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  • I am a dandelion farmer.
    A dandelion friend.
    A dandelion fiend.
    I deal in dandelions.

    There’s a photo of me as a child lying on a dandelion lawn. I’m wearing a crazy sixties floppy orange and yellow checkerboard hat, a dandelion necklace, and I’m surrounded by a yellow sea of fuzzy flowers.
    I’m the flower child.
    The lion child.
    In the weeds.

    And now my own lawn is dotted with dandelions. And violets. You’ve never seen such a lawn.

    People think I’m crazy not to yank them. Someone actually gave me a special dandelion weeding tool. I smiled, put it in the lost drawer. Went out and patted some dandelion fuzzies.

    I pick their leaves for salads.
    I pick their flowers for wine.
    I watch the wild rabbits eat their stems.
    I watch the honeybees gather their sweetness.
    I watch their puffball globes shake all over the place.
    I never do any of that with grass.

    Many folks around here have enormous, green, nothing-but-green lawns. On weekends they sit on miniature tractors that go around and around and around to clip them close. Sheets of green stretching over their dominion. Not a dandelion in sight. Flowers--proper flowers--relegated to beds. Saluting. How civilized.

    Why not let vegetables creep and crawl across the land? And flowers? Or those wilder sorts that are both--that can end up in your salad and color the earth?

    Every year I head deeper into dandelion territory.
    I bring the field closer to the house, slice off yet another strip of lawn, let it run free.
    Soon the wild will be right up to the door, the lowly dandelion leading the charge.
    And I'll don my sixties hat, weave a chain of fuzzy flowers and dive right in.
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