My immediate and extended family has always been known to plant and grow flowers, vegetable, and fruits. I remember my mom nurtured a banana tree in our home and went it got too big, she donated the tree to the school she worked at where they made it a science project.
I have never been a plant person or cared for them really. I think I sabotaged many of my mom’s growing efforts as a kid by breaking some leaves and was never committed to watering anything. I never liked when guys attempted to give me flowers. Yes I am weird that way.
Putting a joke into Practice
My cousin Elena lives in New Jersey and she grows plants in and outdoors. She posted pictures of her plants one day and I told her I had a brown thumb. She was a bit surprised to know that the Martinez Green Thumb had passed me by but encouraged me to start growing plants.
I remember telling her in January when I got our first plants of coriander, chives, and a collard green plant that I was going to start growing. I also decided to grow, from seeds, collard greens and basil. She encouraged me to turn my brown thumb into a green one. Many of the seeds and plants in our garden have been purchased at the Organic Farmer’s Market in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Planting with Daniela
Since January I have been committed to watering my plants everyday. I added a Moringa plant to the bunch and had some other plants that look like cactus and grow flowers on the top. I also had another plant that my godmother gave me about a year ago that miraculously survived our move and no water.
We planted some Coriander seeds with Daniela so she could continue to learn how to plant and grow her own herbs. I took the seeds right from our plant.
Coconut Husk Cup
We also visited the Organic Market in San Juan, Puerto Rico where the farmers and customers were celebrating Earth Day. There was Kirtan music, dancing, and poems read thanking the Earth for all of the bountiful fruits and vegetables the farmer’s have grown throughout the year. As one gentleman put it, for him everyday is Earth Day.
There was an activity for the children organized by one of the parents whose husband sells all sorts of natural juices and fresh coconuts. You get to buy a coconut, drink the water, and then eat the pulp. The mom gave a brief explanation of the activity and asked who wanted to use the coconut husk as a planter or cup. I chose a cup for Daniela and we decided to take it home to paint.
I had her fingerpaint some of the coconut husk and I finished the rest for her since she was more interested in playing with the rocks outside. Since we did this morning I am going to let it dry and she can use it later on to drink or even eat snacks out of it.
In our house we always say we celebrate everday in Puerto Rico and Earth Day should be everyday.
What types of activities are you teaching your children about helping maintain a healthy Earth?
Thanks to my cousin Elena Tirado for her photo.
All other photos were taken by Lucy Feliciano and Raul Colon.