Today we tried out everything Mama had planned for Tuesdays, except ballet, which begins next week... and perhaps Mama was a little overzealous. Rhiannon went to preschool (only 1/2 the class, this time), then Tali and I walked to preschool to get her, discovering on the way various seasonal things, the most interesting of which were mushrooms, a red-legged frog, and some easychairs which appear to have been dumped into the creek beside the works yard. Hmph. Then Rhiannon walked back with us, and we had lunch. After lunch we spent a couple of hours (!) looking up information on the frog and mushrooms, and working on the children's journal entries. Rhiannon's was 3 different depictions of Nana teaching preschool, one wearing lovely "orange underpants and a pink shirt and googly eyes"!. Tali's was a lovely drawing of a new home for poor Mr. Frog, who was obviously going to have to move, since there was garbage in his creek. He spent about an hour just working on sounding out the descriptions of his drawing, and the sentences "This is a pond with lilies." and "We saw a red-legged frog." He seems to have grasped the concept of spelling "th", now.
After all this we went out again for our Wild Food Day. We had hoped to gather cattail roots, the tops of which we hoped to boil and eat like potatoes, and the bottoms we planned to mash into flour for bread. WELL..... it seems we either have the wrong sort of cattails, or I wasn't digging deep enough. We never found the large, fleshy, potato-like balls at the top of the roots, and we found mostly rotten roots, other than one 3-inch piece, which I think would have yielded a teaspoon or so of flour, had I bothered to process it. We did, however, have a wonderful time in the mud, and finding the various stages of tadpole/frogs that still live there, as well as managing to discover a few new cattail shoots hiding in the water, which the children ate mostly on the spot (photo). We ate the rest fresh with zucchini and borage flowers for dinner.
In the end the children dug up potatoes from the garden, and rounded out the meal with beans, pod-peas and (store-bought) asparagus, accented by some store-bought milk, butter, and cheese. YUM!
However, by the end of the day the children were definitely feeling a little too tired. I think I will try to either make the journal time shorter next time, or move Wild Food Day to another day in the week. The latter is probably a better option, since foraging usually will take us on long adventures, and that will be too much after our morning 4km hike. We'll see how it goes.
Anyway, that wraps up the first experimental Tuesday!