Wednesday, February 19, 2014

In the garden with Ms. Bihari's class

On 2/18, Ms. Bihari's class learned how the native Chumash and Tongva Indians of our area used some local (native) plants.  We discussed where these tribes lived and that Topanga Canyon was a border area-the Chumash lived north and the Tongva lived south.These Native Americans used local plants for food and medicine, and in ceremonies.  The students smelled the various plants and compared the smells and the sizes of leaves of the plants. We'll be planting some of these plants at school this spring. We discussed that many of the plants are drought-tolerant and not in need of much water.
  • Black sage can be used against pain. A sun tea of the leaves can be rubbed on a painful area, e.g. a foot;
  • White sage is burned as a smudge, incense, during ceremonies. It is picked, dried and wrapped with a string or vine and then briefly lit and blown out. People inhale the smoke which is supposed to create spiritual balance;
  • Cleveland sage made into tea. We used it to make potpourri because it smells good. Potpourri is a new vocabulary word. The leaves and flowers are dried. Hummingbirds and butterflies like its purple flowers.
  • Hummingbird sage is used to make tea. The pink flowers are liked by hummingbirds.
  • Monkey flower is used to heal minor wounds. Leaves are ground in a mortar and pestle and the paste is applied on wounds. Hummingbirds love the nectar in monkey flowers.
At the conclusion of the lesson the children ate broccoli with or without ranch dressing. They all appear to love this vegetable!  This class seems to enjoy gardening a lot. Some children came to the garden before garden "class" started to work in the garden and others stayed after the bell rang to help!

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