The one about sunflower seeds, and the slugs & squirrels that ate them.

This is a story in many parts, but it begins with a post my friend Harry did for a school project. I’m going to let you watch the video I uploaded to hear that story, but suffice it to say, THIS is the blog post where you need to leave a comment to receive some seeds. (see below)  The next part is a project from another buddy Alan, who is collecting stories about open sharing on the internet. It is open to ANYONE, so if you have a cool tale to tell you should check it out! My contribution to the project is as follows.

Sunflowers seeds and sharing. from jason toal on Vimeo.


I will leave you with a few pics from the sunflowers in question as they grew last season. Slug defenses will be going up early this year!  Hope you are lucky enough to get some seeds, and if you are I encourage you to share the fruits, or err… SEEDS of your labour with anyone and in anyway that pleases you.

17 Replies to “The one about sunflower seeds, and the slugs & squirrels that ate them.”

  1. So awesome, I so remember Harry’s mobile composter design, but I guess I was not early enough to comment. I like the idea of paying forward his seed sharing idea — and FWIW, sunflowers grow awesomely in Arizona! I am excited to be gardening this spring and summer. Mine usually grow from the seeds I put in my bird feeders, but I’ve not harvested the heads before.

    Thanks too for bring such a meaningful and metaphorical story. Keep an eye on the slugs ‘n squirrels.

  2. I know a couple little avid gardeners that would love some of these seeds for their Yukon garden. They would be started off indoors as there is still 4 ft of snow in our yard, but that will go quickly and then we can get them into the back yard. We have to worry about squirrels too but typically, it’s the bears that do the most damage 🙂

  3. I was lucky enough to watch this with Harry and Keira. The look on my boys face was great. Later he told me that “blogs are the best thing about the web.”

  4. This project is amazing! I love this story, so wonderful; everything from the brilliant bicycle compost to the sharing of seeds, paying it forward. I have a new house with a yard, you’ve inspired me to try growing something this year. What a wonderful place the Internet is.

  5. There is something special sunflowers. They’re even happy here in England where there is… well… not a lot of sun. Symbol of endurance?
    I like the way you turned your story in a way that really engaged the viewer. Very clever!

  6. Wait??? Did I just hear you say that we’re just heading into the rainy season?

    Mobile composter – a truly awesome and clever idea.

    I’d love to give it a go and carry on with Harry’s seeds here on the island. I’ve got a great sunny spot on the southside of the house reserved just for those bad boys.

  7. More on this story:
    The seeds were a gift from the Harmony Garden, grown by the Ustlahn Social Society. Harry came to work with me that day for a big food security discussion and celebration. He sketched and chatted to me while the talks were going on. For the breakout we hung with the Harmony Garden folks and learned more about indigenous food security… gardens and wild systems…
    Cease Wyss and her mom Barb describe the garden in this video
    J, you remember Cease? She welcomed us to the traditional lands of the Squamish people at the start of Toby Hemenway’s permaculture workshop.

  8. Thanks for the feedback all! I’m looking forward to packing up your sunflower seeds and sending them off to you! If I dont currently have your address I will contact you via email. Theres another layer to this exciting project yet to reveal!

  9. What an innovative young man! …not you J;) I live in a lovely pink building, the perfect backdrop for a sunflower.

    1. Alan reposted this video today, Feb. 20, 2014, and I will get sunflower seeds from him to plant in my Willamette Valley garden. Our large and old garden was destroyed by storms this year, so we have to take out trees and outbuildings and redesign everything except the raised beds. I am documenting this Year of the Garden (Rebuild) with a series of digital stories.

      If it’s okay with you, I will splice some of this video into mine to keep telling the story forward.

      1. Thats sounds fantastic Sandy, Thank you! Sad news about the storms, but a rebuild probably gives some great opportunities for a redesign as well. Always fun. 🙂

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