Most of the harvest is in. Honey has been extracted and is being bottled and sold. Homeschooling is in full swing. We had our second homeschool co-op of the season today. One of my classes this year is Michigan Plants for ages 9 and up (most of the students fall into the 10-13 range). This is, without a doubt, the funnest class I have ever taught! The students are curious, inquisitive, intelligent, kind, funny, and full of enthusiasm. I love these kids. One hour every other week just is not enough time to answer their questions.
Our class is focusing on local edible and medicinal plants, learning how to 'key out' plants in the field, understanding basic plant families, and learning how to prepare and use some basic herbs. (i.e. infusion, decoction, salve, infused oil, compresses, poultices, and more). While no books were required for the class, I have a number of students who are quite interested in the field of botany (with the emphasis I mentioned above). I suggested these field guides that I use and love and thought others might be interested, as well.
Here they are:
*Newcombs Wildflower Guide:I have the older version of this wildflower guide. It's one of the best. My copy is well worn, I started using in while in college (years ago!).
*Botany in a Day: This book is new to me but I love it! I'll be using portions of this text to teach them plant families. This is NOT how I learned... I think this is better. :)
*Peterson's field guide to Edible Wild Plants: I haven't owned this one very long but it has a wealth of information! The students who are particularly interested in edibles will like this. It'll help them know which plants they can eat and what part of the plant. (I still like Newcombs for the proper ID of the plant)
*Peterson's guide to Medicinal Plants of Eastern and Central America: You cannot go wrong with Peterson's Field Guides. Again, this is useful in know which plant can be used... but I there are better herbal guides in helping you know what to use and how to use it (prepare it, dosages, etc). The photos in both Peterson's guides are very helpful.
Since planning and beginning this class with our local homeschool students I have gotten quite a bit of feedback from interested adults and parents. I am considering running a similar program for adults (and interested teens/pre-teens). IF I decide to commit to this, it would run one Saturday a month from April til September. (for example, the second Saturday of each month for 3 hours each session) Would you be interested in attending a program like this? If so, let me know.