As a child, I learned the significance of Psalm 112:9 "He (God) has given freely to the poor ..."
I grew up on goats' milk. There is something special in goats' milk that the Veterans Administration doctors prescribed for my father. Before he and mom married, he had spent 9 years in Army hospitals to arrest the tuberculosis he had acquired during WW1.
The goats had to be fed, so during our long winters in Nebraska we bought alfalfa hay to feed them. But during the summer the diet changed as my brother and I kept the sides of the roads within a half a mile of the house trimmed.
With our sickles and Radio Flyer wagon we gathered "hay" for the goats. The favorite wild hay that we brought in was sweet clover. Because of its natural fragrance, the goats could smell us coming with each wagon load.
By the way, this occurred toward the end of the Great Depression when every penny counted and everybody had to pitch in to make ends meet. At that time, we were unaware of the significance of the sweet clover, the primary source of nectar for the best honey I ever ate, Sioux bee honey.
Here in the Southeast, we are also blessed with many natural features and wildflowers that are evidence of God's generosity. For example, when we consider the production of quality honey we have a delicate variety made from the blooms of the sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) and another shipped in from Florida from orange blossoms.YELLOW SWEET CLOVER
Melilotus oficianalisYellow sweet clover has a twin -- white sweet clover. These clovers are not seen in large quantities in the East Metro area, but a few substantial clusters of the yellow sweet clover will occur from July to September. The genus name is derived from Greek meli which translates as "honey."
These two clovers are very similar in appearance except for the color. The white sweet clover may grow to 8 feet high, whereas the yellow sweet clover rarely reaches more than 5 feet.
Both plants have three-part leaves. They are narrow like the rabbit-foot clover leaves but much larger ( to 1 inch long). Sweet clovers have many uses. The leaves of both varieties have a vanilla-like fragrance when crushed and can be used as a flavoring.
As with other clovers, both sweet clovers are widely used as pasture and for enriching the soil with nitrogen. Also, check the label of the next jar of honey you buy at the supermarket. It will likely be clover honey.
Thank God for His grace so freely given during times of poverty.
Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His email is email@example.com or call him at 770-929-3697.