Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomeNotes From KathyBirdsfoot Trefoil Bouquet

Birdsfoot Trefoil Bouquet

Parenting is a lot of things. You could fill in just about any adjective to describe it, and it would be accurate: Hilarious, aggravating, fulfilling, exhausting, exhilarating, poop-y, sweet. The sweet moments are the ones that stick with you.Screenshot 2015-08-05 12.23.44

Today, one arrived in a bouquet of birdsfoot trefoil.

It came about because the kids and I walk to school in the morning, and explore as we go. There’s a patch of birdsfoot trefoil by the school, and with a neat name like that, they became botanists. They learned the name two years ago. When the BFT returned a year later, the middle one greeted it like an old friend. “It’s back. The birdsfoot trefoil is back!”

Now the older ones are getting big enough to explore a bit on their own. This morning, the middle guy asked if he could take the dog on a little excursion, and they were off. About a half an hour later, they returned happy, with a tiny bouquet in tow: some chicory, false dandelion, morning glory, and birdsfoot trefoil.

Because, he explained, “when I saw the birdsfoot trefoil, I thought of you and wanted to bring you flowers.”

When I wonder what legacy we are leaving our kids, I know that this is one: he will see me in things that grow, and he will appreciate those things, in part because he knows they have names.

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Rachel Gilker
Rachel Gilker
Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.

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