Playing with Poppy Seeds

This week at the Family Resource Center we learned about the California Poppy. Parents and children tried a salad made from garden greens and a poppy seed salad dressing. We also had tea made from two herbs harvested right from the garden – mint and lemon verbena. Lemon verbena has been a favorite herb of parents attending previous classes.

We found a California poppy right near some strawberry plants in the garden. Some of the strawberries in the garden were ready to eat! The children got to pick their own strawberry to eat and were very eager to pick more.

To explore the poppy more, we used plants around the garden to make shakers for our poppy seeds! We collected horsetail as a container for our seeds, an elderberry leaf to cover one end of the hollow horsetail piece, and some grass to tie around the leaf to make sure the seeds didn’t fall out. Teacher Jasmine found that we could stuff the leaf inside the horsetail to hold the seeds as well! The poppy seeds in the shaker sounded a bit like a rattlesnake, one of the animals that lives in the grassland where California poppies grow.

Poppies bloom during the spring and beginning of summer, a time when many other plants are blooming. We explored the garden with the parents and children looking at the different kinds of flowers blooming all over the garden. We found that yarrow, yellow yarrow, and california everlasting (pictured here), as well as flax and cilantro are blooming right now. One parent shared that his father and grandfather would crush cilantro seeds and spread them at the front of their yard for their community to harvest whenever they needed any cilantro. He also shared that cilantro seeds have also been used in Guadalajara to create candies that have a cilantro seed surprise in the center!