It was very interesting to guide the children through the knowledge and appreciation of leaves and the role they play: the creation of oxygen, humidification, and the release of a substance that tells the flowers when to start blooming—I didn’t know that either! They learned different shapes and parts, including the “margins,” and asked great questions:
- “Why do they have a tip?”
- “How do they get water?”
- “What happens when they fall to the ground?” (Compost!)
Each child was given a plant to take care of—each with differing leaf formations and, of course, flowers. They were chosen for their leaf types as well as their medicinal qualities. We strolled through the local market and identified all the leaves we eat: everything from the tiniest thyme leaf to Brussels sprouts and cabbage. The medicinal component is the transition to the botany topic for the month of June: flowers. Many flowers can be eaten and/or used as medicine—take a look at Flower Essences! I have found two lovely books we will be using as resources: Edible Flower Garden by Rosalind Creasy and Edible Flowers: 25 recipes and an A-Z pictorial dictionary of culinary flora by Kathy Brown. Happy summer everyone !