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!
Oh wonderful! I wish Issa could attend.... Hug from ScotlandReplyDelete
Thanks Sandra. I would have loved to have Issa in the workshop, and I know Reece would have loved that too!Delete
Hope you guys are having a great time!
That's sounds the the perfect way to spend a morning. So glad that you had wonderful weather for your first workshop. Love the idea of making pine needle tea I guess it tastes better with some needles over others? Might have to give that a try ourselves :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, it really was lovely. And yes, different pine needles taste a little different. And of course with all wild foods, there are some you shouldn't use for various reasons, so looked them up before you head out there to gather some :)Delete
Oh yay! I'm so happy the workshop went well. Can I ask if all kids were kids you knew? Or did you get to meet new little faces (and families) through this first workshop of yours? Would you share your gluten-free bannock recipe with us?ReplyDelete
Thanks Yanic. The little one I homeschool was here, and the two girls who came for summer camp. And then two new little ones. It was a lovely mix, and the kids all got along great.Delete
Yes, of course, here's the link to the recipe I used https://glutenfreeinternational.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/gluten-free-bannock-fry-bread/ We wrapped them around a stick instead of using a frying pan. Oh, and I doubled the recipe :)
What a fabulous time it must have been, congrats to you for having created this link between children involved and the nature around you! Long life to your workshops ! Beautiful way...ReplyDelete
It really was :) Thank you. xoDelete
I know I would have enjoyed every minute of it!! I am sure the kiddos learned a lot and had a great time. They are very lucky to be exposed to those things!ReplyDelete
They had a wonderful time, at least from the energy and excitement that surrounded the morning.Delete
Thanks Anke, I feel lucky to be able to offer this kind of thing, and that I get to spend the morning with a group of great kids :)
what a great success !!! Congratulations on your first Homestead workshop...I would have love for my kids to have had something like this.ReplyDelete
It looks so cozy- perfect fall morning with little tiny hands in mitts. We have something like this in Norway- "pinne brod" stick bread- love this stuff! Yum.ReplyDelete
It was the perfect fall morning for it. All week they were calling for rain, and I was hoping they were wrong, and they were!Delete
I am so happy your workshop was such a success.ReplyDelete
Pine needle tea? Well, that is a new idea to me and now I'm intrigued.
I have acres of loblollies and a few long leaf pines, so I'm wondering if they could be used?
Thank you Tracey. So good for you Tracey, high in vitamin C and quite tasty. Have fun with it if you try some. Just do a little search first, there are a few pines you should not use the needles from, for various reasons.Delete
I would have had fun if it was me. However I might have been the kid that didn't taste everything...I'm much better now ;)ReplyDelete
Hehe, maybe with everyone trying it, you would have too :)Delete
Oh that sounds like so much fun! I want to come and play never mind the children!! Yay for the first of many workshops :)ReplyDelete
Yes, I think it would be fun to do an adult workshop like this too :)Delete
Workshop sounds fantastic! My girls woul love it! XxReplyDelete
What a wonderful morning with lots of fun activities and learning. It sounds like it was a success. Happy Tuesday!ReplyDelete
Thanks Kathleen. It was successful in my eyes, and I am pretty sure all the kids thought so too!Delete
Hope you had a great day, and enjoyed your hike with your kiddos this morning.
Your workshop sounds wonderful, Kim. I really love that the kids were willing to try new things. You're a good influence on them. I really like the idea of felted acorns too, what a cute project. Those will be very nice fall decorations for their families to enjoy. I hope you're having a good week so far.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jennifer. I was so happy about that, you just never know, right? But they were all eager to at least try. I think being a part of the whole process, the harvesting, the prepping of the needles, adding the hot water to the jars, and so on helps.Delete
Thank you, we are having a pretty good week, hope you are too.
I am so excited about this new project of yours! What fun you will have and what a gift to the children.ReplyDelete
And fir tree tea, who knew? Certainly not me.
I love those little felted acorns. The warm water must have felt quite nice on those mitten hands ;)
We are getting our first taste of fall here with a few gray damp days. They feel good. xo
Thank you my friend, I am too :) It is pretty awesome stuff, full of vitamin C, among other nutrients. Yes, the warm water was a big hit.Delete
Enjoy that fall weather. xo
How great! Pine needle tea is neat. I made some for the Sparkle Stories blog. I will add that ponderosa and blue spruce are nice too.ReplyDelete
I am so happy for your my friend. My heart is full.
Thanks KC. Yes, we made a blue spruce at the workshop. Kids enjoyed it, but like the jack pine better :)Delete
You are always an inspiration Kim. This is so important to build a link between children and nature, in a time when all of this knowledge is getting lost. I was speechless some days ago hearing a friend telling her 5 year old child to throw away a pine cone he was collecting because "these things are dirty!!!" So sad...ReplyDelete
Aw, thank you my friend, you are much too sweet. I so agree with you :)Delete
Oh goodness, that is sad. Nature is full of magic, and has so much to teach us. Maybe next time will be different.
So glad that it was a success!!!ReplyDelete
I can't imagine a nicer way to spend a morning. Slowing down, soaking up nature, smelling, touching, tasting. All perfect for little hands exploring the world. I know my kids are extremely tactile and eager to do - especially "cool" crafts like felting acorns! Wishing you every success in the coming workshops too.ReplyDelete
It really was a lovely morning, and one that left my heart happy. Thank you my friend. xoDelete
Sounds like great fun - I'm intrigued as to how the pine tea tasted....might have to give that a try.ReplyDelete
Love the acorns!
Thanks Emma, it was! The pine needle tea has a very light refreshing taste, quite lovely. You should definitely try it.Delete
What a beautiful morning! The children are enjoying such varied and thoughtfully themed activities.ReplyDelete
Wow, what a wonderful morning. I SO wish we lived in your neck of the woods (or even the same hemisphere!!)ReplyDelete
Thanks Aimee, we had so much fun! Oh how I would love that, we would have so much fun together :)Delete
This does sound and look like great fun! I can't believe you're all wearing mittens already. Must be nice :) And pine tea, hummmm. Sounds interesting!ReplyDelete
It honestly was a great morning. Yes, it was a little chilly that day, but since then we haven't had to wear them. The pine needle tea is so delicious, just a little hint of pine, and the sweetness of honey :) So good.Delete
Wow, Kim--this sounds so fun. So cool about the teas and bannock. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Mia, we had a really great morning :)Delete
I'm so glad it went well. it sounds like a perfect morning and I'm sure the first of many great workshops to come.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sally. So many plans in my head for the future, need to find the time to sit down and get them organized.Delete
Oh I wish and wish we could visit. your workshops sound so delightful. Thank you for posting the recipie in the comments. This looks like something to try around our winter solstice fire. Shine on.ReplyDelete
I do too. One day we will met up in person my friend. Enjoy the bannock, I think winter solstice would be a perfect time to make some. Enjoy!Delete