North American Dandelion Preservation Society
Assorted items by Anne Jordan and Helen Marvill,
Osterville MA 2005
I have to admit when I read the label, my first thought was, “… huh?” After all, dandelions are ubiquitous. No amount of pavement, foot traffic, spraying, mowing, or blowtorching seem successful in eradicating them. They’re about as far as it’s possible to get from “endangered.” So I wondered, what could this society be about?
It turns out to be part of a store that features environmentally friendly products for people who think that lawns shouldn’t look like astroturf. Okay, I can relate to that: my idea of “lawn” is “whatever botanical matter survives being trimmed and walked on.” Some people take objection to this, hence the popularity of “Prairie Garden” signs to educate passers-by. Or in this case, a big white sign with chipper dandelions and the caption “Friend of the North American Dandelion Preservation Society” ($16).
A set of four t-shirts ($16 each) spans the philosophy of the group. One features a dandelion-deckled yard with a defunct lawn mower and the caption, “Hell no, we won’t mow!” Slightly more genteel is the one with three dandelions, reading
“Mother Nature’s Pride and Joy.” The last two capture the magic of childhood: “Your First Bouquet” with a mason-jar of dandelions, and “Make a Wish!” with blown seed-puffs.
Then there’s the hat ($18). This is easily the finest baseball-type hat I’ve ever seen. The brim is firm, the adjustable band is leather, and the fittings all metal, not plastic. It’s made of heavy denim lined with netting for ventilation. The front has a dandelion motif embroidered in bright greens and yellows; the back says “North American Dandelion Preservation Society.” It looks like it was made to last — the perfect thing to wear when you’re outside not mowing your lawn.
Finally, there’s a selection of fine art prints ($160). The imagery reflects the Cape Cod region, in the bright green-yellow-blue palette of summer by the beach — with, of course, even more dandelions.
Everything this company carries is well-made and comes from folks
who are working for themselves, in harmony with the Earth. Underneath the bold, in-your-face whimsy o f the captions are the subtler messages that magic is alive and that we should share our world rather than subdue it. Elizabeth Barrette.
» Originally appeared in PanGaia #42
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