In preparation for a week of gratitude the 6th graders learned about a few cultural traditions surrounding the practice of smudging. Before leaving for Thanksgiving break they gathered and bound their own smudge sticks from plants in our herb garden.
While the earth sleeps we turn our work from planting, tending and harvesting to maintaining the other elements of our beautiful garden. The 6th graders have been working on new pathways, composting and putting the last touches on putting our beds to rest for the winter. In 7th grade we are working on care of our tools. Last week we began sanding, oiling and cleaning our wooden hand tools.
Look for the 5th grade gardening class's healing salves at Winter Faire! The containers may be small in size but a whole lot of love and care went into their creation.
Back in September the 5th graders began gathering herbs and healing plants from our garden. They learned which parts of these plants were to be used for salves and the properties of each. After being dried and processed, calendula, lavender and chamomile flowers were added to olive oil and soaked for several weeks. Each of the four soaking jars were dutifully cared for by 5th graders who took the jars home and turned the mixture daily. Upon returning from Thanksgiving Break Ms. Swigris and Ms. Nance helped the children strain the oils, melt beeswax, add vitamin E oil and pour salves into containers.
If you see a 5th grader be sure to ask them about their experience making these little pots of gold!