Six Weeks of Asparagus EVERYthing
Rhubarb coffee cake
Frisbee-sized (and edible) Shaggy Parasol mushrooms
Summer 2016 Vol. 77 / No. 03
Summer is here we're taking a look at the importance (and FUN) of getting kids back outside. From unstructured play to literally getting dirty, the great outdoors is beneficial to children's cognitive, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Butterflies and mud puddles, imagination and science—that’s how you grow a gardener!
Outdoor Play | Begonias | Railway Gardens | Butterflies | Harvesting Water & Hydrozoning | Rex Zumwalt
You really will want to have a copy of this lovely 64-page journal, but in the meantime you can check my feature articles at these links:
Child's Play: Discovering the Wild Bits
The Importance of Spontaneous Outdoor Play in Nature
Then, don your play clothes and go for a wander in the woods or your garden. Have a nice Play!
Guest Post by Sam = Organic Lesson
If you are a gardener with a backyard then start taking action now. Help sustain the local population of bees in your area by sticking to a natural pest control method.
Fresh cut-comb honey from our beehives, a Pilleated Woodpecker on the Interlaken Trail, winter greens from our garden, Forget-Me-Nots, African Daisy, Asparagus harvest (click for full image).
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
Microbes, microbiomes, good bacteria/bad bacteria...I believe that our next deep science explorations will be into health of the soil that we depend on to grow our food and sustain life on the planet. Did you know that there is more life below the surface of the soil than above it? In a single tablespoon of soil, there are 50 billion microbes alone!
Along with a focus on soil health, it appears that as we humans need to make friends with the three pounds of bacteria, fungi, one-celled archaea, and viruses "that collectively they weigh the same as our brain". In other words, that would be the microbial make-up of a healthy human. (Are you ready to meet your wild life?)
What is a person/superorganism to do?
Feed your microbes well my friends, support non-toxic agriculture, green cleaning, do not use anti-bacterial soaps, read labels, drink your Kefir, and be sure to get your daily dose of dirt!
What is ten-feet tall, has 20 heads, is loaded with pollen, and attracts chickadees, sweat bees, wasps, bumble bees, and honeybees?
This summer we have been hosting a volunteer sunflower, which erupted like Jack's beanstalk in the middle of our quinoa patch. I have not been able to get a firm ID: produces pollen, heads are 4-8 inches across, and currently we have 20 blooms from one stalk!
Favorite name contenders: Ring-of-Fire, Solar Chocolate, Lemon Queen, Music Box, The Joker, Firecracker, Gold Rush, and Vincent...
Photos © T. Byrne 2015
I spent most of the 1980s and 90s in Alaska
flying airplanes, floating wild rivers, winter camping, raising a wild child, and living off the grid :^)
With my MAT in Advanced Inquiry for Biological Sciences, I've taught K-12 students from north of the Arctic Circle to the Puget Sound Ecoregion, garnering over thirty years experience as a classroom teacher, learning mentor, and private tutor.
Here in Seattle, I am an advocate for environmental stewardship, place-based education, and outdoor play. I share my enthusiasm for birds, bugs, and backyards as a writer/photographer for Pacific Horticulture.
All photographs © T. Byrne unless otherwise noted.