– Good afternoon! My name is Mrs. Downer. I’m the environmental education specialist here at Butler as well as the farm manager up at the intermediates. First, I would like to
give a huge thank you to the Lower Elementary Students. Big round of applause, please! (children clapping) Today, we completed a
nine month long work. It started with removing old, rotten pesticide-laden wood from
the garden over here. It included weeding, transplanting
herbs to the herb garden, adding compost, mulching, and now today, planting native plants, so way to go Lower
Elementary for your work! (applause) Good job! I’d also like to thank Mrs. Manick, because she gave Lower Elementary
the space to do that work. Big thanks to you. (applause and laughter) Alright, let’s talk about food. Everybody! Do me a favor! Please, close your eyes and
think of your favorite foods. Smell them, taste them, see them. (children chattering) Open your eyes! You! Tell me, what food? What food did you imagine? A quesadilla! Alright, you are all sitting
around at your dinner table and you mom or dad, you
expect them to bring out a big tray of piping
hot cheesy quesadillas. Instead you see fermented seal fur. – [Children] Ew! – What’s you favorite food? – Mac and cheese! – Mac and cheese, oh my goodness! You open up your– – No shouting. – You open up your lunchbox
and instead of seeing that creamy, hot, piping,
yummy mac and cheese you see raw caribou memur. – [Children] Ew! – What’s your favorite food? Pasta! You have a birthday party
and they open up a buffet and instead of seeing pasta you see crispy whale skin! – [Children] Ew! – Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! – And You! What’s your favorite food? – Apple, oh my goodness! So, you’re expecting
apples for dessert, right! You’ll sit around the table
waiting for the dessert to come out and instead of seeing apples it’s actually crowberries in whipped fat. – [Children] Ew! – Miss Midermen, what’s
your favorite drink? – Coffee. – Miss Midermen wakes up
in the morning, exhausted she’s tired. She reaches for her cup and
instead of drinking coffee that she loves so much she drinks seagull wine and that is pee. – [Children] Ew! – Now, I saw I saw all of your reactions when you heard about these foods when you though about what
they would taste like, what they would smell like,
what they would look like, and I just wanted to let
you know, for the record, these food might sound strange to you, but the Inuit tribe that lives in Canada, Alaska, Denmark, Iceland they eat this food, hands down, everyday. It’s normal to them. Why, because they grew up eating this food every single day. Now, imagine you’re a caterpillar. You’re a hungry, hungry caterpillar. What caterpillar isn’t hungry! You go to a leaf. Oh my goodness! Is that crispy whale skin? (children shrieking) I go to another leaf. Oh no! It’s the liver, a fermented liver Ew! And then finally you go
to a whole other plant. You’re looking. You’re really, really hungry. You need this food to become a chrysalis to become a butterfly. But the last one, ugh! It’s just a droplet of seagull wine. What are you gonna do? Nothing. You are not moving on
to become a chrysalis. And at that point, friends! The food chain stops. When the food chain stops, our ecosystem, what we live in and thrive off of, stops as well. Okay. Plants, especially, the ones, the caterpillars are
eating are the foundation. You know the bottom of the pyramid, right? That’s the foundation. Plants are the foundation
of our ecosystem. Okay, I’m gonna to repeat that. Plants are the foundation
of our ecosystem. Alright. Today is all about growing food. No, not the food that
we put in our bellies. That you’re used to shopping for. But it’s the food that’s pesticide-free native to Maryland, because then the caterpillars
are gonna recognize it. They grew up with that leaf. They’re gonna eat it, get full bellies, make a chrysalis and
continue the food chain. And, we’re also going to grow the food, like I said we got pesticides
just like the intermediates do up in the farm. They grow it organically, okay. And then we’re gonna get
the leaves, the berries, the seeds and the nectar
for our insect friends. So we’re growing food
for insects right now. Yes.