So today we went to The Wetlands Institute in New Jersey! We went out on a boat, dropped a troll net to catch some fish to study, collected some plankton, and saw wild bottlenose dolphins leaping in the bay! But since it was a long ride, my friend invited us to her parents’ shore house the night before, to avoid a frenzied rush in the morning.
So, this morning before we left I was sitting on the deck by the bay, and Christina came up with Purslane. "Look, Mom! It even grows here!" Well, why not? If it grows on the Spanish Steps in Rome, why not in a neglected, forgotten flower pot on the Jersey shore? She promptly popped it into her mouth.
A few minutes later, my friend’s young son came up to me with a weed he had yanked out of the stones, root and all. "What’s this?" "Oh! Lamb’s Quarters! It’s so yummy!" I popped a leaf in my mouth. "Taste it. It really has no taste. Very plain." I might as well have asked him to eat a cockroach. Eyes wide, with the uncomfortable smile one might give to a person one suspects might be a little crazy, he said politely, "Uh, n-no thanks." Must be polite with crazy people. You never know what they’ll do. "Oh, c’mon! Be a man!" I joked to this petite seven-year old. "No," as he backed away, "I’m not a leaf-eating man." Christina popped one in her mouth, too, then promptly went over to the purslane to show him that. "Try some," she said, as she took a big chomp and offered him the rest. He started giving her that crazy-lady look, too. "I’m not the leaf-eating type," and he quickly disappeared! So funny! I just got such a kick out of his assumption that I would be able to identify weeds, but his horror when Christina and I ate them! And I was so pleased that my almost-11-year-old is already proving to be a successful forager.
Yet while we admired the flora of the seashore, we did not neglect the fauna! Here are some little shrimps Christina netted in the bay. She was sorry to let them go again, because "they’re soooo cuuuuute!" Ahem. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Welcome to Growing Goodness! This website is dedicated to growing good things, both plants and children. It's a gardening blog with maternal overtones, as I discuss the goodness and value of plants, both wild and domestic. In the process I hope to help you pass a love of nature on to your children. Happy Gardening!