Friday, October 25, 2013

Take Me Outside Day at Moberly Cultural Herb Garden

As the fall weather turns colder the impulse to hibernate starts to manifest in our animal brains and it takes an extra effort to get motivated to go outside. Yesterday was Take Me Outside Day, and so we celebrated by taking a group of grade five students out of the classroom into the garden. We cleaned up the garden and put her to bed.

Students collected seeds from red flax, echinacea and coreopsis. They were excited to find an earwig and a tiny translucent white spider in the seed bowl. The girls were shocked when they opened scarlet runner pods and found bright purple beans inside that matched their nail polish.

 Some guys just dug holes in the sand pit and filled them up again, but sometime's that's the kind of thing being outside is all about.

Herbalist Lori Snyder taught the students about three plants in and around the garden and gave the students a taste of her infused rose petal honey. Students learned how to identify Plantago major and use it to treat bee stings.

The Latin name for these flowers is Echinacea purpurea and they are in the Asteraceae family. The Greek word "echino" means sea urchin. In fact Echinacea is the same Latin name used for the sea animal. You can see the resemblance to sea urchins in these coneflower heads. Tapping the dried heads over a bowl releases the seeds. As it hasn't rained much at all this month, the seeds will quickly dry out in the classroom.

Artist/gardener Loree Boehm led the students on a visioning exercise for a new garden we are planning. The students had some great ideas. "I think we should learn more about plants," I overheard one student muse aloud. Amen dude. Let's get outside more often.

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