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I keep coming back to this post--I just love it. 10 years ago, while I was living in Southern Missouri, I found this plant for the first time and read up on it. Fascinating! One article I read said that you can take the dried flower stalks, dip them in wax and use as a candle. I haven't tried this yet, but I have two really lovely mullein plants this year--maybe I'll experiment with one of the flower stalks. I love that about tossing torn leaves in to catch fish--that is so cool!


I love mullein. It makes a great earache oil, among other things. Michael Moore's books on the medicinal uses of native plants are a fantastic resource.


Hi Ellen... When I first saw mullein at the river, I thought it was Lamb's Ear. We have LE growing in one of our flower beds. It's a perennial and grows a tall stalk with purple blooms. The leaves are super soft as you mentioned. The mullein leaves are soft to touch with your fingers, but if you rub it on your cheek, it's quite prickly. I don't know if they're in the same family or not. How fun to find you already have your own Lamb's Ear ;)


I had to post again and tell you that today we discovered lamb's ears in our local Lowes. We were surprised out how soft the leaves were. My sons plucked off a few leaves before I could say no and brought them home only to discover our very own lamb's ear plant growing nearby. Don't know if lamb's ears and mullein are the same but they look an awful lot alike.

zoe krylova

you mentioned wanting to know more about herbs and there you go, you're doing it! i love mullein. it visited me in a dream once and ever since i've thought of it as a totem herb. there are some nice herbal field guides for kids out there. i have one called "walking the world in wonder," by ellen evert hopman. used books stores often have interesting and obscure herbal books and also you can find some unusual things at state parks and national forests. have fun!


Sounds like just the way it should be. Living and learning.


And that's as it should be - learning as a natural part of the day.

Tracey@Paper Dolls for Boys

Emergent curriculum at it's very best. Thanks for sharing this lovely slice of your learning life!


"I suppose it's partly because it's so entwined with our regular day that it's a little hard to separate and describe, and partly because it's always evolving and morphing to suit our whims."

My boys are little, and so I haven't been *doing this* for long in the grand scheme of things, but that is how I feel too. People ask about homeschooling, or why I don't talk about it more in my blog. I say, but I DO, I DO! :)

Thanks for sharing some of your day. Love the peek.


awesome. that's how we do our homeschooling as well...just letting one thing lead to another and alloying ourselves the time to meander through each topic. there's so much joy in that.


Wonderful post, Cami. We took a long segue through Thoreau earlier this year as we were gearing up for the Civil War, and it has provided so many fascinating discussions with the kids.


It's so cool when things like that happen and when you didn't necessarily 'plan' it all out. I need to lean a little more towards your style of teaching!

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