We are so blessed with so many wonderful tree friends on the land here at our sweet Children's Garden.
We began to get to know some of our new friends by sitting with a special tree and asking the tree what their name is, then listening quietly for an answer. This is a really fun way to begin a sit spot practice!
"I wonder why trees have bark?"
Rather than have an adult answer the question scientifically we love to let the wondering take the lead.
"How does the bark feel and smell of one tree compared to another?"
Wally the Walnut
Ruth Rose White Pine
I wonder what life was like here in this beautiful valley in 1821 when Magic Maple was a young sapling?
6 kids and 1 mama!!
Apples and Stories
We picked our apples and went looking for some apple seeds. While we looked we listened to this beautiful story...
"Once upon a time, a young apple tree began growing in an orchard. Each night she would gaze up at the evening sky and admire all the bright and twinkling stars. Oh, how she wished she had just one of those shining stars of her own!
One night, an orchard fairy came to the tree with a promise to grant the little tree one wish. Without hesitation, the young apple tree told the fairy of a wish for a star of her very own. The fairy promised that if the apple tree grew to be big and strong and full of red ripe apples, her wish would be granted.
The apple tree tried her very hardest. Each sunny day she lifted her branches up to the warm sunshine and each rainy day she soaked up all the water she needed to grow. After several seasons, her hard work had paid off and she was one of the biggest trees in the orchard with branches heavy with red ripe apples.
One day the orchard fairy returned and the the tree shook her limbs with excitement, showing off her strong branches and all those beautiful apples. "Look!" she exclaimed "I've worked so hard and I've waited so patiently. When will I finally be given my wish and one bright star of my own?"
"Oh my dear tree," replied the fairy, "Your wish has already been granted. You have among your branches not just one but as many stars as you've admired in the night sky."
"But where? questioned the apple tree, "All I see on my branches are leaves and these ripe apples!"
The orchard fairy gently answered, "just peek inside any one of those apples. there you'll find a special, secret hidden star. It's ready to be discovered by the lucky person who chooses one of the apples you've worked so hard to grow!"
"One morning Mother Earth got up and looked out her window. Something was different! The trees were covered with golden and red and orange. Mother Earth went outside to have a better look. Ohhhh, it was colder! Then Mother Earth knew.
'Why it's autumn, it's autumn! Goodness me, I have so much work to do. The harvesting must be done, and I must make nice warm earth beds for all the seed babies to sleep in through the cold winter. Oh my, I will go and prepare everything, then send for my children.'
In the garden lived the flower fairies. They did not yet know it was autumn. They were still happy to play in the garden. They danced and sang and practiced their somersaults in the soft grasses. While they played, one little fairy wandered off quite far. She came upon a cave that was glowing with golden light. Inside were baskets of shining seeds for Mother Earth.
'Oh, Autumn is here,' said the little fairy and she ran to tell the others.
'Autumn is here, Autumn is here,' called out the little fairy to her fairy friends. 'Mother Earth needs our help. Come see, come see, quickly, quickly!'
All the flower fairies went with her to the cave and looked in. What a wonderful sight, shining golden seeds. 'We must take them to Mother Earth, quickly, Autumn is here, the little fairy told the others. The fairies gently gathered the gifts of seeds and carried them to Mother Earth's home.
Mother Earth was just finishing her work. The beds for all her children were ready. Just then, she heard the flower fairies calling to her, Mother Earth, Mother Earth, we have something special for you! Look, golden seeds that need to sleep.'
"Oh how beautiful they are,' Mother Earth said gently. 'Come little fairies and bring your seeds, put them in my warm mantle, I have earth cradles ready for all.' Mother Earth showed the fairies where to tuck the seeds in for their long sleep. 'I will watch over them and keep them warm and safe until they awaken with the warm spring sun. You come too little fairies, find your beds and rest through the winter so deep.
The fairies carefully placed the seeds in their cozy earth cradles, and then they too nestled down in Mother Earth's blanket to sleep. Outside the air was crisp and clear, and the cold winds began to blow.
Just in time,' said Mother Earth. She rocked her children to sleep and sang a sweet lullaby.
'Seeds and flowers have gone to sleep,
Loving care I will keep,
To watch over all through winter's night,
Till they will rise to see the Light.'
The seed babies and flower fairies were warm and safe, and very soon they fell fast asleep. Mother Earth made a cup of tea, sat in her rocking chair and smiled. All was well. Outside the first soft flakes of snow began to fall and covered the earth twinkling with the starlight."
Cooking with the Trees
- 4 large apples peeled, cored, and sliced
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp cassava flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch of nutmeg, salt, and cardamom
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened (almost melted)
- Chopped walnuts
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir with a spoon or a whisk. Then add the softened coconut oil. Using your fingertips, rub the oil into the dry mixture, until small crumbles form. Add more flour if the mixture is too wet. The kids loved this process! Place the bowl into the fridge, while you prepare the apple filling.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8x11 inch baking dish with coconut oil.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples. Transfer the apples to the prepared baking dish, set aside.
- In a small/medium bowl, combine coconut sugar, cassava flour (any tyoe of starchy flour will work), cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cardamom. Stir with a spoon or a whisk. Also add maple syrup, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and stir again.
- Pour the mixture over the sliced apples and stir to coat them evenly, then spread into an even layer.
- Remove the crumble mixture from the refrigerator and sprinkle it over the apples. Add the chopped walnuts.
- Bake in the oven until the crumble topping is golden brown and the apples are fork-tender, about 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before you serve the apple crumble.
Walnut Butter Sandwiches
White Pine Tea
"White Pine Tree
Thank you for our tea!"
The Wishing Tree
- Rabindranath Tagore
The Peace Stick
I am an old and solid tree.
My roots grow deep into the ground beneath me.
Bending one leg, I bring my foot to my thigh.
Balancing can be tricky, but I’ll give it a try!
I focus my sight on a single spot.
Yoga improves my concentration a lot!