I am outrageously passionate about learning but not so passionate about schooling.
I have wild ones, that i am certain of. Anyone who knows them well enough would find it hard to disagree. It is true, that my little ones have the freedom to be as they are in all of their delightful and not so delightful shades. And it is true as a mother that i have recognised early what will and will not work for them without greatly effecting their inherent selves. This has taken us on a path that is undoubtably moving us away from any of the traditionalism that is usually expected right now at their ages. However, I am no longer really interested into moulding them into something that resembles little to who they are, for the sake of somebody elses idea of what they should be doing. The more I leave them alone, to follow their own guidance, the more i am recognising that they are always discovering and learning exactly what they need to be at precisely the right time for them. I cannot imagine these two little ones thriving in traditional school setting. My youngest would without a doubt conquer her experience if she was to embark on the mainstream schooling path. She would surly learn quickly to play by the rules and manipulate the system well. I’m certain she would challenge where she deemed necessary and the probability of this occurring more often than not would be high. She would absolutely, unquestionably survive the system. Except, to survive I’m afraid is no longer adequately enough. In every other part of our lives we are living truthfully, not measuring ourselves or abilities by any other person or methodical method. We are not comparing, justifying or compromising our selves. Most importantly we are not trying to please any one else’s expectations. And so much of education has been built around this calibre. Children are forever trying to please, do it the right way, the way that gets them the most praise and recognition. For what? They are taught early that what other people think, matters more than their own innate inclinations and i wonder is that really what we are wanting our children to believe? That they don’t matter as much as the one who stands before them. The one who has taken a more conventional path, the one who is older, the one who has a higher degree, the one who has a larger bank balance, the one who was born male? This familiar notion could go on forever. Disregarding our own guidance to please somebody elses ideas for what they deem to be right. I’m clear that my children were not born to please me or anyone else for that matter. Their lives are theirs to mould into what ever shape they desire, even at the ages of four and five. Their ‘wildness’ is inherently their own. Following this path of learning and living has been easier and come more naturally than any other orchestrated path we have followed before. This path is natural learning, a more natural education. It allows my children to show up fully in the truth of who they are. They don’t need to hide behind masks or pretend to be or like anything that they don’t. It teaches them to speak their truth, and maybe when they are older they will be less afraid of this, especially if their notions lend themselves towards raising a little controversy.
We have embarked on a wonderful permaculture adventure, with the notion that we will be able to sustain ourselves with organically grown fruit and vegetables. This exciting process, has the whole family involved. The food forest is well on the way, temporarily looking much the same as large vegetable patches at the moment, but will eventually grow out and beyond the boxes that contain them, into an expansive incredible food forest to rummage ourselves through. We have planted out an orchard, with apple varieties, pears, nectarines, oranges, lemons, olives, cherries and plums and will grow a field of white clover, radish, and Lucerne to support and nurture our young fruit trees. The children are taking it all very seriously, eagerly watching for growth and new life as it appears, and learning the names of fruit that we have never seen before like pepino melon, which is apparently wonderful to eat with ice cream. Apart from the obvious advantages of home-grown food and knowing exactly where and how what we are eating consists of exactly, its providing us with this wonderful learning platform of engagement. We discuss processes and seed selections, paying attention to the added benefits of the foods themselves supporting the growth of each other, much like a family. William asks what each plant does, he wants to know, who it is protecting and what from, and most of all what food it will produce for us. The discussion is always so much more important than just the planting of a seed. There is an excited eagerness, to watching things transform. The children can’t possibly wait until spring for their sunflowers to begin, so they have improvised and have begun growing them indoors, by the window in the small amounts of sun that we are still being graced with. Children are drawn to life, in all forms, they are naturally intrigued. It’s really humbling to find a platform that can naturally nurture this innate curiosity in them. We are all are learning so much, the fine art of patience, the importance of nurturing, and how to make wonderful worm juice concoctions. We are problem solving how to combat the white cabbage moth empathetically, and the life cycle of the hungry caterpillar. There is a world of science at our fingertips. We are spending endless amounts of hours pondering here, imagining how our food forest will be flourishing in a few years, how wonderful it will be if we could provide food for the ‘food is free project’, envisioning the possibility that everyone should have food available to them this way.
There is nothing simpler and nicer than wandering outside and collecting the eggs to then cook them up immediately for breakfast. If you have ever had eggs like this you will understand what I’m taking about..
ingredients: sourdough bread , free range fresh eggs, organic butter, organic baby asparagus spears, 1 avocado, juice of a lemon, olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper, a couple of free range kids
method: Heat a non stick grill pan on low, put on a small pot of water for the asparagus. With a glass cut holes into the centre of the sourdough, lightly butter on both sides and put aside. Gently snip with fingers the ends off the asparagus and place into the water when it comes to the boil. Blanch for 2-3 minutes, then remove and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Slice the avocado all the way around and remove the seed. Scoop the flesh out into a bowl and add the juice of half a lemon and season. Mash with a fork and set aside. Lightly oil the grill pan and turn the heat up to a medium heat then add the sourdough slices, as many as you can fit onto the pan. While toasting lightly season with salt and cracked pepper. Allow to toast for a minute or so then begin cracking your eggs into the holes of the bread. Allow the bread to cook to a buttery golden brown before flipping over to cook the other side. The second side will take less time than the first. Try not to over cook the eggs. When nicely toasted, take out of the pan and set aside on a board. While the grill pan is still hot add a little more olive oil and add the asparagus, gently sear for a minute, lightly season with salt. Serve the asparagus spears on the toasts, and add a spoonful of the avocado mixture to the plates. Give thanks and enjoy!