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On the way home from the City Farm today I was explaining to Jude that, if you were careful, you could eat some wild p

lants. I took a bite of the root of a ‘hedge garlic’ or somesuch onion-related plant to show him (OK I admit, slightly cockily). About 2 minutes later my mouth nearly exploded with searing pain and my throat felt like it was closing up.

When I explained the sorry tale to Nige he laughed and said it was old permaculture joke that it’s easily mixed up with Lords and Ladies which has mild sulphuric acid or similar in its root.

Ho ho ho.

This isn’t the first time I have failed to show any bushcraft prowess. So far we showed the Woodchips how to put up a tent with no tent, have at least once locked everyone out of the building, forgotten to take a penknife to cut open oranges for juicing in the park


… top idea we did for Science Week – take about 3m of garden hose (so a 15m length will do about 5) and make cone shaped card cone thingies at either end (preferably different colours so red can be the listening end and blue the speaking) and then attach with gaffa tape.

Get the kids to whisper down one end and listen at the other and they’ll have hours of fun. You can, if you feel confident, explain the basics of sound waves and telephone systems…


Some seahorses facts since we are called sparkling seahorses!

Seahorses gained international protection on May 15, 2004What do South American Spider Monkeys, Ringtail Opossums and seahorses have in common? They all have prehensile tails.

-Seahorses are members of the Teleost suborder, or bony fish.

-Seahorses usually live in the tropics or along temperate coasts.

-The average height of a full-grown sea horse is 2-8 inches.
Seahorses also vary in color, including orange, red, yellows, grey, and greens.

-Seahorses can come in patterns like “zebra stripes” and spots.

-Seahorses change color to blend in with their surroundings.

-Seahorses feed on small living animals such as daphnia, cyclops, larvae of water insects, or mysids.

-Seahorses like to swim in pairs linked by their tales.

-Seahorses cannot curl their tails backwards.

-Seahorses belong to the vertabra group, meaning they have an interior skeleton.

-The small dorsal fins propel it through the water in an upright position, while it beats them back and forth, almost as fast as a humming bird flapping its wings.

-Seahorses usually mate under a full moon.

-The pectoral fins control turning and steering. When resting, the seahorse curls its tail around seaweed, to keep it from floating away…

-Seahorse natural predators are crabs, tuna, skates and rays.

-Seahorses are loyal and mate for life.

-During mating, the Seahorses utter musical sounds.

-The female deposits eggs into the male’s small pouch, and then leaves. Out of the entire animal kingdom, these are the only animals in which the male has babies!

-Twenty-five million seahorses a year are now being traded around the world – 64 percent more than in the mid-1990s – and environmentalists are increasingly concerned that the booming trade in seahorses is putting the creatures at risk.