UF Hack: An Advent Calendar Of Seeds

Inspire green thoughts in the darker months by counting down the days until Christmas using heirloom seeds.

by Lynsey Grosfield
PHOTO: Lynsey Grosfield

Recently, I wrote about plantable Christmas trees, and this week, I’d like to continue of the theme of making the holiday season a little greener.

After acquiring and planting seeds for the trees in my edible forest garden last year, I found myself with a surplus of viable potential trees. Having other gardeners in my life, I opted to share the bounty by making a simple Advent calendar in a card, where each day counting down until Christmas yielded a new kind of seed to plant. My efforts were rudimentary, merely involving tape and a nice cardstock, but I’m sure with a little more artistry or finesse, it could be a truly beautiful DIY project.

Tree seeds are, of course, not the only kind of seed or gardening accoutrement that could be used in such a calendar—they’re merely my preferred type of plant. A calendar with a different vegetable or herb every day could have any gardener dreaming and planning green plots in the middle of a dark and cold winter.

If you live in a zone with a noticeably cooler season, where plants go dormant, odds are your local trees have evolved to have seeds that will only germinate after a period of cold stratification. This means the perfect time to put them in ground or in pots outdoors is in the autumn or winter, so they will germinate by spring. It’s the very fact that tree seeds can be planted when there is snow on the ground that makes this kind of project cozy to share with friends and family.

In any case, it may be worth it to eschew the cheap chocolate Advent calendars this year, and craft a version that promises new life after the season ends!

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