EARTH DAY – April 22nd, 2013 & Book Review of Parker Pastures

Earth-dayEarth Day began on April 22, 1970 and has been an important day ever since.  It’s a day to reflect on our planet, our environment and what we can do to help keep them healthy.

From the beginning, children and schools were approached to support the formation and continuation of this special day.  Children have the most important stake in keeping our planet healthy.  They’ll still be the caretakers long after their parents and grandparents have passed away. This year to celebrate on Miss Marple’s Musings, a blog with a big focus on conservation and care for our planet, I want to recommend a new book and suggest a few great activities in which children and families can participate to celebrate.

  • Title: Parker Pastures    chickens
  • By: Cat Urbigkit
  • Price: $2.99
  • Level: Grades 2-4
  • Available on: iPad from iTunes
  • Category: Children’s NF
  • Published: Mar 05, 2013
  • Publisher: Long Draw Publishing
  • Length: 32 Pages

Synopsis: This is a book that epitomizes Earth Day for me. It is an educational photo essay visit of Parker Pastures, a sustainable farm in Colorado. Through stunning photos, the book follows eight year-old Cloe as she introduces young readers to the farm’s chickens, ducks, cattle, goats, and sheep that provide a diversity of food and dairy products. The book describes in simple terms the rotation of the animals and the beautiful intertwining of the animals’ lives that help the health and bio-diversity of the farm. e.g., Chicken manure nourishes soil ensuring when the cattle return to graze that spot, they will have nutritious grass to eat.

Why I like this book: This is a super introduction for children to sustainable agriculture. Spotlighting Chloe and her brothers will help even very young children know that they can all play a part in preserving our environment.  The book shows how multi-species grazing can result in not only healthy animals and ecosystems, but how that goes on to impact the health of kids, families and whole communities. For many urban and even rural children, this information will be quite new.

Cat has won numerous awards for her journalism, her books, and her photography. She lives on a working sheep and cattle ranch in western Wyoming with her family and her livestock guardian animals, including sheep guard dogs and wild burros. More books can be found here and if you enjoy animal photography I encourage you to follow Cat on Facebook.

Activities:

A part of sustainable farming is selling most of the food locally through farmers’ markets, local shops and other community schemes. This avoids using yet more fossil fuels for long-distance transport in trucks and airplanes. A trip to a local farmer’s market can be great fun for kids.

If you want to take things a step further you can check out the international organization WWOOF (World-wide opportunities on organic farms). Some farms welcome entire families for this ‘working’ experience.

Suggested Earth Day Activities with Kids

  1. If they have great conservation programs, then I recommend a visit to your local zoo or aquarium.
  2. Here’s a list of possible earth day friendly books to read with your kids:
    • Celebrating Earth Day: Circle the Year With Holidays, by Janet McDonnell
    • Every Day Is Earth Day: A Craft Book, by Kathy Ross
    • Keeper of the Swamp, by Ann Garrett
    • The Lorax, by Dr Seuss
    • Gover’s 10 Terrific Ways to Help our Wonderful World, by Anna Ross
    • The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
    • Pollution? No Problem!, by David Morichon
  3. Help clean up your local park.
  4. Visit a farmer’s market and plan a meal with the kids.
  5. Make crafts from recycled materials. e.g., a bird feeder
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13 Responses to EARTH DAY – April 22nd, 2013 & Book Review of Parker Pastures

  1. Thank you for sharing this book. I like having Chloe introduce kids to her family working farm and the bio-diversity of the farm. Liked Cat’s photographs. It sounds like a great read for Earth Day. So many urban kids don’t have a connection to farming like I did in the past. My uncle farmed and I remember what a treat it was to visit. Now my brother and his wife have an organic farm.
    Great activities.

  2. Great book to use in celebrating Earth Day — great activities, too! (And love the zebra ears in your banner!)

  3. Very cool! Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms in VA does a similar thing. We practice it on a small scale (though we only have chickens so we don’t have to do livestock rotation), and we brought our kids to the talks given by Salatin, Gary Nabhan, and Wes Jackson at our local university. Great stuff. Wish everyone could learn about this!

    • Joanna says:

      Teresa I can tell that your family has had just this sort of wonderful immersion into sustainable farming as the Parker kids. It has far reaching positive implications, which this eBook really shows well!

  4. This sounds like a great book! Happy Earth Day!

  5. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Erik, back atcha!

  6. Great post, Joanna, full of great activities. This books sounds absolutely fantastic and I’m dying to read it immediately… but I don’t have an iPad… I guess I’ll have to get one 🙂

  7. Joanna says:

    Glad you like my zebra ears. I bought a mini iPad in January to be able to review books and apps, and I have to say I do appreciate it.

  8. Pingback: Author/Photographer Interview – Cat Urbigkit | Miss Marple's Musings

  9. Pingback: EARTH DAY, 2015 on Miss Marple’s Musings – How will you celebrate? | Miss Marple's Musings

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