Harvesting herbs with the Rose Blossom Children
Harvesting herbs from your organic garden is always a joy. We have a mixture of herbs to harvest giving us the delights of fresh herbs for cooking and teas every day of the year.
We run the Rose Blossom Children childcare service at our home property and the children, aged from 2-5 years, are often involved in the food gardens and especially harvesting herbs.
Its not quite the season of autumn now after a long hot summer, but we are definitely feeling change in the air this week. At our Rose Blossom Children childcare in Camp Mountain we spent a morning this week harvesting herbs and chopping up dried herbs.
Each morning at the same time, 9 o’clock, we gather together with the children and follow the same rhythm; feed the chickens, observe the bee hive, walk through the forest and then back home for morning tea.
We pick up the autumn leaves from the floor of our little forest and pop them into our basket, ready for threading after morning tea. On our harvesting herbs table we currently have chillies, dried snake beans, bunches of lemongrass and drying basil flowers.
Today, little Daisy immersed herself in the process of stripping the dried flowers from the stalks of basil. Only 2 years of age, she was able to perform this task and she was so eager to help. I did not have to ‘teach’ her, she was able to watch me and imitate. The smell of the basil was heavenly, very strong and once we had stripped all the basil from the stalks we both enjoyed spreading the dried material over the tray to continue with the drying process.
While we were doing this, our other little helper, another 2 year old was cutting the dried snake bean pods to pieces and gathering the seeds to put into the cup. He needed to use both hands on the scissors, quietly working his way through his job and clearly showing great interest in what he was doing.
Most little children enjoy using scissors, so finding them meaningful work such as cutting the lemongrass into small pieces is a great way of giving them focused time. We have 5 large lemongrass plants and our intention is to make lemongrass tea by air drying the cut up grass. You may notice in the photograph that we have lemongrass on the tray but also in a nylon bag. The bag can be hung up to allow the lemongrass to dry out completely. Threading the chillies onto a cotton thread is an adult job as little children may tend to rub their eyes after touching them.
With the first term of Rose Blossom Children childcare underway for 2017, we still have some spaces for 2-5 year olds. For more information, contact me via our web site contact form.
Peter and I see the food garden as an integral part of our life and its Peter’s task to ensure we get an abundant supply of healthy organic and biodynamically grown food which our family and the children of Rose Blossom eat each day. Harvesting herbs is the easiest part of the job!
Authored by Vicki Kearney – www.myfoodgarden.com.au