Grantee Blog

The Magic of a Seed

I discovered that in the middle of a harsh snowy winter, there are a whole lot of people poring through seed catalogues and impatiently waiting for the first hints of spring to arrive. One such entrepreneur, Chelsa Hernandez, founded Coeur et Sol Urban Farms on a quarter acre site in East Orange in 2017. Although she doesn’t just stop at pining over glossy photos of flowers and vegetables on the pages of a seed catalogue – she starts masses of seeds indoors to get an early start for when it is time for planting outdoors.

Chelsa led the Montclair Community Farm workshop, “Flowers: Start a Cutting Garden” in April. She guided the group on successful planting times for our Zone (7), how to add compost and fertilizer for plant nutrition, and which flowers are easy to start indoors, in succession, to ensure continued blooms throughout the season. Our group was happy to get our hands dirty, literally, by planting ranunculus tubers, and zinnia and statice seeds in small pots to take home and nurture.

There is something magical about the power and energy stored inside a small seed or rhizome. This tiny, dried, seemingly lifeless plant by product, when given the proper water, light and nutrition, has the capacity to become a beautiful flower or life sustaining vegetable. A handful of seeds can transform a barren plot of land into a lush green oasis. Farmers and gardeners know this magic by heart, but many people take our food for granted, without a thought to where it comes from.

Visit Chelsa’s website: to learn more about Urban Gardening and how she followed her dreams to farm sustainably and produce organic food for her community.

About the Grantee

Township of Montclair

Montclair Community Farm’s mission is to serve as a local hands-on resource that engages and educates the community through urban farming, affordable food access and healthy living. At the heart of Montclair Community Farms is its Coalition, partners, and community volunteers. The Montclair Health Department is a founding member of the Montclair Community Farms Coalition.