Seeds of Spring: Good Times in the Dar Taliba School Garden

By Pommelien Da Silva Cosme, GDF Morocco Programme Director

Our favourite season at the Dar Taliba school garden has arrived: it’s finally Spring! “I love how everything comes to life during this time,” says Dar Taliba gardener Al Housseine. “The garden is full of colours and the trees full of fruits,” he adds.

Since we reported last, we organised a series of workshops on seeds – the source of all life in the school garden. Our partner MBLA held an introduction session in early April, during which we talked about traditional seeds and the important role they play in maintaining healthy agricultural practices. We also demonstrated practical examples of how seeds are collected and stored after which we played some fun games.

During the game “Guess the seeds” each student was given a number of seeds in their hands after which they had to guess which plant or vegetable the seed was from. This game really taught the girls how diverse seeds are in size, colour and shape. 

At the end of the day, we held a small outdoor cooking workshop. To start, the girls went out in the garden to harvest fresh lettuce, coriander, peppers, lemons and other organic ingredients. We then enjoyed seeing all the students using their own recipes to prepare a fresh and yummy salad.

Now that the students had learned all about seed diversity and their importance, it was time to learn some practical skills. Building on the first session, we organised a practical workshop on seed collection at the end of April. “Seeds are the source of life and all our food,” MBLA workshop facilitator Meryem says. “Without seeds there is no biodiversity. It’s important that the Dar Taliba students learn about the important value of seeds and how they can conserve them.”

Having dried lots of plants and vegetables during the past months, we had bags of different seeds that had to be collected, cleaned and stored. Not an easy task, especially if you look at the size of onion seeds (see below). But the Dar Taliba girls did an amazing job and now have a collection of over 20 different seed species stored in their seed bank!

We want to thank all our GlobalGiving donors for their generous donations which truly make a difference for the 154 girls at Dar Taliba. Their school garden is not just any green space; it encourages them to explore their natural environment, to learn about cultural traditions of their communities and to connect with each other.  

We look forward to the upcoming activities during the next few weeks which include a knowledge exchange with a successful female cooperative from the central High Atlas, visits from surrounding schools and hopefully a second trip to Marrakech. Stay tuned!

This article was first published as an update for our Benefit 700 Moroccan girls through school gardens project on GlobalGiving.