First-the Seed Foundation Seeks Donations to Expand Tomatosphere

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After tomato seeds are sent to space, they are distributed to classrooms throughout the United States for student learning.

After tomato seeds are sent to space, they are distributed to classrooms throughout the United States for student learning.

First-the Seed Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established in 2008 by the American Seed Trade Association to inform today’s consumers and tomorrow’s workforce about the importance of the seed industry, is looking for donors to help support the expansion of Tomatosphere.

A program that originated in Canada, Tomatosphere is now available to children in schools throughout the United States. Basically, tomato seeds are sent into space and brought back home. Then these seeds, along with seeds that haven’t been sent to space, are sent to classrooms for students to grow out, and then submit their results through an online portal.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the love of growing flowers and vegetables from seed into the classroom,” says Wayne Gale, president of Stokes Seeds. “In many neighborhoods, growing plants from seed has become a lost art. Even knowing where their food actually comes from has become irrelevant since larger grocery stores have become more popular than farmers markets.”

In bringing this program to the United States, Stokes Seeds has been doing much of the leg work, according to a letter from the First-the Seed Foundation. The foundation is asking for donations to further expand and promote the program. More information will be provided at ASTA’s Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference next week. Additionally, interested individuals can make a donation online at www.firsttheseedfoundation.org/.

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