By Larraine Roulston :
February hosts the seasonal event when children’s Valentine books and boxes of cut-out cards line the store shelves. Most of these cards will include puns or clichés like these: tigers roaring, “You’re Grrrreat”; cuddly kittens meowing, “You’re Just Purrfect for Me”; and squirrelschattering, “I’m Nuts Over You.”
For children and adults who love to utilize paper, scissors, glue, crayons, lace or red wool, it’s also an opportunity to include the endearing earthworm to the long list of characters, if they have not already done so. Known as Angels of the Earth, worms have 5 pairs of hearts, so you have to love them. With our renewed appreciation of worms that nourish the soil, “Let Me Worm My Way into Your Heart” and “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue; I Have 5 Hearts Beating for You!” both work extremely well.
Worms are industrious little critters. In the words of Charles Darwin, “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” What better time of year to show your
appreciation for their wonderful work than by designing Valentine’s cards with messages to promote their love and the success of finished compost?
Love is in the air and in the ground, according to the Unitarian Service Committee, commonly known as USC Canada. The seed group is promoting the idea of making Valentine’s Day cards that feature veggies. “My Punny Valentine’’ USC message lets someone know that
“You’ve Bean On My Mind,’’ and shows your love with the gift that keeps giving — seeds! Not only has USC provided some clever puns with hearts around beets, peas, lettuce and corn but also their link offers a method to create several do-it-yourself seed packets. Once you’ve
printed the cards, cut them out and filled in the blanks on the back of the envelopes, you can add seeds to the packets. You may use seeds that you have saved yourself, traded for with friends, or purchased from a farmer or from stores. Whatever the case, they make a great gift of love.
USC Canada notes that the Valentine’s season coincides with the start of a busy “seed season’’ across Canada. Even though snow covers much of the country at this time, seed farmers are preparing to sell their seeds. Often, they sell them at Seedy Saturday events, where farmers, gardeners, community organizations and vendors gather to swap or sell seeds and to give workshops on their use.
This group’s work not only promotes vibrant family farms across Canada but also works to build healthy rural communities and ecosystems around the world. By helping to strengthen the quality and quantity of local seeds, USC promotes its mission to preserve the agricultural biodiversity necessary to feed a growing and increasingly changing planet.
If choosing store-bought cards, first check that they have recycled content or carry the FSC logo that represents sustainable forests. If you are able to pick up a few packets of seeds to share with your card-giving — whether they be vegetable, fruit or even flower seeds to
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Larraine authors children’s books on composting and pollinating at www.castlecompost.com