Sunday, January 5, 2014

Solstice for the Birds

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth 
find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. 
There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, 
the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. 
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of 
nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter.”
—Rachel Carlson

The Green LIONS Garden Group celebrated the winter solstice in December by learning what this celebration of the “return of the light” means for growing plants and dreams of a spring harvest. After this shortest day of the year the light each day grows longer and longer reminding us of another growing season to come. It is also a time to honor this season of rest in nature and in our own lives.

During this quiet season when plants and some animals are at rest, those animals still emerging during the day in our communities may have trouble finding food. So a fun way to celebrate the winter solstice is by making edible ornaments that the birds and squirrels can enjoy. Green LIONS Garden Group members strung together organic dehydrated apples and oranges, organic prunes, and organic fresh cranberries to make garlands. They also re-purposed toilet paper tubes by rolling them in nut butter and then birdseed. Instant woodland animal buffet!

We discussed how important it is that if we are feeding these birds and animals fruits and nuts, that they be sourced from organic growers if possible. Just as the consumed chemical pesticide concentration can be much higher in children than in adults, these tiny animals are even more sensitive to the adverse effects of chemical pesticides.

Students also created a homemade holiday gift of garden lavender-infused bath salts for someone special in their lives. We used dried lavender harvested from the school’s LIONS Garden, epsom salts, baking soda and lavender essential oil to make our bath salts. They smelled heavenly!

The Green LIONS Garden Group hopes everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season!

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