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Kids’ Patch

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The winner this issue is Pearl Turnbull aged 4 from Bendigo. Congratulations Pearl you receive an original illustration by Trace Bella and a copy of her book Rockhopping (Allen and Unwin 2016)

Parents send in photos of your kids in the garden or with their homegrown produce to win a set of Little Permies activity cards. To enter send name, age and address of child to maude@pipmagazine.com.au.

kids-patch

SEASONAL FOOD AND GARDENING FOR THE EARLY YEARS

by Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

New kitchen garden book for early years educators!

This practical illustrated guide gives early years educators an introduction to pleasurable food education. The activities and recipes in this book are designed to support educators working within the context of the Australian Government’s Early Years Learning Framework.

HOW TO ATTRACT NATIVE BEES TO YOUR GARDEN: BUILD A BEE CUBBYHOUSE

Words by Jesse (aged 7) and Megan Forward

We need bees in our garden to pollinate the «owers, which then turn into fruit. There are many interesting species of Australian native bees, and you can attract them by building them a home, similar to what they make in nature. If you want to make a cubbyhouse for native bees in your garden, here is how to go about it.

What you’ll need: Fishing wire; air drying clay; two sticks; box or tin, or an old drawer that is being thrown out (Mum and I keep an eye out at council street throw-out time); pencil; bamboo canes (pencil diameter); more sticks; small hardwood; blocks; a saw and a drill; strong hook and wire, or rope.

NOTE: the number of clay/hardwood blocks you will need will depend on the size of your box/tin/drawer. You’ll need an adult to help you.

Step 1. Use the fishing wire, tied between two sticks, to cut your clay into a couple of squarish shapes that are deep enough to fit into your box.

Step 2. Use a pencil and squish it all the way down into the clay making lots of deep holes. It feels really fun to do this, and you can make as many holes as you like. As long as they all stay separate from each other. Leave the clay out to dry for a couple of days.

Step 3. Use the side of your box to measure its depth. Ask an adult to cut up pieces of bamboo to fit that depth, and enough for all the holes. While they are doing that, break up the sticks into small pieces.

Step 4. Ask an adult to drill some holes 3–9 mm wide and at least 80 mm deep into the hardwood blocks.

Step 5. Attach a hook (if using one) to the box, so you can hang it up later.

Step 6. Lay the box down on a table with the open side up. Put the clay squares and hardwood blocks in wherever you want to. Then slot in all your bamboo tubes. Push the sticks into the areas around the clay, wood and bamboo – as many as you can so that it’s nice and squeezy, and they won’t fall out.

Step 7. The cubbyhouse can be placed down low or up high. Either attach wire to your hook, or tie some rope around your box, for hanging it. The bees like a nice cool home. We hung ours under a tree, to get morning sun but be shaded in the middle of the day by the leaves, and protected by the tree trunk from the weather.

Bees like a drink of water close by, so we’ll put in a little birdbath, on a dish in a branch. Go out and check on the cubbyhouse every now and then. If you get little plugs of mud covering the holes, that means a female bee has laid her eggs in there and then closed it off.

Take photos or do a drawing of your bee cubbyhouse, especially if you see bees coming and going. Send them to hello@pipmagazine.com.au. The best cubby will be published in the next issue of Pip and its maker will receive a copy of A Patch from Scratch (Megan Forward, Penguin Random House 2016) featuring Jesse.

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