Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Little House books and Sustainable Living

For many years, I've been fascinated (read: obsessed) with sustainable living. I'd love to raise our own animals, make our own butter and yogurt, bake our own bread, grow our own food; live off the land, so to speak. Some of this we do, sometimes. We usually bake bread a few times a week, have a small garden, we used to make our own yogurt (and the boys want to start doing this again) and occasionally, make butter, just for fun. Today was one of those butter making days - and the boys LOVED IT!

We are still reading through the little house series, so for our read aloud picture books today, we read books related to farming or pre-1900's living. We read The Ox Cart Man which we all loved. Its a library book, which we will soon own. The boys (and I) loved the way that each member of the family made things to sell at the market. Next we read Eating the Alphabet. Following that book, we read 1001 Things to Spot on the Farm and learned about many different kinds of farming (dairy farming, chicken farming, honey farming, and more). This was also a fun math lesson as we counted, divided, practiced fractions and addition. We also read Sugar Snow from the Little House Picture Book series. I would love to get my hands on some maple sap to make maple sugar and maple syrup with the boys.

We wrapped this up with homemade butter (each boy made his own) and homemade biscuits. The boys were so pleased and so proud of their work. Nicholas is planning our next family business - butter makers, lol. We tasted our butter on biscuits and saved some for Dad. We'll be doing more of this soon, I'm sure :o)

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