Tag Archives: gardening

Would you like strawberries with that

Would you like strawberries with that?

Tomorrow, 5 June is World Environment Day. The theme for this year is Air Pollution. According to the World Environment Day website, nine out of ten people breathe polluted air — a frightening statistic. While the most polluted cities may be far from where we live and the effect of our individual actions may seem negligible, the site recommends ways in which we can help reduce air pollution. I’m sure you already do many of these:

  • Use public transport or car sharing, cycle or walk
  • Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle and request electric taxis
  • Turn off the car engine when stationary
  • Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions
  • Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash
  • Switch to high-efficiency home heating systems and equipment
  • Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use
  • Choose non-toxic paints and furnishings

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge strawberries and mint

While not specific to this year’s theme, I thought the flash fiction prompt set by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch this week was a perfect match for World Environment Day. Charli challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes strawberries and mint. The combination evokes color contrast, scents, and taste. Where will the combination take you? Go where the prompt leads!

Growing plants, particularly those that produce edible delicacies, including strawberries and mint, is a great way of introducing children to the importance of caring for the environment. Both strawberries and mint are easy to grow and require little space.

The rewards are not only in the eating. Children can learn where their food comes from and understand that it doesn’t just appear in plastic packaging on supermarket shelves or in the fridge at home. In caring for a garden, they learn about what plants need and the importance of caring for the soil. They learn to be patient, waiting for the plants to grow and to be ready to harvest. Understandings learned from small-scale gardening, even in a pot, can be applied to caring for the environment on a larger scale. It is never too soon, or too late, to learn.

In my response to Charli’s prompt, I have considered gardening as nourishment for the mind and spirit as well as the body. Because strawberries are a favourite with both my grandchildren who would probably eat strawberries anywhere and anytime, I settled on a story featuring a grandmother and grandchild. Any similarity to this grandmother is non-existent. I hope you enjoy it anyway.

(I included some favourite family strawberry desserts in this post.)

Grandma’s Garden

Jess blew kisses to Mum, then raced Grandma into the garden. She pulled on her boots and gloves and readied her digging fork. Emulating Grandma, she soaked up explanations of magic combinations that helped plants grow. At the strawberry patch, they filled baskets with ripe red berries. On the way inside, Grandma clipped sprigs of mint.

They dipped strawberries in chocolate and garnished them with mint.

“For Jess?”

“For Mum.

“Birfday?”

“Just —”

Jess inspected the chocolate bowl. “All gone.”

“Stawbwee?” said Jess, pointing to the remaining few.

“For Jess,” smiled Grandma.

Jess munched strawberries and Grandma chewed mint.

Thank you blog post

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The classroom garden

Expecting every child in a class to respond to the same stimuli, develop at the same rate and achieve the same targets is like casting a handful of mixed seeds upon the soil and expecting them all to flourish.

Just as each seed has its own specific requirements of soil type, temperature, sunlight and water, so too does each child have its own needs, interests and learning requirements.

Differentiation is no less important in the classroom than it is the garden and tending to the learning and development needs of each child requires understanding of individual needs, appreciation of learning styles and a program that includes both a nurturing and expectation of individual growth with a sprinkling of well-timed instruction, support and attentive praise.

 

This week Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Communications posted a flash fiction prompt that immediately conjured up an image of a classroom as a well-tended garden in which each individual is appreciated for its own value and receives whatever is appropriate to foster its development.

Charli’s challenge is to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes fruit.

Here is my response about a little tree whose time has come:

A fruitful harvest

Little Tree stood alone at the edge of the orchard thinking, “What’s wrong with me?”

The other trees grew tall. Their branches, laden with bright green leaves and sweet-scented blossoms, seemed to whisper mockingly.

The sun shone. Rains watered the soil.

Their blossoms turned to fruit, a plentiful harvest.

Confused and dejected, Little Tree avoided the celebratory festival.

Then all grew quiet. The bigger trees rested, preparing for the next season.

Suddenly an insect orchestra and an unfamiliar fragrance startled Little Tree.

“What’s up?” it asked.

“You!” they buzzed relishing the richness of its golden blooms.

 

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this article or flash fiction piece.

 

Featured image: rjp, Bird seed https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimpenfish/437991798/