Friday, February 12, 2016

Bee-friendly Valentines

When I was a kid, class parties were simple affairs. We played one game and got a snack that contained every allergen imaginable -- gluten, nuts, dairy, eggs --as well as a generous dose of sugar. In 4th grade, I had a teacher who insisted on "heart healthy" snacks for Valentine's day. All the moms complied, but they dumped red food coloring in everything. Valentines were printed on perforated card stock, and you had to rip them apart and put everyone's name on one. That was it.

I must have been too old when I had my first kid (nearly 30) because boy, had times changed! When my kid started school, I found out that all the moms sent in goodie bags with candy, stickers, and toys. And you had to arrive at the school two hours before the party to take these things down to the school nurse along with a list of ingredients. She would check the class list of allergies against ingredients, and if your snack he didn't pass muster, you had to take it home. And moms did this for every flipping holiday! Halloween. Christmas. 100 days. Valentines... When I was growing up, whoever heard of a St. Patrick's goodie bag?

I blame Martha Stewart and Pinterest.

So anyway, I found out at 5:00 last night my son's class was having a Valentine's party. (Yes, the letter was dated 2/11, so it hadn't been sitting in a backpack for 2 weeks.) WTH???!!!

I'm not a big fan of cards that get thrown away or sugar, and I'm too lazy to do goodie bags and crafts. However, these 20 cent seed packages gave me an idea.

They're not fancy because I was printing labels up 15 minutes before we had to leave for school (running late because I'd already ruined four dozen muffins this morning and had to run down to the store to buy new ones). But a nice graphic, a frilly font, fun paper, and ribbon would make these super cute.

Best of all, this became an opportunity to support pollinators with a little "guerrilla gardening."


  1. Awesome idea! Let the kids show their love for the bees and the planet!

    1. Thanks, I agree! I'm also thinking about getting a flat of flowering tree seedlings from Arbor Day to hand out when I give a talk to the kindergarten classes at the school in May. It's kind of a sneaky way to garden, but it might be a good way to increase awareness... and forage, since all these kids are in a 3 mile radius of me! ;-)

    2. The kids are the ones who are going to make the difference, so if we can indoctrinate them early, then we are all set. ;-) My son wrote an essay for a college scholarship this week and I was surprised in how much what he said was things that I had been saying (about saving the planet), but didn't think he was listening to me. The "good" news is that saving the bees and the problems they are having are in the news so it's not coming out of left field. Sounds like a great plan you have!

  2. This sounds great! Have a great weekend.

  3. Quite a creative idea! Though I told my teenager and she was not impressed :) We eat pretty healthy (the kids swear non-organic milk tastes terrible), but Valentine's was always about the chocolate and other candy. Sad but true. Good luck!

    The Arbor Day idea sounds nice, reminds of a family story. My grandfather was a minister in New England and would root geranium plants each year and give a plant to each kid at the Easter service. What kinds of tree are you thinking of? I'd like to plant a tree in our yard this year, still considering my options.

    1. Yeah, I hear your daughter. BTW, I gave my kids non-candy treats, but then my husband bust out with a 1-lb chocolate bar for each of them. LOL!

      Love that story about your grandfather! How sweet! Bet the kids were so excited to get those geraniums, too. There is nothing like watching something grow.

      If I give out tree seedlings for the kindergarten, the Arbor Day foundation sells 50-packs. I was thinking redbuds would be a good choice because the bees love them, and they're small trees, which means they fit better in most yards.

      For myself, I like fruit trees & shrubs, though I'd also eventually like to take down some of my oaks and evergreens and replace them with willows and witch hazel. I'm also always on the look out for bee-friendly trees/shrubs that bloom in June and later to tide the bees over during our dearth.

      Have fun picking out your trees!

    2. Thanks, and let us know how Arbor Day goes. I planted a Witch Hazel in our yard last year. Still waiting for it to bloom, so I hope it is still alive. Getting itchy for some buds to appear.


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