Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Forestry Field Trip

A few months ago, we went with our local homeschooling group on a lovely forestry field trip. We were separated into two groups: older and younger.

We began by greeting friends and then listened to a presentation by our three forestry hosts, before heading off to explore...we counted rings on trees, held beautiful huge pine cones and the kids loved sitting on their homemade benches and stumps while the rangers told us all about the native trees and bushes...

We then headed over to the wash (which was dry due to our drought) and got to learn about and pick some miner's lettuce. Guess during the gold rush, they used to eat this as a salad. We tried and it was really yummy. The girls kept going back for more and I had to stop my veggie loving gals before we ate it all up :)

We then moved to the work shed and examined samples they had laid out for the kids to touch...counted more rings and learned all about the insects that burrow into the trees and eventually weaken them. Their trails were fascinating...

Following this presentation, we were handed over to another ranger who covered the various tools the forestry service uses to prepare for and combat fire season in California. We have yearly wild fires and even were evacuated from our home a few years ago, but luckily, the amazing firefighters come to our rescue and we've been safe every year!

We then met up with the older group for a fun game! The kids broke up into two groups and each group had to put on the fireman's outfit, carry a bucket of wood shavings to the ranger, answer a question, the "douse the fire" with the shavings.

It is always so wonderful to see how the bigger kids help the littler ones, without any requests from the mommas. I just love homeschoolin' kids :)

After we were done, each child received a sticker badge, a coloring book and a little coastal oak tree to plant in the yard! So fun! I also wasn't aware of this, but the forestry service has free trees and even firewood available for those who need it or ask for it. It's a government service, so your tax dollars are at work! Just contact your local branch and they will direct you further :)

Thanks for reading!


  1. What a neat trip! I would love to try the miner's lettuce. :)

  2. We've got miner's lettuce in Sacramento, too. I think there might still be some in my yard.... It looks like you have a nice, large homeschool group. How wonderful for your girls (and you)!

  3. Yes, the miner's lettuce was surprisingly good. I didn't find it too bitter at all and the girls kept wanting more and more. That's awesome you have some in your yard, Jenell! I'd love to get some to grow in my yard - our soil is so bad, but it just might do well since it grew in the forest.

    And yes, we have a very large homeschooling group from all different walks of life. Some are with CAVA, some with charters and some file the R-4 (like we will starting in Oct). It's a very organized group, which is nice because we can be as social as we like. There's always something going on! I would think Sac would have a nice size group, as well?!?

    Thanks for the comments - you guys made my day :)