Permaculture in Action

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hot Hot Hot.

Into the heat of yesterday morning, descended a bus load of children.Thirty five children ranging in  age from 5 years to 11 from an inner city OOSH (out of school hours childcare), along with their teachers.

We quickly got on with the tour before it got any hotter. The aim for the day was to show the children animals living in an an environment that caters to their needs and individual behaviors.

The children noticed that the pigs liked their mud puddle and lots of food.

They noticed that the chickens liked to roll around in the soil and lay eggs.

They were surprised that ducks like to eat their food from the water.

The children were surprised that the chickens like to sleep up high on a roost.

They were a little surprised that a cow was so very very big.

There were children who were frightened of guinea pigs but by the end of the visit were promising to be back so that they could buy one for their very own because they were just so cute and just the thing to hold in your lap.

After the tour we divided into five groups and rotated around five activities. They got up close to the cow and pony with Mark, and if they felt really brave they got to brush them.

They were able to sit and cuddle with the guinea pigs.

They drew a picture of something they'd seen on the farm with a theme around what animals like in their environment. There were lots of drawings of pigs and mud!

They did some seed saving. Corn rubbed from the cob, sunflower seeds pulled from the old flower head, leek seeds pulled off and willowed, and red kidney beans taken out of their pods.

 The group doing the leeks didn't get very far did they?

And lastly a paper pot made, filled with soil and a little seed added, to be taken home to grow.

Sorry no photos. It was so full on. But we all had a great day. And as they left a little hug for me from one little girl, telling me she would miss me and that she'd be back for a guinea pig. One teacher's parting remark was ''Thank you so much. The kids learnt so much and so did we"

And that makes it so worth while. If the only thing they learn is that animals deserve to live a good life, and they can make decisions as they get older about where they source their food, then I feel that we've made a difference.

And after they all left it was back to making sure the animals were comfortable during the afternoon heat wave. We put the overhead sprinklers on in the garden to cool down the chickens in their domes, and of course make sure they have cool water to drink. I refill the guinea pigs dish of water. They don't necessarily drink it if they have enough green grass to eat, but they do like to lay in the water to cool down. And I move them into the shade.

The seedlings will need a drink as well and then it's back to the shade and a cool drink for me also. Quite often I wrap a wet towel around my shoulders while on my my tour of the livestock and this helps a lot to keep me cool. If you'd like some more tips on keeping cool this summer duck over to Linda's blog. She shows you how she keeps the house and animals as cool as possible in her neck of the woods and contemplates the real threat of bush fires.


  1. What a hot but wonderful day it must have been. Great to hear the children were involved in not only activities with animals, but seed saving as well. You are making a difference.

  2. Hi Kate, imagine a child being scared of a guinea pig! It's great that you are able to provide an opportunity for kids to familiarise themselves with garden's and animals!

    Today's supposed to be the last day of our unbearable heat. Then it's back to hot without the unbearable element. Thirty one degrees tomorrow. It's already thirty one now at twenty past seven in the morning!! It's going to be forty three today. I've taken to showering in a lukewarm shower fully clothed. Then when I go out to the animals my clothes are nice and cool. It's getting me through.