Last Friday, I got to go back to my roots. I was invited to speak to a couple of classes of Kindergartners at a local school about Monarch Butterflies. This year we have given out over 1,000 packs of seeds. The response was amazing, and we hope everyone will send us lots of pictures.
Many of you remember that Southbrook started in Richmond Hill as a roadside stand in the 1980’s. One of our biggest crops was pumpkins. Each year would welcome about 10,000 school kids, from Kindergarten to grade 4 out to the patch to walk in the field and learn about farming and nature.
What do you talk about to a class of very young children? You can't go into great detail, even though these kids knew a lot more than I expected (They had some very involved and dedicated teachers). I talked about the importance of milkweed and how amazing the butterflies are. I told them how not only butterflies are important, but bees are as well. I showed them Carol Pasternak’s great book: How To Raise Monarch Butterflies, and our new Solitary Bee House.
What was I trying to get across ? I told them that the big people in their lives like their parents have to pay attention to the big things like jobs, homes and cars. I told them that means they have to look out for the little things like Butterflies and Bees. I also told them that because they are little, it’s easier for them to look down so they can see what is happening on the earth
People ask me what they can do. All of life’s problems seem so huge: climate change or energy use as examples and anything that I can do seems so unimportant. We can all do something important. Whether it is talking to kids, planting a diverse butterfly garden or thinking about cutting back on waste (do I really need that straw? ), it is all significant. Every step is important, especially if we tell others what we are doing and why.