Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.
- Looking at the top picture of the man walking by the stream, what words would you use to describe the vegetation? Is it a place you would go to look for food? Do you recognise any of the plants in this picture or any of the others?
- In one picture, an ecologist, Mahuru Wilcox, is shown looking at a plant with her young daughter. They ask “He aha te rākau o te rā?” What’s the tree of the day? This means that they check the lunar calendar and forage from healthy looking trees. What do you think might be signs that a plant is healthy and good to forage from?
- Peter Langlands thinks there is “huge biodiversity in roadsides.” What does this mean? Which animals might appreciate this kind of biodiversity? Is his statement true of roadsides where you live? If not, can you think of any places it would be true of?
- “Having a wild meadow out the front (of your house) is the equivalent of playing loud music at 11pm on a Tuesday night.” What is the writer suggesting about meadows vs lawns? How do you feel about lawns? How do you feel about the idea of more meadows in our cities?
- Do you like the idea of being able to name/identify more plants in your neighbourhood? Would you forage a snack if you were confident to do so? Why or why not? Can you imagine foraging catching on among people your age?
Activity: Go on a foraging scavenger hunt
Go for a walk and see how many edible weeds you can spot! At this time of year you might find violet leaves, wild strawberry leaves and berries, onion weed, dock, daisies, nasturtium, dandelion and several other edible species.
You will need:
- A print-out of this scavenger hunt or a phone with this email on it
- Sharp eyes
- An open mind!
Step One: Print out this email of have it open on a phone.
Step Two: Go on a walk and tick off any of the plants you find.
Step Three: Collect any of them that you want to, but get an adult to check them before you eat them!