Children and seedlings have similar fundamental needs. Like seedlings, children need sunlight, water, nutrients and fresh air. Without these vital elements, neither could exist. Children and seedlings individually require a solid foundation for their roots. While seedlings rely on their roots to guide them to be firmly planted into the soil, children rely on their parents, guardians, siblings and mentors to provide them with an environment where they can thrive. They both need room to grow, room to spread those roots and reach toward the sky. Like seedlings, children need to be nurtured and loved, and supported as they develop and mature. As children grow, we slowly integrate experiences in the real world which are ultimately enriching their lives and preparing them for the future. Plants need the same essential care. Children progress from womb to mothers arms to bassinet, followed by crib, small bed, big bed to eventually their own home. Seedlings follow a similar progression. They are started from seed are sprouted in a tiny cell. Seedlings are transplanted into larger pots, hardened off outside and eventually into the earth by means of a garden bed or row in a field.
The symbiotic relationship between plants and humans is infinite and cyclical. Our reliance upon plants is a sacred connection which has been evident and necessary for our survival since the first humans walked the earth. If children were taught this fundamental lesson at an early age in a way that it would stick with them like the alphabet, they would surely develop a stronger relationship with the natural world. They would grow up with a basic understanding of how things are connected. From their perspectives, the world would need plants, which inevitably means that humans need nature and that it should not be destroyed. Children’s lives would be more magical while discovering the beauty and wonder of plants. Their connection with the earth would surely deepen. If all children recognized the importance of caring for the planet, the world would certainly be a better place.
Colleen Smith is an herbalist, a homesteader and a homeschooling mother to two beautiful and talented girls. See videos of her family, Best Unicorn Dream by Ocarina Smith. Anything is possible when you put your vision to action!
Kristine Brown is the author and illustrator of the Herbal Roots Zine, dedicated to teaching children about plants and their medicinal uses.
Winter Blues got you down? Try this deliciously raw dessert, a great way to use those coveted berries you picked in season and stashed away for the winter! These are inspired by my friend Renee. She and her beautiful children have been raw for 3 years.
Raw Blueberry Macaroons
In a food processor, combine 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup raisins or pitted dates, 1 cup of nuts, and 1/8 cup of maple syrup or honey. Blend until fine. Add 1 cup of frozen or fresh wild blueberries. Blend until smooth, or you are able to form balls. Form 12 balls and roll them in shredded coconut and refrigerate for 1 hour … or devour immediately if you can’t wait. Makes 12
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