Friday, September 27, 2013

Chaga Mushroom

I have spoke in the past about Chaga, and how much I love this wonderful mushroom. And here I am again! 
Just in case you aren't aware of the MANY benefits of drinking Chaga Tea, please visit this web page. The author does a wonderful job at detailing its vast benefits and uses. 

I have decided that I will be offering Chaga Chunks for sale at my new vending space, which is located at O'toole Gallery & Celtic Fox Coffee House. Today I whacked and hammered the big, uniform chunk of chaga that we harvested last month, into serving size pieces. I am currently undertaking some research to determine a sale price to start at. There is also the sale method to mull I will sell it exactly. It needs to be either un-packaged or dried to utter extreme and then vacuum sealed. Once I have these things worked over, I will certainly be posting it on my Facebook page to let all my clients know that it is indeed available. How exciting! 

In the world of business, I have also overcome a little bump in the past few weeks. It involved having our home insurance being dropped by our insurance company, and then searching out a new and much better insurance policy from Fraser & Hoyt that will not only cover our home, but also my business adventures. 

Next up in the business agenda is to review the current guidelines for selling prepared food items at markets. These are simply guidelines, and no licencing is required by the province, however I am working towards meeting all the requirements for a Class 3 food prep. It's a bit of paperwork, and will involve my changing a few of my food handling practices, but in the end, I can ensure that my products meet all guidelines, requirements and that they are SAFE. 

It's all a journey, all fun, and certainly well worth it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Is 25 the new 18?

My response to this post...

"Psshhh. The only thing that will restrain a child, is the society that creates the boundaries for that child. It’s when others expect nothing, or little from the youth, that the youth in turn, learn to expect nothing or little from themselves. " 

I fear we are creating a world of incompetence. Even some legal boundaries prevent my children form spreading their wings...for example, how old does a child need to be to stay home alone? What if a child is mature enough mentally and prepared to be responsible, however still does not meet the age that society has deemed "appropriate"? I do have a few more examples, but mainly, my point is that we all too often underestimate the abilities of our youth. I am learning more and more as a mother and teacher to really trust in my kids and expect them to stand up to some higher expectations. Yes, my kids will know how to cook a full meal, and how to budget an income well before they leave home. I would never dream of withholding practical life skills that are essential to their survival! As they are members of this family, they play as a team with the family. Of course, they love to play and joke around as kids do, but they can, and do take much interest in real life learning. Just give them some practical application..a little every day.  

A New School year. A few thoughts about that.

We are well on our way into a new year of learning. I suppose that is the technical and more formal way to say it. Truth is, we never did stop learning. GASP! All throughout the summer we have been in the garden and forest, have attended workshops, and even taught a few. All of the excitement is too much to recount here, but I promise, we had fun! So much fun that I have completely neglected the blog here! Sorry!! 

We started "officially" in class in late August. I suspected the boys would need a little time to get back into the grind of daily work books. And I was right...but, finally, we are at a good pace. I have been looking into formally teaching Griffen, and have looked at some curriculum. During my search, I came across this post by a fellow blogger. I'm not sure I agree completely with everything the blogger has said, but I do know that neither public school or "schooling" at home have fostered a love for learning in my children, and they certainly didn't have my children excelling in academics. I can give you test scores to prove that. It doesn't work because it doesn't foster the love and passion that my kids have deep inside. Little by little we are learning to shake off the secular model for learning. More and more, I am seeing that when I allow my children to be wild and free, giving them opportunity to learn through experience and adventure, they grasp more. When I release the chains of confinement and stop directing them so narrowly, they are free to roam, and often find themselves in a world of learning that I had never fathomed they could ever find on their own. Children are brilliant, but only if we tear down the walls that restrain them, allow them to dream, and pursue those dreams. One thing that I never foresaw when we began to homeschool was the change in my children's persona. Rather than following the grain of peer influence, they are re-finding themselves. Truly, I thought the damage had been done and that I would never get them back..the real "them". But again I had underestimated them. They have come back with strength and resilience. Just one year. It resonates with me, families teach their's a great design. Mothers and Fathers, Grandparents, Elders, the Community. When we come together to rear our young, we can accomplish great things.

 I went on to search a bit more and came across a great post about unschooling. I had certainly heard of it, but upon reading the post, I was quite enlightened..and pretty inspired. I decided to print it off and read it to my kids. They thought it was brilliant and urged me to let them free range. 

And so, this morning, we let go...just a bit. I am a little anal about structure, schedules, and the like....and my kids don't drop far from the tree, but I think the spontaneous bug hunt this morning was a start. Cylas declared that he was going to learn how to speak French and proceeded to register for and Carter decided to make Chocolate Chip cookies all by himself...then proceeded to take half of them to a few of our elders in the neighborhood as a good deed. Hey, we may have missed a few English studies today, but I am very impressed with the kids ambitions. It's a journey, like a corner that we are turning on. I think I will forgo an official curriculum for the 3 year old for now, and just learn to have learning moments with him. I'll teach him yes, but not in the rigid way I thought I would...I think it will look much much different now. 

Oh! And I should mention that both Cylas and Carter have jumped at the idea of keeping a blog. They love to write short stories, and so I have linked them up...their pages can be found by clicking the tabs at the top of my blog.