Soil

Today Múinteoir Clíona taught us about 4 different types of soil.  

Can you match the name of the soil with the description? 

Flora

We know now Flora is not just something you spread on you toast. Flora is the name given to all the plants, trees, fungi and bacteria in an area.

If you are out for a walk, have a look around at all the different flora that is around you. Take pictures, sketches, and leaf rubbings of what you see and then catalogue them in a scrap book of all the local flora.  Include any facts you know, or can find out, about the plant. www.irishwidflowers.ie is a good website to help identify any flowers you do not know.  

Important - Only pick flowers if there are a lot them e.g daisies, blossom, dandelions, wild garlic.  Leave enough flowers for other people to enjoy.  If you are picking something in your garden ask permission.

Pressing and drying anything you collect makes sure it will not wither and you can stick it into your scrap book easily. 

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to rte.ie/learn

A Pressing matter…

How to Press Flowers, Leaves and Grasses

1) Make sure your flowers are very fresh and very dry. If you press a wet flower it could go mouldy. 

2) Place your flower in something absorbent like tissue or even a coffee filter will work!

3) Put your wrapped flower into a heavy book. 

4) Close over the book and place it in a warm place. Put other heavy objects on top. Wait a week or two until the flower is fully pressed and dried and carefully stick it into your scrapbook. Use sticky back plastic or clingfilm to protect it. 

Foraging for Food: 

Did you know that a lot of plants that we consider to be weeds are actually edible and really good for you?  Seriously! You can make a delicious soup with nettles, or a healthy salad with dandelion leaves.    

One plant that is currently growing all over our parks and woodlands is wild garlic.  It has broad, glossy leaves and delicate white blossoms.  To check it is definitely wild garlic, pick off a leaf and give it a sniff, you'll be able to tell straight away. 

When thoroughly washed, the leaves can be used to make a delicious pesto to put on your pasta (see recipe below) or add to butter to make garlic bread.  

When you go out foraging (within 2 km please) for wild garlic pick the leaves low to the ground. Don’t pick too many in one area, move to another patch if you need more.  Be respectful of the plant, other foragers and those who appreciate the smell and beauty of the flower.  

Important – Move in off the pathways when foraging, into where dogs don’t like to walk so you don’t get plants with dog wee on them!  Also, it is very important to double check that you are picking the right leaves and flowers, so always smell them, you don’t want to pick anything poisonous.   It would be useful to bring a picture of the plant with you to compare what you are picking. If in doubt ask an adult.

Wild Garlic Pesto is the Besto!!

Ingredients:

  • 150g wild garlic leaves
  • 50g parmesan finely grated
  • ½ juice & zest of a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 50g toasted pin nuts (to toast put in a dry pan (no oil) on a medium heat and shake them around every so often until they have turned a light brown)
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Method: 

Wash, drain and roughly chop up the wild garlic leaves

Put the wild garlic leaves, parmesan, lemon zest and pine nuts into a blender and blitz them together until they are a paste.  

With the motor still going (careful!), add almost all the oil, hold back a small bit for the end.   Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Taste and see if it needs any more seasoning with the salt and pepper, and hey pesto it's ready to eat! 

If you are not using your pesto straight away, then you should store it in a clean jar.  Pour the remaining oil on top to help keep it fresh and put it in the fridge.   It should be good to eat for up to two weeks, or a few months if you put it in the freezer. 

Serve with your favourite pasta or lather on a piece of crusty bread!

  

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to rte.ie/learn

Answers to soil quiz:  1+b, 2+c, 3+d, 4+a