Monday, October 14, 2013

seeds (on an ordinary, blessed afternoon)

 We tromped down the hill to admire the color of the sumac and to collect some of its tart, fuzzy, red berries for nibbling and for tea.  Sweetened with honey, it tastes a bit like lemonade.  (All red sumac berries are edible.  Poison sumac has a white berry.)

 There were mint plants growing wild beneath the sumac.  We decided that mint would make a nice addition to our tea.

 We found a small handful of golden raspberries to savor.  We talked about seeds, the ones we were nibbling, and the ones that were attaching themselves to our clothing as we strolled by.

 We picked an apple off of the tree to look at its seed star inside. We kept on gathering seeds.  Some were wild.  Some were drying in the garden, and some were still hidden inside their ripe fruits.

 When we were finished gathering, we had a variety of tomatoes, ground cherries, peppers, dill, cilantro, sunflower, echinacea, red romaine lettuce, sorghum, amaranth, black beans, mint, sumac, nasturtium, and calendula.

 releasing black beans from their dried pods



 sorghum, ready for drying

 squishin' tomatoes

 calendula flowers and seeds

 crushing dried amaranth flowers to release the seeds
 blowing away the chaff               *photo by Camille

 tiny amaranth seeds

a rainbow of tomatoes to go with our lunch

  For desert, gluten-free cake with raspberry buttercream frosting, made entirely by Sylvia.  She even made her own delicious frosting recipe, and decorated it for us.

One interest can lead to another idea, can lead to a question, or a connection, or lunch and tea.  This is the beauty of an unplanned day at home with unschoolers.  

I was finishing cleaning the bathroom when Sylvia asked if we could go collect some sumac for tea.  Let's go.  Who wants to come along?  Followed by, let's check on the raspberry plants.  Oh, and let's go gather eggs from the coop.  Seed talk, and apple picking, and gathering from the gardens.  Do you girls want to have a seed saving party while I make lunch?  I was in the mood for comfort food and made a cheesy hashbrown casserole while the seed party continued.  We had cake, leftover from the previous day's baking extravaganza.

It all started with some sumac and some seeds stuck to our clothes.  No lesson-plan on food production or seed dispersal or plant biology or the changing seasons, could have been as meaningful as a day spent playing with seeds, tasting them, labeling some for next year's garden, some for the winter's cook pot.

Throw in a music mix with everything from traditional folk to Afro-Cuban to Brett Dennen to Cyndi Lauper, and an occasional living room dance break just to keep things lively, and an ordinary afternoon can feel so lively and blessed.

"Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." ~Confucius


  1. i wish i had been with you on this afternoon!

  2. Momjeanz, I could have sent you home with lots of seeds and we could have rocked the living room dance party ;)


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