Recommended by: Kitty Winograd, Senior Educator at Re-2 and Ag Ed Specialist; Nicole Goodman, Naturalist; Mariah Foley, Rock Bottom Ranch Vegetable Lead; and Emily Taylor, Marketing Director
Braiding Sweetgrass is the work of Robin Wall Kimmerer - botanist, mother, and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. This revolutionary book reminds us that science is one of several ways of knowing our planet—and that to know the plants and animals that live alongside us, we must first listen to them.
And to listen to the natural world, we must first experience it: “ The circle of ecological compassion we feel is enlarged by direct experience of the living world, and shrunken by its lack.” This book is a call to slow down—to reconnect with the earth that so readily provides for us. In a culture that doesn’t hesitate to “take what doesn’t belong to us and destroy it beyond repair,” Kimmerer argues that we must learn how to respectfully take only what the earth willingly gives.
"I really enjoyed Braiding Sweetgrass because it blends indigenous and modern tools of science to expand understanding of what we can learn from other plants and animals. I loved the perspective on the power of forming an ecological consciousness – rooted in humans' reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. It is a reminder that the human animal is not separate from the ecosystems that support us, and argues ultimately, for a depth and diversity of what is recognized as scientific thought. As a farmer, I often joke that I don't know if I am farming the veggies to feed me, or if the plants are farming my work to help them survive. This book is full of reminders of the coevolution and codependence at the center of how we relate to other life." - Mariah Foley