First Foraging with Kids

By freshlyplanted - 5:17 PM

Do you ever have "one of those days"? Those days when you exhaust the word "no," and bedtime seems so far away? Yesterday was one of those days for us. It started well with Art Club, but fell apart in the afternoon. My darling older kids are very active, which I love, but sometimes have trouble stopping- even for quiet time (which I don't love quite as much). So I was elated when Cory arrived home early. The older kids & I were in need of an adventure, and they were in need of having me to themselves. So I left Esther at home with him, and took Isia & Billy to do some creekin'.

First Foraging with Kids | Freshly Planted

Creekin' is a verb where we live, and I love it! There was a lot to do: wet leaves to pile up, sediment to stir up, rocks to jump over. There was also a chance for me to catch my breath, to just breath deeply and enjoy the kids. And when I did use the word "no," it was for the best of reasons: "No, you may not use that log as a balance beam over that ravine.

Only the important stuff, and that felt like a nice change, too. 

While hiking back to our car, we came across some white clover. We've been reading foraging books and planting edibles in our woods- an elderberry bush, peppermint, and chives, so far. When I saw the clover, I stopped and pointed it out to them. "Did you know we can make tea out of this?" I asked them. They excitedly asked if we could gather some, so we grabbed a bag out of the car and did just that.

Kids are natural gatherers and excellent foragers, with a little help. We talked about which blossoms to look for- ones that are full & open- and that it was better (and safer!) to gather in the woods than along busy roads. We didn't talk about foraging only where chemicals haven't been sprayed, but that will definitely come up in the future.
First Foraging With Kids | Freshly Planted

First Foraging with Kids | Freshly Planted

We let the blossoms sit out overnight, and made our tea today. First we rinsed our blossoms- about two generous handfuls- very well, then put them in a pot with water on the stove. You should ideally heat it to almost boiling to preserve the nutrients, but ours went a little bit longer (which is why it's so dark). It's still very yummy though, especially with honey. 

Flower teas have a long history, including American Indians & European folk medicine, of supporting health and healing. Teas are also a familiar way to use your foraging finds with kids. Teaching kids how to forage helps reinforce their identification skills (important for math & science), gives them self-confidence with a new skill, and teaches them that the value of nature exceeds its beauty.

You can also use clover leaves in salads, which we'll need to try on our next adventure!

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