Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thursday, March 9: Weeds as Food for Soil, and Us, and Soul

Spring is coming along here in Northern California. Spoiled, we are, so a night that gets down to freezing, or a morning in the fifties still has the feel of winter for us, but the fields are full of green grass and weeds and the wild plums and pear trees are blossoming. Nature thinks we are springing on into the next season.

Weeds, weeds. A word that means, “something” we don’t want.

However, as ecological gardeners we can look at weeds as a source of food. Food for our soil and food for our bodies and maybe even food for our souls. For our soil, they are green, vital, rich organic matter. They are nature’s miracle, the taking in of the only free energy on this planet, the gobs of sun energy traveling across the solar system to our planet. This energy comes into the plant and the plant transforms that to growth, and the bigger the “weed” gets the more food it will have to offer your garden when we pull it out and give it to the compost.

Or better, be lazy. Lazy is often a sign of intelligence. Cover the weeds with newspaper, cover the newspaper with compost or straw and let the weeds decompose and compose right where they grew. No pulling and hauling required and the disintegration can take place both above and below ground level.

Also; weeds are often great sources of minerals and vitamins, they are what the plants were before they were selected out for mildness and became the lettuces and whatnot that we cultivate. Weeds are sources of super vitality. Dandelion, chicory, fennel, mallow are all ready to eat around here. Dock, too, full of iron. Soon to come, the wild amaranth, the pig weed, so called, a food ten or twenty times higher in minerals and vitamins that even a rich food like kale.

And the soul, food for the soul? Well, let’s try this: to remember how useful is a weed is a reminder that we can look inside ourselves and find “weeds” of our own personality, and instead of trying to destroy these parts, maybe we can discover how they, too, can be rich food and nutrition for our understanding and our lives.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home