last week mark and i visited the 2nd graders at the K-8 in hotchkiss. we brought just a small sample of the tomatoes that they planted last spring as 1st graders. over the course of a year the students were able to take part in the cycle of the season and planting. in the fall of 2008, the students visited thistle whistle farm and collected tomato seed (a very fun & messy process). they squished dozens of tomatoes over a gallon jar to collect all the seeds and juices they could. they took the jar back with them to their classroom and let it stand (and rot!) for about 10 days. mark & i came back to visit the class to show them how to strain, clean and dry the seed. in april of 2009 we came back to the classroom with soil, pots and couple of watering cans. the students arrived with their seed that they saved all winter long. they planted and seed and raised them for about 6 weeks in their school greenhouse. in may 2009, the class came to the farm with their seedlings ready to plant in the farm’s food bank plot. mark and several volunteers from our community tended the plants for the growing season. finally, last week we shared the harvest with the students back at school in their 2nd grade classroom. they were enthusiastic about seeing, touching and tasting the amazing variety of heirloom tomatoes that they took part in raising, full circle, last thursday.