It’s the Easter Break, so as outdoor educators we find ourselves immersed in the fun and frivolity of exploring, excitement and… chocolate eggs. But not so at the Greenhouses, for this year we have opted to stay away from egg hunts and focus on a more general Spring theme. Our young visitors have explored the gardens, acted out life-cycles, tried gardening, smelled herbs, tasted leaves, examined pond life, sowed seeds, and made fantasy bird nests. And that’s not even all of it! Phew.
But by far the most focused and fascinated expressions I have seen on children’s faces in all of this, has been when they were watching worms in the wormery and bees around the bee hives. These creatures wriggling and buzzing about have the power to enthral small minds. Pepper this experience with a few fun facts about these gardener’s friends, and the aforementioned small minds are just about blown. For example, worms have five hearts (yes, really!), they breathe through their skin, they are hermaphrodites, and that murky liquid that comes out of the wormery is known as worm tea, and it’s a wonderfully nutrient-rich plant feed. And bees, well, they pollinate the flowers so we can enjoy our beloved fruits and veggies (some of the children are still working on the latter).
Some of the children were treated to a tiny taste of our Brockwell honey to complete the heavenly experience. The grown-ups were keen on the honey too, and a few jars were duly sold. Thanks to our gardener’s friends.