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A Wild Day: Exploring the Wonders Behind the Weeds

A rainy Tuesday morning saw the Sunnyside students shuffle into a bus and set off for Kotturpuram. The bus was filled with chatter, and the first ten minutes were spent adjusting to give space to each person in the ever-growing Sunnyside population. At the Kotturpuram Park, we were to meet a local herbalist and founder of Forgotten Greens, Shruti Tharayil, a lady passionate about wild herbs, and wants to show the world that no plant is a weed. When we arrived at the park, though many of us had brought caps in case the sun decided to show itself, we gleefully noticed it was set to be a cloudy day after rain earlier, and set out to meet Shruti Aunty. We found her and her partner, and after the introduction, we started off with our Wild Walk. 

Our first activity was to count as many types of plants as we could see in the park in a 5-minutes time slot. Then, we got back to Shruti Aunty, and she asked us how many plants we had spotted. After listening to the answers of the enthusiastic Elementary kids, she talked to us about our first wild plant of the day, Amaranthus, giving us the name in both explaining its etymology, medicinal values, and also letting us taste it. We did the same with a bunch of other plants, a few of them being the Asthma Weed, which cures asthma, Bermuda Grass, which heals indigestion, and the Bengal Day Flower, which helps with jaundice. 

We had a snack break halfway through the wild walk, where all of us thoroughly enjoyed playing on a wild ride in the playground.

After a group photo with Shruti Aunty and her husband, and thanking them profusely for their time, we all set off to Anna Centenary Library to spend our time with some books. Following encountering some trouble with the librarian there, the Elementary kids all sat down with a book while the older kids set off to explore the library, followed by a milkshake in the canteen. 

Next, once we’d all had fun at the library and reached school, we made some KWL (What I Know, Wonder, and Learned) Charts about the Wild Walk to make sure we remembered this memorable trip.

All in all, a great trip, where we learnt about herbal plants that are often overlooked as weeds, their medicinal properties, and even got to add them to our TASTED list, followed by a good time at the library. This wild, wonderful day is sure to stay fresh in our minds for a long time to come. 


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