I recently joined pinterest, and it suddenly occurred to me that this will be a great resource for homeschooling and herbal study!
When the kids and I go on our daily walks we always discover a new plant or animal. We also discover animals in our own backyard. We normally would use a Pacific Northwest Field Guide to ID the plant and then place it in our nature journal.
Photo: Snow Iris Oregon Blooming in early spring:
Now we incorporate pinterest into our nature study.
What a great way to observe plants and animals through their seasonal cycles! The setup of the pinterest boards makes organizing at a glance so easy. It is much more convenient than using the simple ‘search’ option (if you have a blog) or getting side tracked by a web search or photo search on your own computer.
Having pin boards on pinterest is excellent if you are planning a garden, planing to wildcraft or harvest certain seasonal plants, or don’t want to miss a specific animal or plant species on your nature walk (see number 1 below).
I have created ‘pin boards’ that are seasonal (this also works great for food!) My boards are a work in progress- here is an example Pacific Northwest Animals Spring - Pacific Northwest Plants Spring.
Example of using pin boards to remember when to harvest wild foods: You can separate the pictures by season. Here is an example below, I took this picture of salmon berry in march of 2008- I know where to go and when to harvest. Instead of doing a search on my blog or computer, I can simply pin this to my pinterest account and I have the info at a glance!
Above photo: Salmon berry is one of the first spring blooms (usually blooming in March in the PNW). The new shoots are excellent eaten raw, just peal off the outside skin and eat the inside, you can see a picture of the shoots here.
Ideas for using pinterest for nature study or herbalism:
1. Use your pin boards to categorize the plants and animals that you observe on your nature study. If you do not get a picture of your own, use google blog search to find a local blog that has a good picture of the animal (blogs usually post by date so this makes it easy to confirm the right season). Include Latin names. Use your regional/ seasonal pins to help plan your next outing.
2. Use the boards for other nature related topics such a rocks, rivers, and the ocean.
3. Use your pin boards to watch plants through their growing cycle- this will help with plant identification and harvest times (for making herbal medicine, collecting wild foods, and preserving).
4. Use your pin boards to keep track of the seasonal changes with the animals and nature. Have your child sketch or paint some of the photos on paper.
5. Use your boards for future nature study ideas. Create a separate board for fun family activities that you are planning.
6. Use your boards to connect with other people that share your interests; share photos, get inspired, and ‘repin’.
7. Use your pinterest account for plant and animal ID on the go. If you have a smart phone or other portable device you can let your kids use that to double check Latin names, search for similar photos, and pin photos of the animals you saw on your nature outing (a great activity for on the way home in the car).
8. Use your pin boards for meal ideas, healthy snacks, meals on the go, and recipes – this will make your homeschooling day go more smoothly because you have your meals preplanned!
9. Use your pin boards to plan outdoor activities and trips- you can make regional pin boards. We live on Mt Hood in the Pacific Northwest, we are an hour and a half away from the Pacific Ocean in one direction, and a more dessert climate in the other. There are many habitats we can ‘pin’ on our boards!
10. Use your pin boards for books you will need for your homeschooling or herbal study.
I am sure there are many more ideas you can think of, how do you use pinterest? Leave a comment below
Tags: animals and plants, harvesting, harvesting times, Herbalism, Homeschooling, Iris Oregon, nature journal, nature study, Northwest Field, Northwest Plants, pacific northwest, Pacific Ocean, pinterest, plants and animals, salmon berry, seasonal cycles, spring blooms, Wildcrafting