“…it's the topsoil, however deep, relatively thin, that is the critical part of the earth. We live from it, and we cant live without it. ”

Wendell Berry, farmer and poet

Grasses are healers because they are willing to grow in the ways that their surroundings allow. Through a crack in the concrete or across a mountain meadow, their roots explore and follow that most precious of substances: water. In doing so, they strengthen and nourish the surface of the earth, helping to rebuild that precious layer of topsoil, upon which so much of our wellbeing depends.

In the American Southwest, a land of little rain, native species have evolved against challenging odds to fit a particular niche. One glimpse of a desert grasslands reveals dozens of different species, each with a story to tell. Together, they form an intricate community of individual characters that work to stabilize our watersheds and open space. From them, we may glean lessons of adaptation and resilience during the coming times of environmental change.