Week Five of the Fresh Five? Well, we just gotta keep that theme going, don’t we? So this week we’ll focus on our Five Senses! Not all people have all of these five senses, but everyone uses at least some of them to navigate the world. One of the best ways to make deep and lasting connections is to engage our senses, and food can be great way to have a mindful sensory experience.
I had a wonderful experience with some rhubarb I harvested from my back yard this week. It was one of those showery days where everything was damp, and the giant rhubarb leaves were wet and rough as I pushed them gently aside so I could find just the right stalks. The cool, firm stalks released from the base with a pop as I pulled them with a little twist. The stalks themselves were a beautiful, shiny blush pink at the base, like the apple blossoms on the tree in the yard, becoming ruby red at the stem end. One of them broke as I was harvesting, and the scent was bright, sharp, and fresh. And I just had to try a bite. It was mouth-wateringly sour, crisp and crunchy, and just tasted alive as only freshly-picked foods can. (I love feeding raw rhubarb to students. It’s a taste they either love, or love to hate!) And that was before I even got it into the kitchen!
Here are five ways to use your senses to experience the world this week.
See Art in Your Kitchen
Touch a Mystery Veggie
Smell a Memory
Hear Your Neighborhood
Taste Carrot Top Pesto
Don’t forget to stop and smell the lilacs!
They say that April showers bring May flowers, and we’ll see if that’s right this week! Friday is May Day, which has been celebrated with flowers since Roman times, when it was known as Floralia, a 6-day long celebration in honor of Flora, goddess of flowers. One May Day tradition from my childhood which may be due for a revival is making May Baskets, simple woven paper baskets filled with flowers, often dandelions or other blooming “weeds” we found in our yard. We would, as tradition required, sneak up to our neighbors’ doors, place the basket, knock, and run away with much excitement.I can’t help but think this would be a fantastic way to stay physically distant but socially close. Who doesn’t love getting flowers!
In honor of May Day, this week’s Fresh Five is all about Flower Power.
Forage for Edible Flowers
Find Flower Friends
Dissect a Flower
Earth Day turns 50 this year! Back in 1970, an American politician named Gaylord Nelson wanted to harness the energy of youth activism to bring attention to environmental issues. That year, 20 million Americans (10% of the total population) took part in marches, rallies, and learning sessions, and their collective voices and the connections made from that first Earth Day led to important environmental legislation in the US, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts within three years.
Today, Earth Day is a global event that has gone digital! You can learn more and find lots more ideas of how to get involved at earthday.org. And, of course, we have a Fresh Five things you can do to celebrate this beautiful planet we call home.
Dress Your Veggies
Learn About Food & Climate
Discover Backyard Nature
Make Veggie Art
Sing Along with Eco Jams
May you love the Earth and all the life she sustains,
This week we got to see the the first full moon of Spring, and it was gorgeous! I hope you got to see it rising as the sun was setting. Many First Nations have traditional names for each of the 13 full moons of the year. The W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) name for this month’s full moon is Pexsisen, the Moon of the Opening Hands or the Blossoming Out Moon, which reflects both the blossoming of flowers and budding of trees, and the open hand gesture of gratitude.
(Learn more about all the W̱SÁNEĆ moons.)
The full moon also heralds a number of religious holidays and cultural spring festivals, including Passover, which starts April 8th, and Easter on April 12. Only a couple of weeks ago, people were celebrating the Spring Equinox, Nowruz, and Ostara, with Holi shortly before that. This year, Ramadan will start on April 23. And we’re right in Cherry Blossom season, as the trees at David Thompson are showing!
While there may be lots of different ways people celebrate this time of year, most of them involve gathering with family and community, and sharing food. This week’s Fresh Five are all about ways we can connect to our communities, make things to share, and have fun! Our gatherings may need to be more digital this year, but I hope everyone finds a way to celebrate the warmth, beauty, and blooming welcome of spring.
Explore Your Spring Traditions
Make Dandelion Fritters
Write a Cherry Blossom Haiku
Dye Eggs with Plants
Plant a Kitchen Window Garden
Happy Spring, everyone!
Welcome to the first edition of the Fresh Five!
Hey there, friends. This is Kat, your friendly local Experiential Learning Manager.
Wow, this is a different learning environment than we were expecting to be in this spring. I’m frankly devastated not to have you on the farms for the time being. But it’s been so deeply beautiful to see how educators all over the world are stepping up to meet this challenge. There are so many activities, digital resources, free concerts, Zoom webinars, and educational websites out there, and more coming everyday!
While all those resources are so great, I know it can be hard to sort through everything that’s coming across your email and social media feeds to find the things your kids will love (especially while you’re trying to parent your kids at home, or teach your kids who are now in 25 different homes). But never fear! The Fresh Five is here to help!
Each week, we will be sharing five of our favorite ideas for at home learning around the things Fresh Roots is known for: food and food systems, ecological stewardship, and community celebration. Some of the activities, like this week’s Super Seeds lesson are pulled from our collection of farm and classroom programming, and have been adapted for home learning. Others are recommendations from our partners and friends in the world of farming, food, and environmental education. If you have an activity you’d love to see featured, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
We’ll be posting them here on our blog (you can bookmark freshroots.ca/freshfive to always find the latest Five), and sharing them on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds. We’ll also be posting regular photos and videos from the farm on social media, so follow us to keep up on all the breaking veggie news!
OK, that’s enough intro. Here’s this week’s Fresh Five!
Signs of Spring-O Neighborhood Bingo
Food and Farmworkers
Recycled Garden Gnome