About a week ago, we went with some good friends to the Tropenhaus in Wolhusen.
What is the Tropenhaus? It is a tropical house; basically a big glasshouse where they can grow tropical plants in a temperate climate.
They had a special highlight on the chocolate/cocoa industry when we visited last week. It was an interesting look at the cocoa plant and smelling the beans (oooh so chocolatey!). The kids had fun running around, looking at the different plants which they would otherwise not be able to see growing here.
Both our families have always tried to help our children understand where their food comes from so they can better appreciate the food they get to eat. And both families also have some sort of green plants growing at home so the kids are already interested in plants. The kids did wonderfully on a little quiz board in the production house.
At the production house, you could also buy plants to grow at home. They had lots of different types of trees, bushes and baby plants. There were different herbs, lots of bananas, papayas and chillies. They have a special heat exchange program with the nearby hospital which was interesting but way too technical for me to understand. The production house also grows most of the fruits and veggies used by the in-house restaurant.
We had wanted to eat our lunch there but i read on their website that it is best to make reservations. So i called. It was a good thing too, because they were full! Both for lunch and dinner! Apparently, it is very popular with the locals as well as visitors. We ended up eating at a nearby pizzeria which had a fabulous kids corner. We did get to eat our snack (chili-hot-chocolate and ice cream) at their restaurant. So be warned if you do make a visit there and want to eat there, make reservations!
So it was an enjoyable day with friends at a lovely location which can be visited, even on a gloomy, rainy day (which was what that day was like). We came home with a mini-chili plant which Tobias is very taken with.
We stayed there for only a couple of hours because our parking was up. We would have stayed longer if the cars were closer for us to top-up the parking meter. We had to park at the hospital and walk up to the Tropenhaus (not too far but still a walk). When you do go, remember to ask for the family ticket if you are going as a family. Also they have another Tropenhaus in Frutigen which we have been given a discount coupon for. That one it seems has a large aquaculture area. We might venture there at another time.
So that chili plant is our Green Project 2013.
Confession – this year i have been very lazy about starting a green project with Tobias. i was even too lazy to clear out the “dead” spring onions from last year. Instead, nature took over and last year’s spring onions have sprung again, all on their own! So we have spring onions in one pot and weeds in the other. 😉