Low Elevation Alpine Love

by Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie I fell in love with alpine plants at the bottom of the mountain. In college I worked as an environmental educator at a backcountry hut in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Many of these huts are “high mountain,” perched just at treeline for beautiful hikes through alpine communities with Sound-of-Music-style panoramic views of open summits. My hut, Zealand Falls, was not a high mountain hut. Our elevation was 2700’ and we were surrounded by lowland trees like paper birch and striped maple. But, Zealand Falls had waterfalls. During the lull of midday — the post-breakfast quiet when all of last night’s guests had hiked on to higher peaks, and that night’s guests w

Healing Aloe

by Jessya Both of my grandmothers lived with me growing up. My parents were immigrants and soon after they established themselves they arranged to bring their parents over to the US. They immigrated from the Soviet Union, and for a period of time we had all four grandparents under our roof. Both of my grandmothers loved plants. They nurtured them. They'd teach me which leaves to pluck out of the fields outside my school to treat warts, and which berries to eat, and where the best mulberry trees were, and which mushrooms to pick and which to leave. We'd have family mushroom hunting afternoons and spend the evenings frying up and marinating mushrooms. My paternal grandmother treated most thing

Tomato love story

by Mallika Nocco My parents became two opposite people every time we traveled to Bangalore, both trying to cram everything they missed about India into one month. They seemed to revert back into their adolescent selves, each staying with a set of grandparents three blocks away from each other, my father eating six meals a day to keep both his father and his mother-in-law happy. He would pick me up from my maternal grandparents’ house and take me in an auto-rickshaw to Gandhi Bazaar, a chaotic market filled with all varieties of snacks, spices, and trinkets. I loved these trips. My father seemed a rogue, eating the seductive forbidden street snacks and smoking cigarettes while I drank my gran

Welcome to Plant Love Stories!! And: How I became a botanist in New Jersey

by Becky Barak Many of my plant love stories are actually stories about teachers that helped me see the world in a new way. High school biology class was maybe the first time I started thinking about plants as really, truly alive (and now I’m a botanist, so I guess we all grow up). My teacher had taught us about transpiration -- the flow of water up from the roots of a plant all the way up to the leaves -- against gravity and driven by evaporation. On the way home from school, picturing the single, unbroken chain of water droplets, I looked at the trees with a new appreciation for the secrets within them. In college I took a class on the flora of New Jersey. It was the first time I worked

Your Plant Love Story Here...

This is your plant love story. We want to hear about you and plants. Here are some prompts to get you started. What is your favorite plant? How has a plant impacted your life? Do you have a special memory of a plant? Has a plant ever helped you? What is your earliest plant-y memory? Did a plant help you fall in love? #team #Love #story #share