This spring, parents who register their child for kindergarten at one of the schools in the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) will receive a small packet of beans to plant at home. The beans were grown for KASSI by Kathy Rothermel, of Windkeeper Community Farm and Vegetables Unplugged on Wolfe Island. They are called “Cherokee Trail of Tears”, because they were carried by Cherokee First Nations people on their terrible forced march westward during the winter of 1838-39. They are described in the Seed Savers Exchange yearbook as “85 days to maturity-a pole bean with lavender flowers and slender green to purple pods , black shiny seeds, sweet snap beans for fresh eating, but also good dried for soup. Hold a piece of history in your hands.”
The idea comes from a children’s book which will also be in their packages, and is described by Ann Boniferro of ALCDSB:
“The book, I Love, is written by Karissa Jekel and published by Novalis as part of a series called Seeds of Faith.
The story does not focus only on planting, but the planting activity is called Watch Them Grow! and includes the following:
“Every day, take a few minutes to talk to the seeds or sing them a happy song. Share your love with them and watch them grow.
Loving someone is a bit like planting a seed and watching it grow. Love takes patience, time and care, and we must keep loving even when we’re not sure it’s making a difference.”