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Marigold seeds and mousaches

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 10 Nov 2011 at 12:39 PM

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Although I'm sure some of you won't believe me, I have actually spent November doing more than just crafting fake moustaches.  For one thing, I have been busy with the pre-school gardening club.  Over the last couple of weeks the children and I have been harvesting seeds to store in their handmade seed packets.

OK, so "handmade seed packets" may be a slightly grand term for finger painted flowers on envelopes, but they work just fine and are a useful way for two, three and four-year-olds to get creative.

I have harvested sunflower seeds with the children before, which are great because they're so large and the seed heads themselves are supremely impressive.  However, this year, I decided to go for something a little different - pot marigolds.

These are great plants for kids - cheerful colours, easy to grow, good for attracting useful insects and best of all, the petals are edible.  One word of caution - the ideal plant is the English marigold (Calendula officinalis), not the French or African marigolds (Tagetes spp.) as most of these aren't edible, or at least aren't a joyful taste sensation.

The dried out marigold heads have seeds galore and these are just about large enough for pre-school age children to harvest. Also, you could have enough seed heads on even three of four plants for a whole class to have one.

Then, it's just a matter of them sticking on the plant growing instructions, which I try to keep as simple as possible (for the parents, as much as the children) so that no-one is worried about having a go.


Right - that's the serious stuff out of the way.  Now it's time for the Movember moustaches. 

Since my last post, I have crafted another six. Well, OK, one was not so much crafted as simply encouraged to reside on my upper lip for a few seconds. Yes, that's right, it was the live slug moustache yesterday.

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Still, on the plus side, this does mean I am now in triple figures for sponsorship (£165 - thank you, generous people) and, even more incredibly, the Bristling Gardeners Team is currently number 16 in the entire country with over £5K raised for this very good cause. You can see the whole team's photos on Flickr and follow progress here.

Oh, and if I get to £250, I shall try the double worm 'tache.



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