Raising little Eco-heroes!

We’re always proud to shout about our Soil Association and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certifications for our super-soft organic cotton clothing, as this means we commit to the highest level in environmental and social standards. We don’t use nasty chemicals commonly used in textile processing or allow pollutants which can destroy our eco-systems which means happier farmers, factory workers, and a happier planet!

 

Each September the Soil Association raise awareness of the many

benefits of choosing organic over conventional, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. Organic is much kinder to the planet!

 

To celebrate all things organic and share some tips on introducing environmental issues to children from a young age, we caught up with writer, mum-of-three and regenerative farmer Adele Jarrett-Kerr (@adelejk).  Below you can learn how she and her husband are raising their little ones to be the next generation of eco-warriors.

 

Tell us a little about your family and your regenerative farm, Soul Farm…
My husband and I are home-educating our three children who are learning through living on our regenerative farm, Soul Farm, nestled in Falmouth, Cornwall.   Soul Farm is dedicated to growing salad and we farm with attention to balance, justice, and deep appreciation when it comes to both nature and people. I am also a freelance writer.

 

What are your favourite activities to do with your children outside?

There are so many things we love doing outside. Rock-pooling is definitely up there with the favourites, especially as we live by the sea in Cornwall. I get as excited about the kids' finds as they do. We also love cooking over a fire, pottering in our garden (we recently made a pond that three frogs have moved into!) and building dens in our local woods. Finding a spot where they can play in trees while I read a book is bliss.

 

How can we encourage our children to care more about the environment?

The first step to caring about the environment is to connect with it. Too many of us have reached adulthood not knowing that we are suffering from nature deficit and that it's impacting us in all sorts of ways from vitamin D deficiency, to low mood, to difficulty in accurately assessing risks. To encourage our children, we need to connect with it ourselves by spending time outside and pushing beyond our comfort zones.

 

We also need to model taking responsibility while we are out there with a five-minute beach clean or walking instead of driving where we can. As we increase our own knowledge, reading about climate change and learning about what changes we can make, we can talk to our children about what we are doing and what we'd like to do as a family.

 

What small changes can we all make to help the environment and our community?

A few changes that clearly make a significant difference, if enough of us adopt them, include buying seasonal, local produce, switching to green energy, writing to our MPs about specific concerns regarding climate change, and staying closer to home for our holidays.

 

 

 

How important is it for children to spend time in nature?

Time in nature affects so many things that we might not initially associate with it like self-confidence, calm and concentration. Familiarity with local fauna and flora, and the miniscule changes of the seasons helps to give children a deep-rooted sense of belonging.  We need to connect with nature to care about it but connecting with it also helps us to care for ourselves too and that's a lesson too many of us learn only later in life.

 

We all lead such busy lives; how can we slow down and make positive changes in our own families?

We have taken the radical route to home educate and both work flexibly so that we could have the gift of time. I recognise that may not be possible for everyone although a lot more people make it work in a wide range of situations than many realise.

 

In terms of things everyone can do right now, you could start with regular family meetings where everyone gets a chance to talk about the things they want and collaborate to find ways to create the space for those things. Not over-scheduling the weekends certainly helps as can thinking laterally about where to fit in a slower activity. Could you take an after supper, pre-bedtime walk for instance?

 

How do we approach climate change and potentially frightening environmental topics with children without causing worry?

We need to start with processing our own difficult emotions around this. A lot of us are dealing with fear around climate change by choosing to ignore it or allowing it to paralyse us. Educating ourselves and finding people who can help us lean into rage and grief, and ultimately work out what action looks like is an important way through. Then when talking with children, we can focus on what we can do and what is being done. If they come across frightening information, we can listen well without brushing off their concerns and feelings, having sat with our own.

 

Do you have any inspiring books that you can recommend for kids to read?

I'd say get a hold of an identification book or books. We have a Great British Wildlife book that is well out of print but so well loved. We also have Spot 50 field guides that we sometimes take out with us or keep near a window for bird watching. I am the Seed That Grew the Tree is a beautiful book of poems which you could read over lunch or tea-time. My kids love wandering around the house with The Little Book of the Dawn Chorus, trying to memorise and imitate birdsong. So many of Eric Carle's books and the Flower Fairies collection inspire an early sense of wonder.

 

What are the principles of organic farming/growing and why should we support our local suppliers instead of the big supermarkets?

Organic, broadly speaking, means grown avoiding pesticides and herbicides, which supports biodiversity, avoids chemical run-off into water systems and cuts greenhouse gas emissions. We use regenerative methods like no-till on our farm, which locks carbon into the soil.

 

By supporting local suppliers, you cut food miles, put money into the local economy and join the market that makes it possible for more people to farm in diverse ways that don't harm the environment. Large, mono-culture operations are responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Food matters.

 

Any other tips or links to useful resources you can share with us?

My top tip would generally be to go into nature with friends if you don't feel that confident going by yourself or could use the motivation of company. Obviously, everyone must make wise decisions around this given the pandemic. As for resources, take these top ten pledges for a jump start, listen to and support the demands of people who are impacted by environmental racism and flood your social media feeds with people who spend a lot of time outdoors with their children, for inspiration and encouragement.

 

 

Thanks Adele!

 

If you want to read more about Soul Farm, green living, or home education you can head to Adele’s blog or social pages @adelejk

 

Organic September is a month long campaign to inform and raise awareness about Organic.

Here at Frugi we have been championing organic cotton and GOTS since 2004!

You can find out more from the Soil Association here

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