If humans descended from gophers, would we see plants differently? As subterranean critters, gophers must look at roots as the “real” plant. Foliage would merely be the supporting structure for sustaining healthy roots. Humans, living above ground, think that a plant is defined by what is above ground, not below. Fortunately most of us have a capacity for logic rarely found in gophers, and realize that plants actually exist in both spheres. But while we may understand this logically, we still tend to view roots and the soil that surrounds them as being less important that the “real plant”.
For myself, I have resolved to think more like a gopher. I’d really like a soil with a vigorous covercrop that is building tilth and creating tasty roots. Based on the growth of our gopher population since we instituted our covercrop program, I think the real gophers agree. Of course, this raises other issues, where I’m not sure that the gophers and I are on the same page.