When E and I go out to pick stuff from the yard, we take our own colanders. As we parade out the door, she likes to wear hers on her head like that pig in the Richard Scarry books.
Today we went out to pick mint, and I realized that the herbal lawn was full of yarrow ready to be picked and dried for the "apothecary." She wasn't into picking the mint so she went off to pick the yarrow by herself. Please picture a four-year-old, knee deep in dense, feathery yarrow... bending down... chattering about how the yarrow was her friend... singing to it...
I was delighted by her enthusiasm but worried, too. From where I was in the yard, I could see her picking handful after handful of weedy plant material, and I felt anxious about having to sift through it all to separate the useable from the blades of grass and other matter.
I shouldn't have worried. Her colander was packed with perfect yarrow. She knew what she was doing out there. She had less "weedy" stuff in her collander than I did in mine.
I'm interested in her affinity for yarrow. A couple of weekends ago when we went on the long hike at the Tom McCall Preserve at Rowena (click! It really looked like that photo there -- with all those wildflowers.) The first leg of our adventure was four miles -- just a bit longer than E has ever hiked, but we had to do some scrambling so she was feeling cranky and tired. I picked a little yarrow for her to eat. I thought the bittersweetness would distract her enough so that she wouldn't mind the rest of the walk. It worked. But more, it seemed like this plant gave her some good energy. She asked me again for more before we got back to the car.
I have my own "old hag" reasons for loving yarrow, and I'm respectful of how it can work on emotional levels, but it isn't necessarily an herb that seems pleasant for children. It is for E, though, and it is for me. Yarrow is a good friend to us both.