Friday, April 16, 2010

Raising The Herbally & Naturally Young

This is a picture of my mother Tirzah Ateah & her brother David Ateah in their beautiful homestead garden .

I have to say it took me a week to get this post together . I came home from our stay at my mother's to get very ill from my allergies & sensitivities etc. Then my asthma triggered etc. Now I'm better the sun is shining and I do not feel like writing ( yes, I know that is odd for me ) but rather wish to be out in the yard by my fire , inspecting each day what is trying to pop out of the ground etc.

However I planned this post ages ago . So what can I say I feel obligated to post it ;-) I do think I shall take a break from blogging though with the stress also from house/farm hunting I am feeling overwhelmed .and need to refocus on family , home & yard again . I do also have some great giveaways planned for the month of mothering coming up tough so I shall post those beginning May1st.

So how do you teach your children to be natural , herbally wise etc. ? Simple live it yourself . It is strange but I just re-read in Carla Emry's book & Juliete de Bairacli Levy book within two days of each other those words " practice what you preach " ! So I felt the need to say this myself. We cannot just talk the talk but need to walk the walk for children mimic . If they see and hear harmful behaviours in action and speech they repeat it , so the same goes for healthy lifestyle choices It is that simple .

It is up to us as the main adults in our children's lives to provide them with these healthy exposures. If we are blessed to have elders in our lives then expose our children as often as possible to the old ways and those who teach them . If we do not have elders then it is up to seek out healthy community and support groups as well. If you do not have a grandfather as we did in our family , seek out those healthy male role models . Same goes for other families living in similar ways morally etc. you are . walk in nature every chance you can . Even within the inner city a weed popping up from the sidewalk can be identified ;-) I always remember my eldest Natasha stopping as we entered our yard after a play at the park. She stopped and told her friend not to just randomly pick the leaves off the trees because this harms the tree. She was 8-9yo ! At 9-10yo this girl had her first yard sale and gave every single penny to Greenpeace . All her idea ! I was occupied with 3 other kids then all under 5 yrs of age so I definitely only gave the minimal amount of help possible .

I have to say I also have never been one who used dumbing down materials for children . Be it music or herbal knowledge etc. I usually exposed our children to books , music which have been also made for adults .Of course we moderate content but we probably do not have a book in the home both adults and children could not read . Books that have been written for children in mind are well written and may just be written in simple form but not talked down to . Once again it is up to us to provide healthy ways and the sources for our children to learn, play , live & grow .

This is also how my mother was raised and my grandmother too . My mother in fact did not like movies so we rarely ever attended them until we were adults . My grandmother loved wind in the Willows & Pooh Bear herself not just for her children ;-) .

As you know we have a garden . I however must say I am a terrible vegetable gardener . I don't know the reason but it is so. I can grow beautiful flowers & herbs but my pumpkin plants are just getting flowers when my sil are almost ready to pick pumpkins ;-) my dh her brother is also wonderful with vegetables. So it is he who plants and grows them . What is important is we all know our passions , our places and most of all our children are present for all this . dh shows them how to measure the rows , til the soil etc.

I even though not great at veggie growing have had to do it I do step in. I always feel it best to grow veggies in the city especially that children can handle , touch feel and see grow well . I feel it best to grow veggies they can pick right off the vine and eat then & there . mini carrots , sweet sugar snap peas & tiny tim tomatoes are a must .

You know I love eating flowers and this starts at a young age as well . Eating rose petals and sipping columbine honey sacks ;-) are a must . I love throwing flower petals into salads and eating fresh squash blossom for breakfast is divine ! This yr. I have a new project in mind . I was reading my latest copy of Natural Life mag ( a Canadian wonder ! ) about a child Educator Friedrich Froebel and read how he in his teaching gave each child their own garden plot to work . Can you imagine what a garden of a 4-5yo would look like ? Then all the children had one communal garden where they all worked together . Is this not a great idea ? We've always let the kids choose seeds they wish to start but we always have our own big main garden . I'm thinking to give them each a 4x4 piece of garden and see what happens !

Don't you just love life and the new inspirations we receive from healthy places , people , books etc. It just goes on and on . As I have mentioned my own mother who is now 78 yrs also just continues to grow and educate others. She is attending a 2 week course right now via Nature Conservancy Canada ! Yes I wish I could take it , but I am happy for my Mum being able to continue on because I know she is going to share with me and I with our own children .

As I write this , I have to smile because this morning our ds14 Wise Owl began the day outside with a hand saw and a piece of driftwood. I looked out the sunroom window and wondered " what idea has he come up with now " lol some of his ideas can work into a big cleanup for Mum . Then came the question " Mum can I use your mortar & pestle ? " Oh , Oh , what on earth is he up to! Then tin cans atop the firepit he was cooking up something !

He then went into the basement , loud banging , clunking around noises . He then emerged from the basement holding chunk of wood in his hand . He said " I used the belt sander " lol I still had no idea what he was up to . He returned outside and then in about 10 min I got the call " Mum come here and see this " I walked out onto the back deck and there sitting in the sun was a very well oiled piece of drift wood he'd been working on . I assumed it was just a nice prayer stick but as I took a closer look he had done wood burning work on it . It is just gorgeous and all this work was for ... a birthday gift for his big sis who is visiting us next week ! I am so impressed , not just by his creative ability but his thoughtfulness for another family member . As he grows now he reads his own books which encourage his own creative ways to work at who he is called to be .

The key is to keep life simple , have balance and be content with where we are . I know some who are radical , extremists etc. I know reality of living in a real world which is not living healthy . We live in the center of a very unhealthy city & smog bothers my asthma almost everyday during spring & summer months . I also know that as I stepped in the cat barf the other morning I was really happy for paper towel ! How glad I was not have to use a rag ;-) but I try and buy the recycled paper towel .That is my part what is important is we do our best. I have to face at times our last child is a city kid he has not been exposed as heavily as our older children were to living & being in the out of doors. I feel we must make up for it . We kind of slacked off having our 6th child in our late 30's ;-) I feel I'm just recovering my energy lol We all are capable of falling off the wagon , letting unhealthy habits & even people into our lives. What is important is we recognize our mistakes and we do our best to re-do , re-learn , make new and healthy habits .

I will leave you with some nice pics & Book ideas to inspire you on as they do me ;-) I will be back May1st to post the next giveaway . For now Enjoy ! please also keep us in prayer if you can as well regarding our openness & acceptance etc. in regards to moving .

This is a wonderful book , on growing , harvesting & making tinctures etc.

These are Spruce buds my mother brought in for the kids last May. We added them to salad .
The kids are used to helping pick & dry our tree medicines
Adventure boy picking blueberries with Dad on Elk Island
Yes Blueberries !Wild Highbush Cranberry This makes a wonderful juice for sauces & Jelly

We began Tapping our maple tree about 6 yrs ago inspired by Gramma . She says they also tapped the Birch trees as well. Yes we actually get about 3-4 bottles of syrup from our tree We always believed in Natural play , here is Adventure boy with his washtub swim pool Nature Table & tank for hermit the crab , 2 yrs ago it housed frogbert Wise Owl @ beach Our eldest ds Dacotah Badru aka fishing boy he is now 23 yrs. !

Again , this is my most fav book for child raising , naturally This is a beautiful herb book for Children , it also lists trees etc. has recipes for kids to try and is based on seasons
again most of the children's toys are / were natural we did have lego and one of our girls did the barbie collection thing but for the most part we don't collect plastic junk
The kids use the garden as a play area all yr. round
hunting for special treats
our grandson mr. silly ridiculous with his loving Uncle
yum yum
he is Granny's special boy
always investigating

Even our church inspires our natural simple life style
we like to cook on fire too

creating natural spaces for animals & fairies alike
He is always an Adventure boy up for an adventure !
Wise Owl with yet another eagle feather he found
wild mint is both decrotive and yummy
We like to make handmade items for gifts

cookbooks are treasures too
collecting flowers
visiting sacred spaces

working hard to harvest

growing your own food to make your own food is reward in itself

happy garden boy

our nature tables

and altars are always inspiring

we like to bless our home & natue spaces


Natasha Rose smelling flower

feeding birds

search out those seed catalogues as a family
as there is always a lifetime to grow

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