Friday, May 20, 2011

Drying Herbs at Moberly

Yesterday I worked with students from Moberly Elementary introducing them to the Moberly Community Herb Garden and creating herb drying triangles. First, I scoped out the garden to see what was vigorous enough to harvest. I chose the nepeta, mint, and the wooly lamb's ear.

Both classes fixated on the stachys. The first class almost exclusively chose this plant, so I didn't offer it as an option to the second class to protect the plant from being over-harvested. I think it's fascinating that texture won over taste and scent.

I also brought fresh and dried herbs from my own garden, including fennel fronds and lemon balm harvested that morning.

The garden is filling in nicely. I love exploring gardens in the morning light. Most students knew about the garden, but didn't know they were allowed to touch it. I told them they could come and visit the stachys any time.

Here are the herbs from my garden and some from the MOP: anise hyssop, dragon's head, coneflower, fennel seeds, oregano, sage, chocolate mint, lemon balm, thyme, and lavender.

The students wired together a triangle made from twigs and used hemp to create the hanging part and to tie on the tags with the herbs and their names. I also gave my spiel on why we need to grow more herbs for bees. The teachers and students gave us really positive feedback and I was very pleased at how well the kids did with the project. I love the size, scale and raison d'ĂȘtre of the Moberly Community Arts Centre. If only we had more of these in Vancouver!

I'd like to give a shout-out to Kathy at The Branch Pop Up Shop on Main Street for inspiring the final form of the triangles we made. She created a beautiful chandelier that gave me the final eureka moment. There's a photo of her creation here. It's a really cute shop, and I love the way they've decorated the space.

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