Welcoming the kids

Kicking off spring with our first school tour of the season.

The tour started off by explaining what an urban homestead is and how it can reduce our dependency on outside sources.

“From the things we have to do before we can learn them; we learn by doing them.” — Aristotle

As we went through our front yard, we explained that not only is the yard our “grocery store” but it is also our “pharmacy”  as we pointed out all the edible plants and herbs.

Upon entering the backyard, the kids began to “oooh and aaah” as a whole new world opened up right before their very eyes.    We asked the students if they knew how many miles their food traveled and gave them tips how to eat more locally.

As we gathered into the main patio and the students took their seats, the fun began!   First,  it’s “Smell ‘n Tell”  as we  handed  out fragrant herbs from the garden to test their olfactory senses.

It’s not only about smell but taste, too.  So,  I whipped up some fresh chard wraps stuffed with hummus and tabouli (made with homegrown mints, green onions , parsley and canned tomatoes).   Jordanne pedaled the bike blender to mix up some vanilla yogurt & berry smoothies.   Both were tasty treats for everyone.

Last, but not least,  the “Backyard Barnyard” circus got  paraded out over squeals of delight, as everyone wanted to pet the chickens, ducks and goats.   They were  fascinated how soft the chickens’ feathers were and the way the black feathers shone with a tint of green.  The ducks never fail to get laughs as they waddled out. Blackberry, the pygmy goat, as always, was the star of the show and she loved every minute of it.

We wrapped up the educational tour with a Q & A, discussing what small changes they could implement in their daily lives to become a more responsible consumer and caretaker of the planet.

Take a tour along with us…

Pointing out all the edibles in the front yard

Explaining about where our food comes from

Handing out the herbs

Handful of herbs

Smell n tell test

Slurping down pedal powered smoothies

Showing off the fish

and goats

Passing goodies to eat

Rainbow chard

Homemade tabouli

Chard leaf, hummus and tabouli

Makes for a yummy and healthful snack

Eating the chard wraps


  1. Kayla says:

    This look like fun, and great for the kids to learn about. Those wraps look yummy. Would you mind sharing the recipe? I have oodles of chard growing in my front yard.

    • Anais says:

      @Kayla: Kids are always the best guests – you can see how a whole new world opens up to them. The wraps were yummy and very VERY simple! I just took fresh cut chard leaves, smeared it with a good layer of hummus and a few spoonfuls of tabouli. Rolled and ate! Oh, a quick tip. Young leaves work best, but if you have big ones with large stem, I press the stem down with a butter knife so that it makes it easy to roll. 😉

  2. Wendy Allison-Barnes says:

    What a wonderful service that you render! Many of these kids will take this information home with them and use it one day. Bravo!

  3. Caroline says:

    Not only do you have such an amazing “grocery store” and “pharmacy”, but you also have a school for educating the children (who will then go home and educate their parents and siblings). It’s so great! I wish we lived closer so we could come to school! 🙂

    • Anais says:

      @Caroline: Yes, that’s what we hope to do – plant seeds of ideas that not only in the kids lives but others around them. 😉

  4. Mia says:

    What a wonderful thing you are doing for our community and its youth. Your impact on their lives will be remembered!

    • Anais says:

      @Mia: Since hosting our first school tour back in 2002 we’ve opened up the urban homestead to countless number of schools in hopes planting different ideas. Sometimes you can see the light go on – they GET it!

  5. LynnS says:

    Don’t those chard wraps look delicious! Our chard is still small but at least some overwintered here.

    What a successful gathering of young folk with attention on garden herbs and food, not cell-phone texting.

    • Anais says:

      @LynnS: No cell phones, no computers – no distractions! 😉

  6. Radhika says:

    Oh what lucky school girls! I’m sure this was one of the best school excursions ever! What a great tour, so hands-on and interactive. The kids (human ones) must have been so inspired, not only by the beautiful grounds, exciting innovation and fresh tastes, but also by you stylish, humble folks.
    Keep it up guys!
    Much love from Oz,

    • Anais says:

      @Radhika: We certainly enjoy sharing our blessings. How are things in the land of Oz. Guess instead of ‘happy spring’ I should say ‘happy fall?” ;O

      • Radhika says:

        @Anais, We have had the wettest summer on record here in Melbourne, Australia. So the honey golden Autumn sunshine is such a treat.

        • Anais says:

          @Radhika: Glad to hear you finally got some rain, ya’ll needed it down there! Though some areas got too much rain, we were sadden to hear about the tragic and devastating floods.

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