr. Wyche’s Cherokee ancestors carried this bean over the Trail of Tears, the infamous winter death march from the Smoky Mountains to Oklahoma (1838-1839), leaving a trail of 4,000 graves. Green 6 inch pods with purple overlay, shiny jet-black seeds."
To see the six seed collections available, or to place an order, go to our Support Page by clicking here!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Special Event March 2013: Bowl-a-Thon

Five Mindful Munchkins and their Mothers raised $2135 for Transitions Mental Health Association and participated in the 33rd Annual Bowl-athon on March 8. This is the second year that this group of kids and moms bowled and raised money for mental health. The kids were issued mini bowling shoes and matching shirts with their names on back, and they pretty much stole the show at Pismo Bowl! They had a great time “bumper” bowling, watching the pins fall, racing to the magic ball return, and cheering each other on.

Transitions-Mental Health Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services.  TMHA operates 27 programs, and the Bowl-athon primarily funds the “SLO Hotline” program, the County’s only 24/7 crisis line.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Playdate with a Purpose March 2013: Woods Humane Society

We had a really fun time at El Chorro Regional Park on Monday, March 4!  The weather was lovely, the playground was perfect, and many families toured the Botanical Garden as well.  One child told me why we had gathered together:  “We gotta go to the shelter to give the doggies everything they need to sleep on.”  Priceless!

The kids tired themselves out by the time the Woods group came to visit, so they were happy to sit quietly and listen to the talk.  Steve and Kiersten from Woods brought a gentle shelter dog, Talua to meet us.  Steve gave a wonderful presentation to the kids on how to greet a strange dog:  Don’t offer the palm, as this gives the smell of things you’ve touched and food you’ve eaten.  Don’t hold your fingers out, as they might smell like something tasty.   Make a fist and offer the back of your hand so the dog can learn your true smell.  Unlike humans, a dog's sense of smell comes before sight and hearing when they meet something unfamiliar.  The kids took turns approaching Talua slowly, one at a time, offerring their fists.  One boy approached trying to pull his hand out of his pocket.  He struggled then plucked out five dollar bills to donate to the shelter.  His Save Spend Share bank is being put to good use.  What an awesome teaching moment for us!

Thank you to all who came and for all the great animal donations.  There are some dogs and cats sleeping more cozily this month, thanks to us.  And sweet doggie Talua was adopted two days after the playdate!!  

Woods is open for tours and always accepting donations.  They host dog training classes and  train volunteers to work with the dogs and cats.  They are currently working on a plan to offer kids' birthday parties at the shelter.  Visit the Woods Humane Society website for more information about all they do.