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10 cool things about herbs for kids


1. What are herbs? Herbs are the leafy green parts of a plant, fresh or dried, used for flavouring food. They can also include seeds or flowers. Herbs are used for flavouring, perfume, medicine and food.


2. Ancient Romans and Greeks thought basil would grow more pungent if you shouted at it when you planted the seeds. This could be a lot of fun to try. Plant two and yell at one, see if it makes a difference.


3. Ancient Greeks believed that if you left a basil leaf under a pot it would turn into a scorpion, maybe because it was named after the basilisk − a half-lizard, half- dragon creature. Have the kids try this and surprise them with a toy under the cup in the morning.


Planting is serious business! Dirty hands!


4. Mint leaves are great for curing indi- gestion. Have the kids taste a leaf. We use peppermint mixed with a teaspoon of sugar and hot water to soothe upset tummies – a cure passed down from my Nana.


5. Patches of thyme were planted as playgrounds for fairies. This old English tradition may be a great start for your own fairy garden.


6. Garlic is a herb and a vegetable and is best known to children for warding off vampires. Why? Garlic is a powerful herb used to cure infections. It is thought to cure the blood disease vampires suffer from, thereby killing the vampire itself.


Spraying their seeds with water to give them a healthy start. Once the seeds were safely tucked


into the dirt and sprayed down with water we chatted some more about the project. The boys shared their ideas about how fast the seeds would grow, which one would grow first. Concerned about where their adult plants would go once they outgrew the cartons we discussed how we would need to repot them as they got bigger and continue to care for them as they grew. Children love indoor projects like


this, and it is so easy to share your love and knowledge with them. I love listen- ing to them tell me how their herbs will grow over the roof of our house and the joy on their faces as they play in the dirt. Taeven was so happy to have dirty hands


localgardener.net


again and even made me take a picture. If you are worried because you aren’t


exactly the Encylopeadia Brittanica, don’t. Look up some basic information online or just share your knowledge. Whatever you choose to do make it casual and fun! Ask them silly questions like if they would prefer mint or rose- mary with fried crickets? Which herb might taste nice in a tea? Which plant do they like the best and why? What herb don’t they like the smell of? How long do they think it will take their seed to sprout? Talk about what you can do with the different herbs or plants. I’ll share our progress on my blog www. chiccountrymom@wordpress.com you want to follow along. x


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7. Parsley was thought to protect against evil spirits. The leaves also taste really good, especially on garlic bread – now that should keep all the bad guys away.


8. Lavender is often prescribed to soothe headaches and promote relaxation and sleep. It is also added to many baby lotions. Do your children like the smell? Did you know it is also an antidote for some snake venoms and that you can use it in cookies? Cool!


9. Catnip can be made into tea and is best known for its odd effect on cats. Some become aggressive, others ignore it, but most cats just act goofy when they smell it. Cats may be fickle but all rats hate it, huh!


10. Dandelions are herbs! Called “dents de lion,” French for teeth of the lion, dandelions were also called “pis-en-lit” or pee the bed. Why? Dandelions are diuret- ics; they remove fluid from your body so don’t eat them before bed.


Early Spring 2015 • 31


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