One day a week is dedicated to nature and science lessons and outings with my youngest. It’s become a highlight of our week to spend this one-on-one time together. We bought a pass to our botanical garden centre with Christmas money from my parents.
The indoor centre was perfect for a chilly winter day, meandering through the different regions of world plants and trees, reading up on what originates from where, and what all these plants and trees are used for in our day to day use.
Because the cork tree was just so incredibly unique and fascinating, we decided we should go home and research a bit more online about it. We watched several YouTube videos on the harvesting of cork trees, learning they strip the bark every nine years.
Portugal happens to be the largest producer of cork trees in the world. The harvesters of each tree usually comprise of one very experienced harvester who is able to strip the bark without damaging the tree, and one apprentice (usually a family member this trade is being passed down to) learning the trade. I’ve attached three videos if you or your children would like to see the process. The first two videos show a lot of the field labour and art of removing the bark from the trees. The third video shows the entire process inside the factories. Certainly worth the watch!
And of course we couldn’t come away from learning about the cork tree and not try our hand at a cork craft.
We used corks we purchased from the dollar store, which if you’ve watched the third video above, you’ll realize that means we’re buying the cheapest, rejected cork most likely that didn’t pass the test for use in sealing wine bottles.
I’m clinging to these last years with the youngest, doing fun hands-on crafty things like this to add to the learning lesson. Maybe some of y’all would let me borrow your littles to keep this longing satisfied? Stay tuned for One-n-One, Part Two, the nature hike, complete with tree felling.