Earlier this year, I was asked to come up with a name for a line of sunflower seeds, part of a Canadian program aimed at increasing environmental awareness, through gardening, for elementary school children.

I mean, obviously, right? When you think Canadian gardening, I’m the first person that comes to mind.

But the program seemed legit, and the organizer was friendly-persistant, so I said yes. They sent me a bag of seeds that sat on my desk for weeks on end, largely ignored.

Then one morning, in a flash, I knew exactly what to call them.

I wrote back:

After several months of careful study, I’m pleased to report that I’ve uncovered the true name and origin of the seeds to which you have entrusted me.

They are in fact Sun-Dragon Eyes.

While we are all familiar with conventional dragons, whose fiery breath has scorched the armor of many a knight, Sun-Dragons are a unique species nearly lost from legend. Wise and shy, Sun-Dragons kept to the distant mountains of the Very Far East, where it is said they developed the first multiplication tables.

They would likely remain there today, had they not been drawn into battle the equally-mysterious Wizards of Winter. Perhaps one day we’ll discover a thorough chronicle of this war. In the meantime, we can thank the Sun-Dragons’ brave sacrifice each year when Winter finally warms into Spring.

I believe these seeds contain some essential spirit of these ancient Sun-Dragons, for as they grow and bloom, their dark centers look out upon the world like eyes. I’m not alone in this conviction; I’m told the sultans of the great mountain kingdoms would plant fields of these flowers to serve as watchmen.

Plant these seeds in quality soil, and in fertile imagination. Water them, certainly. And as they bloom, try to look at things from their perspective. See the world as ancient dragons’ eyes, and you’ll find it wondrous.

The organizers loved the concept. And now the seeds exist in real life.

They sent my a box, and they look terrific:

sun dragon packet

While the program targets elementary schools, the seed packets are available to anyone who wants them. For now, it’s snail-mail. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope (really!) to:

Sun Dragon Eyes/Project Greenman
Winchester Public School
547 Louise Street South
P.O. Box 280
Winchester, ON, K0C 2K0

If you’re a classroom that needs a bunch of packets, I’d email the organizer (Jeff Arsenault) directly. (They seeds actually come from McKenzie Seeds, so my hope is that you’ll eventually be able to order them through the site.)

The renowned Stan Lee has also created a line of seeds, but I’ll leave that to him to announce.