The past week was full of planting out more crops for fall/winter harvest, weeding, and prepping for our plant sale. I also had the awesome opportunity to lead a tour for a local moms club and their kids. There were about ten kids, ranging in age from infants to five years, and their mothers. Getting children interested in how food grows is exponentially important, and not many children know where there food comes from or what it looks like before it is shelved in the grocery store. In the tour, I showed them different smells, tastes, and the basics of what food looks like when it's in the ground.
Lemongrass was a great plant to show the kids! A couple of helpers came up and rubbed the lemongrass in their hands to activate its smell. Then they passed it around and all smelled the lemon scent coming from something that was not a lemon. The moms loved it too!
Personally, lemongrass is one of my favorite plants on the farm. It can grow year-round and is resilient and hardy. Aside from giving a unique and fresh flavor to stir fry cooking and baked goods, when we cut it back in winter, we use the clippings between our rows of crops as nutritive mulch for the walkways. Even when dried and dead, it gives off a pleasant smell that makes weeding all the more enjoyable.
Next, we headed to our "P" garden, which consists of several fruit trees that all start with the letter "P". It was a fun activity to have the kids guess the fruits the trees grow, including peach, pear, plum, persimmon, and pomegranate. I cut open a pomegranate for them to guess what it was, and one girl yelled 'popcorn!'. She wasn't far off, as the seeds look like red popcorn kernels, and any guess is better than none, especially one that humorous.
As an activity, the kids planted green beans. They were super enthusiastic about getting their hands dirty and planting as many as possible. I hope the activity showed them how simple, easy, and fun it is to plant seeds, and how you can grow food from something the size of your nail. Pictured below are the kids planting the seeds with *totally proper spacing and depth*, super dirty, toddler-style.
Aside from the tour, another exciting thing that happened was planting the front bed with chamomile and holy basil. Once these plants get big enough, I will be dehydrating them to incorporate in the tea I am making for the farm. Chamomile is known to be a relaxer, anti-inflammatory, help with sleep, and holy basil is known to benefit the respiratory system. I'm excited to see how these ingredients dry down, and how their flavors work with the hibiscus to create a healthy and flavorful tea.
About the Author:
Howdy! My name is Kelly, I am a Junior Renewable Natural Resources major and Horticulture minor. My passions include food, sustainability, education, and working hands-on in agriculture. I believe the more educated and engaged we are with our food systems, the better decisions we will make for our bodies, communities, and the environment.