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Making the most of forced home-schooling

 
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
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As you know, (for various reasons) Permaculture is the sort of thing that they avoid talking about in public school.

Yet with the COVID-19 lockdown, all parents have suddenly found themselves homeschooling parents -- and in need of teaching resources.  That, combined with the increased awareness of "food supply" could be a blessing in disguise for the permaculture movement.

My question to you guys is, what permaculture resources are available for these parents to augment their child's education?
(Because now would be a FANTASTIC time to be able to share those with our friends and family who are parents!)

 
Posts: 28
Location: USDA Zone 7a
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It's super easy to make a worm-composting bin out of a plastic storage bin. Very easy to maintain also. Working on making a handout for parents who have school-age children at home. I will update with the document when I'm finished. For now, here's a youtube video discussion on how to make and maintain a worm bin.
 
master steward
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This is a great question.  I would like to suggest looking here on permies for thing that you feel your children would be interested in.

One of my favorite memories from school was planting beans in egg carton with cotton balls for soil.  It was so amazing to see those beans sprout.

Right now I am sprouting the eyes from potatoes.  That might be fun for kids.

You can grow carrots from the end of the carrot that you cut off and normally throw away.  It will not grow a carrot, just the green sprigs.  It is still fun!
 
Vinson Corbo
Posts: 28
Location: USDA Zone 7a
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I've another concept that may be of use for education purposes, and often done in school. Plastic bottles are non-recyclable and can be great for small vertical gardens inside or outside. There are many ways to make a bottle garden, either vertical or horizontal, depending on the kind of bottles you have on hand.

This vertical water bottle garden inspired me to make my first sets of water bottle gardens, just be careful not to have them in direct sunlight for too long, especially if they are clear, the gardens may be small and dry out quickly and grow algae or other things that will hurt plant roots.


Here is another video for other bottle garden inspiration.


Also, you could grow upside down tomatoes in a water bottle, this will need an already germinated tomato plant to be completed.


Finally, this video shows an idea of how to grow plants out of plastic bottles horizontally and out of plastic bags


 
pollinator
Posts: 351
Location: East tn
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What a great suggestion. Hey moderators, nudge Paul so he sees this.

Look up yoga for kids (cosmic kids) as a model. Given we have at least 4 weeks left of lockdown, more in some places, there is still time to push content and capture hearts and minds.

Parents that have just found themselves homeschooling for the first time are desperate for video content and outdoor activities.

Some quick video editing (snippets 10 min or less) of long form videos or even recording new ones, and a social media friendly emeddable link and youd be half way to viral.

Since Paul brands himself as a permie goofball, the transition to Mr. Paul Rogers should be an easy one.

Ideas for episodes
Plant your onion tops
Make containers with scissors and milk/water jugs
Chop and drop around wild edibles(plantain/dandelion everywhere)
Cardboard box worm bin
Put Edible flowers (violets, hibiscus, sorrel) in mama's salad
Make a garden bed with last years firewood leftovers, cardboard box, and leaf litter

Etc
 
Vinson Corbo
Posts: 28
Location: USDA Zone 7a
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Here's another idea for the kids, for the art & permaculture lessons if you have the supplies at home:
(also, art is linked to the permaculture playing cards. get a deck of those and play games of cards while learning some permie essentials)

Paint rocks for your garden to know what you've planted. This could extend to beneficial/medicinal wild plants that are native or invasive.


You could paint rocks that look like strawberries, especially if you have some growing. This will fool the crows or other critters before the actual strawberries fruit, and they will think that all the strawberries are rocks when the plants do fruit.


This would just be for fun and educational and using rock as a canvas, but painting beneficial insects on a rock
 
Vinson Corbo
Posts: 28
Location: USDA Zone 7a
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Get a mason jar, and put your used morning coffee grounds right in it and close the top after they had boiling water thru them (or reboil the grounds to disinfect). Put in some oyster mushrooms (they're easy) or another variety that easily spores and you will start to see the mycelium grow. If you don't have disinfected coffee grounds, the mycelium will be attacked by other molds and it will not take. This would be great for the kids, and you'll get mushrooms from things you would have thrown away otherwise.


Grow mushrooms form bottles (same content as video)
 
Vinson Corbo
Posts: 28
Location: USDA Zone 7a
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This one isn't my idea, obviously, but this would be another great science related - and can be extended into permaculture as many plants are useful in permaculture design. This exercise will teach the kids how to identify plants and what they look like. the additional animals or insects are necessary to know as well. there are many things that like to eat the plants you like to eat too! as well as plants that can outcompete

 
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