NEST… family nature hikes | with five and one

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Well, I don’t seem to have much time these days for blogging, but scheduling time outdoors is always at the top of my list. Join us this fall for a couple of hikes at local Kansas City trails.

FALL FAMILY NATURE HIKE SCHEDULE

Here are some great nature resources from the Children and Nature Network and the following articles are great motivators to engage in more nature based activities.

NPR article on children and screen time

This is always a great article to revisit. The Hybrid Mind

Enjoy this last bit of summer!

Julie

NOURISH … with nature’s twizzler + a raw beet salad recipe

Life is amazing and full lately! School has begun and I’m beginning to sift through all of the fantastic images of our time together growing food, cooking, creating, and traveling as a family over the summer break. One constant in our garden is this chinese red noodle bean that I have posted about before. It’s one that I should really start carefully seed saving from since you never know when the seed will become unavailable. We grow it in a pot on our terrace for easy access and the kids like to just eat it raw from the vine. This year I also added it to our larger garden and we have named it “nature’s twizzler”, our unprocessed version of a twizzler. It tastes nothing like a twizzler, but you would think that it was actually candy the way my kids tear off the bean and eat the entire pod, seeds and all. My favorite way to make it is with sriracha sauce or a sweet chili sauce that I posted last year here. Here are a couple of other recipes from our local New Roots for Refugees farmers (who I actually bought my first chinese red noodle bean from several years ago). I haven’t tried these recipes yet, but they look very tasty.

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One other vegetable that we always have in the garden are beets and as a matter of fact I just popped more seeds in the ground today to get a fall crop of them. The kids all love beets and a favorite way to make them this summer has been this raw beet salad.

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RAW BEET SALAD

2 large beets, peeled and shredded (you can wear rubber gloves when peeling if you are concerned with purple hands)

2 carrots, peeled and shredded

1 apple shredded or thinly sliced into match sticks (green apples work nicely, but any apple will do)

1 t. grated ginger

DRESSING

1-1/2 T. raw honey

1 t. balsamic vinegar

1/4 t. salt

1/2 juice of a lime

DIRECTIONS

Set aside the shredded beets, carrots, apple, and ginger. Mix together the dressing and pour over the beet mixture. This can be eaten right away but the taste gets better after the flavors marinate.

Enjoy!

Julie

CREATE … sycamore bark art | a natural art canvas

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Who needs paper when mounds of sycamore bark covers the backyard? If you’ve followed the blog for awhile you have probably seen this bark used in a variety of ways. It’s a FAVORITE natural medium of ours that falls from the branches of our sycamore trees and during our last storm it was covering the backyard. I have stashes of it waiting for new ways to incorporate it into projects and some extra special pieces I have displayed as their own objects of art. Something I find so endearing is that I will spot a little collection of it and then I’m told ” I was saving this for you mommy, do you want to keep it? “. They know it’s a favorite treasure of mine and they take it very seriously! I have made a sculpture with it here, and tucked valentine love notes in it here.

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With this last collection we experimented by adding color to the bark and using stencils. Oil pastels seemed to work the best with the rough texture of the bark and next I think we’ll experiment with opaque watercolors and paint.

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Enjoy this last bit of summer and if you spot any interesting bark near your house try using it as a canvas for art.

Julie