All humans have the same needs for sustenance, shelter, and love. Learning about different cultures helps us to recognize that fact. We can learn many things by studying cultures from around the world. One valuable thing that we can learn is how different people acquire their needs. We can begin to see the way in which we live is shaped by our environment and history. You will also begin to notice the great disparities between cultures. Chief among them is access to healthy food. This happens in impoverished areas. These areas are referred to a food deserts.
There are many socio-economic and political reasons why food deserts exist. Because of the many complicated and convoluted reasons, it is a problem that cannot be solved quickly. One way however, that people can increase their intake of healthy food is by growing a garden. Contrary to popular belief, gardens do not need as much space as one might think. Growing a garden vertically can prove to be quite bountiful. Find ideas for growing a vertical garden within a tiny space here.
While learning about various cultures, it is important to note successful and sustainable ways to grow food. One particularly clever practice to come from the indigenous people of Mesoamerica is the planting technique known as The Three Sisters. The Three Sisters creates a companion gardening scheme with corn, beans and squash. Each plant in this triad provides the other plants with something to aid its growth. Essentially the plants work together; the corn provides a stalk for the beans to grow, the beans fix nitrogen and the squash helps keep the soil well covered, moist and protected.
I find this symbiotic relationship to be particularly profound during these intense times of social divide. We can learn how to nourish and protect one another by reading into companion farming practices and plant relationships. We can learn to provide for each other much like the Three Sisters do. Teach your kiddos about ways to farm as a means to sustain not only their own lives but the lives of those who are less fortunate. Use this craft to explain how all life can work together to thrive.
Construction paper in white, shades of green and yellow
1. Cut a stalk for the corn by creating a long rectangle. Create a point at the top. Glue to paper.
2. Use the yellow paper to create the corn. Cut out elongated "tear" shapes. Repeat with the green paper. Glue on.
3. Use the white glue to create the bean vines. Lay the yarn on the glue.
4. Add beans to the yarn vine. You can paint these green or use markers or simply leave them the color they are.
5. Glue on pom pom squash by adding large amounts of glue in multiple places along the bottom of the paper. Apply pom to glue blob.
6. Cut large squash leaves. The shape is not incredibly important here. Just make a leaf like shape which is on the larger side. Glue the leaves around the poms, allowing for a sneak peek of squash.