Jared Phillips is a writer and farmer from the Arkansas hill country. He and his wife farm above the Muddy Fork of the Illinois River, relying on draft horses to keep them anchored to their place. In addition to farming, he is a historian at the University of Arkansas and an alumnus of the Rural Writing Institute, led by Wainwright Prize winner James Rebanks (A Shepherd’s Life; English Pastoral) and Kathryn Aalto (Writing Wild). His work can be found in Successful Farming, Elder Mountain, Skipjack Review, the Arkansas Times, and the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette.
These days invasive species in my home are once again in a spiral of negative attention. As usual, the dandelion is ignored, except by children seeing the world as the universe intended. Perhaps its humility—despite its profligacy—is the flower’s secret, but I doubt that. I think it’s because the dandelion holds itself in community with us.