Project -Re- Generation Week 3: Project Selection and Dandelion Surprise!
The third week flew by in a flurry of activity. We got yet more salty critters for our seaquarium - thanks to Andy, Bill, and Sahir; harvested and began processing dandelions for some dandelion salve - a workshop led by artisan glass and soap artist, Carol Swann; and after much deliberation, chose our project: The Pollinator Garden Combo Pack
The group collectively decided on the pollinator garden project at the Nature House. This project combines two of the project ideas pitched: designing and constructing a mason bee house and establishing more rain gardens to protect the space from winter flooding. Students will also create information panels about each project, to be displayed at appropriate locations as well as a 'how to take care of your mason bees' mini guide. We felt that during the limited time we have (~ 8-10 project days left!), this project was achievable and provided diverse mini projects so each student could have a clear task that met their personal interests.
Our excursion this week was two-part: harvesting/dehydrating dandelions and processing them for dandelion salve. After collecting multiple trays worth of dandelions from various properties (thanks to everyone who shared their dandies!), the flowers spent two days in the dehydrator. On day two while removing the dehydrated flower heads from their bases, a petite fire started - in the flower bowl! We had them in a large, concave metal bowl which reflected the sunlight directly into the mass of dehydrated flower heads. Perfect tinder! Kaia had been reaching into the bowl and noticed the heat / smoke, and promptly exclaimed, "The bowl is smoking!" After a moment of realizing what was going on, we scuttled about trying to figure out what to do. Determined to not get the hard-earned flower heads wet, Carol hustled the smoking bowl to the road, and tossed the smouldering flower heads to the ground where she stamped out the flame! T'was amusing to say the least. Oh! And physics in (exciting) action!