Saturday morning dawned in full autumn glory with a chill in the air and cool winds, perfect for my first Morning on the Homestead workshop. The workshop was full, six kiddos ready to enjoy a morning here, enjoying our land and connecting with nature.
We started with a song, introduced ourselves, and then headed straight for the blue spruce tree. We looked at it, touched it, smelled it, and carefully collected a few branches of needles. From there we headed to a Jack pine tree, and did the same thing, before heading over to our table to pick the needles off the stems, chop them, and put them to infuse in mason jars with hot water.
While our teas were infusing we all worked together to get a fire going in the fire pit. Then we mixed up some gluten free bannock, wrapped the dough around sticks, and cooked them over the fire. This was a lesson in patience for most of them, and at times I was left holding more than one stick, trying to cook them. Once they were all cooked it was time to eat, and enjoy our pine needle tea, and blue spruce needle tea. We topped the bannock with some homemade strawberry jam, and I brought out two platters, one with apples and cinnamon, and the other with oranges. The teas had a little maple syrup added to them, and then we gave them a taste.
As I stood around that table, with six kids, not one of them said no to trying the tea or the bannock. They didn't all enjoy it, but they all tasted everything, and that for me, was huge. By far the Jack pine tea was preferred over the blue spruce tea, and the bannock was either a really bit hit or a really big miss. Three of the kiddos ate most of the bannock, and three only had a taste. The apples and oranges were devoured.
While I made sure our fire was slowly fading, and got set up for our craft, the kids played for a bit. Then we sat on the front porch and wet felt some balls, later gluing them to acorn tops to make felted acorns. This was a big hit, and each child went home with a few acorns to decorate their nature tables with.
A little more free play to end the morning, and then everyone went home. It was a busy morning, and I am pretty sure everyone enjoyed themselves, and had fun. I know I sure did!