Being a total novice in this arena, and seriously looking at doing the steps for this badge; yes, I agree that the bb's look like a lot of work, but I also value the quality aspect as well.
When I'm creating this stuff (and then administering it!), I want to be absolutely, positively sure I've got it right. I don't know what constitutes an appropriate level of knowledge for sand.
When I combed through the bb's, I figured the overlap of plant identification stuff was an intended synergy.
(Edit/add, to...ya know...address R's original post)
I agree with covering the "why," of a particular concoction, and would add the question of "what's the true purpose of the journal? Is it to demonstrate knowledge acquisition? Demonstrate a process followed?"
I would assume that the journal is not an end unto itself.