One day recently a friend was standing on the porch of The Beekman removing  burdock burrs from his jacket—stragglers from an early-morning walk around the farm.

Not being from the country, he had no idea that trying to remove the burrs (which inspired the creation of velcro half a century ago) while wearing wool gloves would only make the sticky situation worse.

Michael Whaling happened by the farm at just the right moment to come to the rescue.  Being both an artist and a naturalist, Michael never wastes an opportunity to create something from nature.

The result: charming little sculptures easy enough for any-aged child to make

After assembling the basic shape, you can fine-tune the sculpture by mashing in some of the burrs.  Michael used some of the silky hairs from some nearby milkweed pods to create “fur”

We look forward to seeing what ideas you come up with.

by Josh and Brent

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Andre Jones

I do keep the pasture mowed. I have sheep/wool and those darn things would be impossible to get out.

I like the sculpture-we will be seeing this in MOMA?


Try any oil based liquid to help remove those 'hitch hikers' from goats, llamas, horses dog or cats. Don't get me wrong, it still takes time and patients, but doesn't everything on the farm take time and patients! Love you boys!

Jody Spafford

My kitten"s favorite toy, is a clump of my dogs tail hair embedded with burdock. It looks like a small mouse and she spends hours chasing it, tossing it and caring it around in her mouth. Kind of cute and creepy.


nice…but don't forget the part the comes out of the ground! refered to as "cardones", grown as cultivated veggie in sicily and in california. dig up the stalk well before it goes to seed (by mid june, cut bottom of stalks 6-8" (will look like celery or rhubarb, scrub well then boil, outer layer of film will then rub off easily. dedge in seasoned flour then egg and fry. can also do with panko. serve with remoulade. google it as well.

Andre Jones

The Amish call them hitch hikers. Horses tails become Gladiator clubs.

Andre Jones

The Amish call them "hitch hikers". Horses tails become Gladiator clubs.

David Eskell-Brigs

Just to say the book was a thoroughly enjoyable scamper. Wonderful slings and bouquets, terrific shadings on the facets that make up a relationship. One trusts that the beauty of differences still holds true and that the Partnership is still a mingling of spirit and verve. As we say over there,Bless your Hearts, a totally non-religious laying on of hands!


Creative minds……

We used to play with them as kids, just stacking them as high as we could, and making balls – you could throw them at someone in a sweater and they'd stick. Not as much fun pulling/combing them out of horses' manes and tails though……..