LandPaths' Happenings Blog

Joy in Healing the Land

IOOBY Alexander Valley Pulling Fennel

After hacking away at a few tenacious fennel bulbs, this Alexander Valley 3rd Grader exclaims, "Can we do this all day!?" 
Here is one of the many faces that encourages us at LandPaths to keep at this work of connecting people with land.  

This Alexander Valley 3rd Grader is pulling fennel at Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve. As part of LandPaths' In our Own Backyard program, his whole class has adopted Healdsburg Ridge, turning it into an outdoor classroom to learn from and steward throughout the year. This year students learned the story of fennel. Fennel was brought to the United States by Italian settlers who loved the plant for its many uses- they used the bulbs in roasts and salads, used the flower and seeds as a flavorful spice, and ate the seeds whole and in tinctures as a digestive aid. Fennel soon hopped right over the garden fence and into the wild! Though this plant is loved by humans, it tends to take over the native ecosystem, out-competing native plants for space, light, nutrients and water.  Removing fennel helps to restore our local, wild food web from grain to grasshopper, to bird, to deer, to hawk, to mountain lion.

The successful reciprocity happening here between the boy and the land should not be overlooked. In giving his total energy and spunk towards hard work and healing the land, this boy's reward is joy.  If the photo, and this child's evident zeal at pulling up fennel is any proof at all, it certainly seems that everyone, including the land itself, is winning.

Click here to learn more about IOOBY.

Posted by Meg Hamill at 13:02
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