If my life were an emoji, it might look like a bicycle with a front basket of garden produce, a chicken on the handlebars, and a long rack-seat in back with my kids, riding through Nature. So, in addition to garden activities at Salt Spring Elementary, I organize GoByBikeBC Week.
The SSE-GISS Eco Club started over the weekend with a Walk&Wheel Fest in Rotary Marine Park with the SIMS Tsunami Circus, complete with bicycle blenders and a scoot-bike course.
Back at school on Monday, we continued the All Kids Bike program for the K-1 students with Michi and Nomi Main. On Tuesday, local mechanic Simon Rompre fixed kids' bikes for free. And, throughout the week, I handed out little prizes and bike bling along with $10 helmets for children.
Monday was also the final Bullock Lake field trip of the year for the K-1 classes. Sophia Gregory and Molly Wilson organized wonderful activities, from painting to planting corn, to playing with pygmy goats and making and enjoying strawberry-rhubarb crisp.
I organized a native plant tea, story and song station in a corner of the fenced farm overlooking Bullock Lake, with a view of the hills behind, and near a wild Nootka Rose hedge and a large Douglas fir tree. First, we practiced identification of about two dozen native edible and medicinal plants using the fabulous Strong Nations flash cards.
Then, into our individual mason jars, we each gathered three bright green fir tips and five rosebuds with petals. As our tea steeped, it slowly changed colours, the fir tips fading to white and the rose petals, too. I shared an an Ojibway story about wild roses and respecting, observing and learning about wild plants, food webs, and ecosystems. Then, we sipped our tea and sung a gratitude song to the roses.
Tuesday & Wednesday, German wwoofer Monika fixed up the Hillside Garden terraces at SSE with new haybales from the Byrons. The kids bucket-brigaded manure down into them and planted squash & popcorn for the Halloween Harvest Lunch next fall.
After planting, students wandered the garden exploring insects, edible plants, and even created a little farmstore:
Thursday was our final Bullock Lake Field Trip for the two grades 1-2 classes. Here are a couple pics of them enjoying the animals and making strawberry-rhubarb crisp with Zack and Molly:
For my activity, we again learned about native plants and made our own wild rose and fir tip tea, this time in the dappled sun. With these older children, we managed to sing the rose song as a round, complete with conductors waving wild carrot wands!
To finish the week, parents Gemma and Adriana's-mom, brought 100 beautiful cookies from their Salt Spring Cookie Company, along with a few others, and raised another $200 for local foods for the Father's Day Mealkit.
What a fabulous birthday week, all in all. Friday, we celebrated by making art with friends, then with a bikeride to Thetis Island. I realized I'd lost a year to Covid and was actually older than I'd thought!