If you have children of a certain age, over the next couple of days you'll be inundated with kitschy little valentines bearing various Pixar and Disney characters — and you'll be under pressure to reciprocate. We're in the same boat (x2), but I'm drawing my line in the sand. Instead of perpetuating the waste of perfectly good paper (i.e. trees), we're giving valentines of homemade seed packets.
You could buy your own at the nursery, but we're fortunate enough to have Common Ground in our neighborhood, who sells seeds in bulk (which reduces manufacturing, packaging and transport costs). In each little wax-paper pouch there's 1/2 teaspoon of the following:
- Cornflower (20%)
Scarlet Flax (20%)
California Poppy (20%)
and a mix of California wildflowers, which are redundant with some of the above but also include other surprises.
We sealed the bag with a little foam sticker (OK, so we're not totally green here) and each packet goes into the schoolmates' mailboxes with a note that says "Plant Me!"
(If you're the lucky recipient of one of these and clueless about how to plant them, I would have my kids help me cover the seeds with about 1/4" -1/2" of potting soil in a terracotta pot on my windowsill and keep the pot moist, not drenched; the first seedlings should sprout within a few weeks.)
The total cost was about $2/packet, which beats most pre-packaged seeds and has a lot more character to boot. I figure, hey, the worst that can happen is the seed packet goes in the trash; and to my mind, better some seeds than a cartoon-branded tree.