Hi all, I am a home school mom that does all these cool project with my kid every Friday. The first one we did was the TLUD grassfire. We plan next week to the clay water filtration. If anyone at permies has anymore great ideas that are functional, please pass on. We are trying to raise our children to think outside of the box, independent and be a blessing to 3 world countries. (missions trips)
I have been looking for some food production techniques they can make on a small scale.
Thank for all your help permies, you are all great!
Herb spirals are good - not too difficult to build and then you have to match your plants to suit the differing conditions provided by different places on the spiral. One side will get more more light than the other, the top will be drier than the bottom, some plants prefer morning light and some evening light (apparently). You can tie in lessons about the way the sun moves through the sky and the different needs of plants adapted to growing in different conditions.
I got a good one. do you have any stinging nettles, comfrey, yarrow or sea weed (i.e. kelp) in your area? if you could get hold of at least one of these items(but most or all would be great) you could make some very good organic liquid fertiliser out of them. I always like going to the beach to collect kelp or rooting around old sheep sheering-sheds hunting for stinging nettles.
Anyway once you have got the stuff you need you steep it in a bucket of water until it stop's giving off a strong smell(about 4 weeks), once that is done dilute it to the color of week tea and apply it to your favorite plants.
But I do not use a bucket, I use a 200 liter PLASTIC drum that has a screw on lid that I make my organic liquid fertiliser in, and I also make a large bag out of a rectangle piece of shade cloth witch I stuff full with all the good things mentioned above., I make the bag by folding the rectangle piece of shade cloth over on itself and sowing the two sides together with string and then you have a square bag that is open at the top. Also it never hurts to add any crushed eggshells to the liquid mix(they are a good source calcium).
P.s. Do not use metal drums to make this in as the metal drums add toxic levels of iron-oxide(rust) to the liquid mix.
You're an awesome mom! I wasn't homeschooled, but at least we can do it for our kids.
So I have a few suggestions:
1. Hugelkultur bed- size it by how much your student can do. May be a lot of work.
2. Mini greenhouse - this can really increase food production on a small scale, and be made with recycled materials.
3. Mini rocket stove - Who doesn't like fire? My boys loved it when I made one of these with them out of a #10 can and spare tin cans.
BTW, indoor cooking is one the leading causes of respiratory (and other) problems in 3rd world countries. See Ianto Evan's work.
4. Small swale system - again, size it to your student. FWIW, proof of concept can be better than perfection when teaching.
5. Seed starting - depending on your student, this could be simple or complex.
I was home schooled from 1st grade through high school. I got my start in gardening by sprouting beans in cups of dirt when I was around 5 or 6.
Shortly after, seeing my interest, dad cleared a little piece of lawn and built me an 8 x 8 garden bed in the backyard as my garden.
I've never looked back. Something pretty simple... but it got me going on a life-long and rewarding journey. Now I have children of my own that we're homeschooling and they're out with us in the yard taking part in our various farm chores and gardening projects. Just having them lend their hands and asking them questions and ID plants is great.
The other suggestions here are excellent... I don't have much to add, other than saying that your desire to home school your kids and share the wonder with them is admirable.
Thank you all so much! There are so many great ideas here. I am going to be sharing them with our local Homeschool co-op. There are so many family that can benefit from all these great ideas, blessing to you all.
We're home-educating our 3 young lads too.
They just love growing mustard and cress on tissue paper, especially if we sow them in the pattern of their name - results are quick and you can eat them, and nutritious.
They also like to layer sand, leaves, grass clippings etc in a large see-through container and put in some worms to see how they mix it all up (maybe that was the 'worm box' that Brenda mentioned).
In this freezing weather we are making ice mobiles with 'specimens' frozen into the disks (leaves, seed-head etc).
As I remember/discover more then I'll try to share here (if my old brain remembers to do so!)
My son did, over a couple of years, a Permaculture Design Course with Permaculture Visions. There are lots of written assignments and design assignments, and it was a good introduction to producing written work for someone other than mum. It also helped to bond him to the farm as he was then very much included in making decisions on what to do with the land.
Of course, it's not really appropriate until they're old enough, and it's not really the kind of 'Friday project' you had in mind, but when they're ready it might be worth considering.
one thing i would do is have them read or study that topic during the week and then go out and do it on that friday, if thats not what you're already doing anyway
how to seal a pond without buying a seal, do a small pond dug out with shovels and see what you can accomplish in a weekend
building different kinds of gardening beds and seeing what works and what doesn't, from there ask them to design their own hybrids with those beds to come up with some better ideas
not really permaculture per say but you could also study survival skills and going outside with a pocket knife and seeing what they can do to survive for the night (if you have the resources in the yard that is), good skill and might be kinda fun to build a shelter and fire for cooking/keeping warm in a semi-safe environment in case they ever need to do it in a not so safe situation
how to use plants for making things, such as taking an unruly patch of nettles and having the children make fishing nets from them
congrats on keeping your kids out of our oh-so-wonderful government subsidized education, i am in my senior year with an online private school, similar in that i am at home and have time for work, self study and an otherwise very busy lifestyle and i do wish i had made the transition much sooner