Faville Groove Intern ‘14

UW Madison Student- Journalism & Environmental studies

It was an everyday occurrence for us to ask Matt (the steward in 2014) to identify plants for us, as we wanted to learn and get better at recognizing plants. One day, Nate (it was probably Nate, anyways) held up a really small piece of a plant and asked “hey Matt what’s this?” and surprisingly Matt was able to identify it. So then we started breaking off tinier and tinier pieces of plants, and holding them up for Matt to identify. A part of a stem, a square millimeter of leaf. At this point we’re all laughing uncontrollably, because it’s getting ridiculous. Eventually he probably said “whatever, guys” and walked away as we finished laughing. I think it made me realize I didn’t want to be a land steward like Matt, just because of the monotony of the weed-pulling and brush-cutting at times... but also instilled in me a curiosity for wanting to know what every plant is! So now I am known to my family as the botanist, even though I don’t study botany. I worked on a farm the next couple summers, and the plant ID I did in this internship definitely made me more interested in the varieties of produce we were growing and selling, and how they were grown, and comparing the management of a farm with managing a restored prairie.