Opinion piece

Local opinion: Make sock heads with plants as hair this holiday

This holiday season taking time to do different activities that will interest children of all ages is important. Making Happy Harries or Henriettas, making sock heads with plants as hair, fits into that category.

The first thing that is needed is an old sock. It can be worn thin but it can’t have holes as it must be able to hold soil. As the leg of the sock will be used as a wick it must be long enough to reach water.

A face can be made on the sock in various ways, choose one or more that suits the abilities of the creators, or give them choices. The simplest way to make a face on the sock is to draw it with permanent felt pens. Acrylic paint is also easy to do but it takes time to dry and can be very messy. For those that are looking for a bit of a challenge, the face can be made by sewing on buttons, beads or embroidering with wool or embroidery thread. The imagination and supplies on hand are the limit.

Grass or chia seeds are needed to form the hair. Once the face is complete, roll down the sock and place a tablespoon of grass seed in the toe. Chia seeds have a harder time growing through the socks but they grow well if soaked in water and smeared on the outside of a sock that is filled with growing medium.

Any type of soil, bagged or from the garden will work as a growing medium. Fill the sock from toe to heel with damp soil. Dry soil will work but it tends to be light and fluffy and harder to place in the sock. When filled, either tie a knot in the sock after the heel, or tie a string tightly around the sock under the heel to keep the soil in place.

Find a glass or jar that is narrow enough at the top to support the head and tall enough to hold water. The toe should be pointing upwards while the leg of the sock is placed inside the container in contact with the water. The end of the sock that is in water works as a wick ensuring the soil and sock are moist providing a moisture for the seeds to germinate

For those that are using chia seeds, soak the seeds in water for a few minutes until they start to cling together. Using a spoon or fingers, smear the seeds on the head where hair is desired.

If the soil is always moist the seeds should germinate within a week. The grass seeds will push through the sock forming hair. Most will be on the top of the head but expect some to have stuck on the insides of the sock and poke through as facial hair. Allow the hair to grow or cut it as desired.

When the chia seeds germinate they will produce a couple of leaves. At this point, they can be eaten as greens in salads and sandwiches or left in place. Their roots will go through the socks into the soil producing larger plants.

This is one of the simple inside activities that can keep people occupied while teaching them about plants.

Linda Tomlinson has gardened in central Alberta for over 30 years. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com.

Just Posted

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Alberta MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

OTTAWA — Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails… Continue reading

A sign marks Stairs Place in the Hydrostone district in the North end of Halifax on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The street was named for William Grant Stairs, a Canadian explorer from Halifax who helped lead some of the most controversial expeditions through the African continent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a… Continue reading

Riley Oldford, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first youth in the Northwest Territories to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here he receives the needle from nurse practitioner Janie Neudorf in Yellowknife on Thursday May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
People with disabilities even more alone during pandemic: cerebral palsy spokeswoman

YELLOWKNIFE — Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or hanging… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Most Read