One of the reasons I love being a Girl Scout Leader is that everything that I am excited about fits in with the Girl Scouts purpose. Right now our girl are learning about the natural world and farming in our Journey “Between the Earth and Sky.” We’ve even been talking about regional crops, local food, and plant classifications. The leader’s guide for the journey recommended having a farmer come to talk to the troop about plants “special jobs” as we prepare to talk about sunflowers and their ability to clean up dirty places by drawing toxins like lead out of the soil.
Well, I immediately thought of local Paqarina Farms because of their work in urban farming in Akron. They might not have been using sunflowers to clean up their land in the Akron City Limits, but they have definitely used organic principals to make that rusty old patch of soil a viable farm which can even support customers and a CSA. I emailed Karmi, one of the owners of Paqarina to ask if she would come speak to our girls and she said, “absolutely!”
Yesterday was the day she came to speak with the girls and it was a hit! Our scouts were so amazed that our Farmer was not a man, but a woman! They sat down to hear “Miss Karmi” explain their bee hives, horse plows and companion planting. My daughter Olivia informed everyone that bee hive collapse is happening because of pesticides in High Fructose Corn Syrup (which was both adorable and embarassing). The Troop decided that I was the Queen Bee and they were the worker bees. And everyone played with tools.
Here’s the troop working in their journals drawing something they learned about farming from Miss Karmi. Most of the girls were really inspired by the “three sisters” so you can see their corn and beans in the pictures.
Miss Karmi invited us to visit in the summer when all of the crops are in full swing and her chickens are out and about. And I plan on paying her a visit to the Highland Square Countryside Conservancy Farmer’s Market on Thursdays this summer. I’ll keep you posted as to what else my kiddos learn from Miss Karmi later on!