A Field Trip with Grandma


ou always hear about
people taking children on
field trips. They take them to
all sorts of places calling
them a field trip. Well…
when I take my children or
grandchildren on a field trip,
we go on a real field trip.

I recently had the opportunity to take my five
year old grandson, Zeb, on a real field trip. He lives
a long way from me in another state. I try to make
our time together quality time. Zeb has a three year
old brother named Wyatt. He was invited to go with
us but at the last minute chose to stay with his
mommy. I decided this was probably good and
Wyatt would get a solo trip in a couple of years.
I belted Zeb in our UTV and we were off to our
big field behind our house. We use to cultivate a
large portion of this area but then we decided to
allow nature to landscape it for us. She is doing a
fabulous job. We have all kinds of plants and young
trees to now explore on this ground.
The first plant I introduced Zeb to was Queen
Ann’s Lace. We have a huge crop growing in this
field. I told Zeb we needed to pick a big bouquet of
this plant to do something special with when we get
home. I told him it was also called “Wild Carrot”
and it smells like carrots. Zeb sniffed the plant and
agreed they do smell like carrots. I explained this is
also a natural medicine
The next plant was easier. It was the pretty blue
Wild Chicory also known as the “Blue Sailor”. I told
him the root of this plant was also used like something his mommy drank every morning. Zeb was
eager to guess it was coffee. I assured him it was
sometimes a substitute for coffee. Chicory is also
used to calm the effects of caffeine in coffee. I also
explained chicory was used a lot when I was a little
girl. My folks and many others drink it so the real
coffee in short supply was sent to our soldiers fighting World War II.
Our next stop was a Wild Cherry Tree. A lot of

cough syrup is made from the bark of this tree. I
reminded Zeb it could be in medicine he would take
for a cough and cold..
The next fence row tree was Sassafras. I pulled a
branch from it. I allowed Zeb to examine the three
different shape leaves that grows on this tree. He
thought that was pretty cool. I told him Native
Americans, as well as my grandpa, dug roots of this
tree every spring. It was made into a tea and was
supposed to help thin and clean your blood. It
smells like root beer and is still used by some companies in natural soda.
Red Clover was next to catch our eye. Zeb said
he thought it looked more pink or purple and wondered why they called it Red Clover. I really didn’t
have an answer for that one. I told him, this plant
also is supposed to clean our blood when it gets
dirty from being sick.
Purslane was next growing close to the ground. I
explained it was also good
medicine for a lot of
things. But mostly grandma likes it in a salad. I
also told him that grandpa and the rest of my
family thought it was
“yucky”! Zeb wasn’t eager
to taste the purslane
Mullein in its stately
form was next. I showed
him the thick fuzzy
leaves. Zeb soon learned
this was also good for
coughs and helped you
breathe better. I told him
that I used it in something we call salve to heal
some of grandpa’s sores.
Then I shared another
family story. My granny
use to wrap several of
these thick leaves around
pounds of homemade
butter. This helped keep

the butter from melting when she took it to the store
to trade it for flour, sugar, and coffee.
The bright orange bloom of Pleurisy Root, also
called “Butterfly Weed”, was next in our path. It
helps pleurisy and bronchitis. This is how it
acquired its name.
We drove through a section of woods to find a
large limb from a tree had fallen across our lane in
the woods. Zeb insisted I was not strong enough to
remove this tree. He told me his daddy was really,
really strong and he could move it. I informed him I
was his daddy’s mom and was also strong. Well
folks when I grabbed hold of this big limb, it was
heavy. I do believe I received some divine help from
above in moving it. I said a little “Thank You Lord”. I
told Zeb, “Your grandma’s strong too, now don’t forget that boy!” He just grinned at me and said, “You
are my crazy grandma.”
When we reached the creek, a red bird was in a
tree. This also reminded me of yet another story; a
Native American legend of how the red bird got his

Trip Continued on Page 16

Coming SOON!


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