Another beautiful day in Texas and the evening sunset was just as lovely. We have such heat during the Summer, I just love when Autumn gets to revel a bit.
In the previous post I shared with you the importance of mentoring & facilitating learning. It is how we give ensure the future of tomorrow, otherwise these little nuggets of wisdom get snuffed out like the last flicker of a smoldering candle.
Today we are going to continue with Ava’s adventure of learning about Aloe, and hopefully enhance her already curious mind.
Aloe is a Succulent with thick, fleshly, green leaves with little teeth or thorn like protrusions along the perimeter of the leaves. It has been used for centuries in herbal remedies and most people recognize the inner gel in all kinds of cosmetics and other beauty products.
We grew up using this slimy goo for its cooling effects to ease a burn from grease spatter while cooking, or if we stayed out in the sun too long. My Mother keeps a big, plump, juicy leaf in her refrigerator for such emergencies. Ava was enamored with this so we purchased one from the Church gardeners recently.
Let’s watch as she learns how to filet a leaf safely.
She had already sliced off a portion of the leaf before I could take a picture due to her excitement. Let’s do a little visual imagery of her selecting a leaf and with a sharp knife, with supervision, making a cut to release the leaf.
With a clean cutting mat underneath, carefully remove the tiny teeth, make a cut just beneath the surface to prevent removing too much of the flesh. It is easier to position the leaf with the broad end on the mat and slicing from top to bottom, as opposed to the lateral movement Ava is taking. I was Mentoring, she was making decisions. This is how we learn.
After trimming both sides it is time to open the leaf by slicing down the middle, but not all the way through as seen here. It is easier and less slippery if you just slice and open the leaf, like a book.
To store it you can fold it back together and wrap it in a moist paper towel, placed in a freezer bag or you can remove all of the gel with a spoon and use it immediately.
The aloe is very easy to grow as a potted plant. Be sure not to over water, allowing the soil to dry completely between watering; sometimes up to 2 week intervals. The Mother plant will reward you with some “pups” to transplant and share with friends. Yes, the fresh little shoots are referred to as pups. So adorable.
Thank you for sharing with journey with Ava. She was most excited to be a part of this. Do you have any special plants we should learn about next?