It’s been a wet week. We’ve been blessed with a lot of rain. Everything is so lush and green and muddy…we haven’t been very active in the garden because of this. Not just because of the mud, but working in clay soils while they are wet can lead to problems down the road…such as the soil drying in huge clods, leaving you with lousy soil texture, which decreases the “tilth” or overall health of your soil. It’s a great time to be weeding though!
A volunteer asked me what plant family weeds belong to. This really made me smile, picturing one plant family that humanity had decided was the catch-all group for “all plants that I don’t want in my garden”. I talked with him about how a weeds are the wild cousin of many domesticated plants that we work so hard to grow. Weeds have survived and evolved without being coddled by humans, making (some of) them super tough and nutritious. I’ve been eating Lamb’s Quarter now when I pull it–it tastes like spinach–and looking up common weeds and what families they belong to. It can be a useful tool for understanding pest habitats, too. And what’s a weed to someone might not be a weed to someone else…this led to us joking about an evil witch who planted her entire yard in poison ivy and thistle, or WWOOFers working down on the ol’ nettle farm…
We spoke about how a lot of desirable plants (lemon balm anyone?) BECOME weeds with their aggressive spreading…a weed is a plant that is in the wrong place…or bothering you in someway…like annoying cousins walking in your squash patch.
Or, one could say a weed is a plant that man has forgotten the use of…many weeds are useful edibles and/or medicinals. In that case I suppose they are the black sheeps of the plant kingdom…never understood, rebels without a cause…
Well, in any event we seeded 22 flats to round out our fall crop selection:
3 kinds of broccoli
3 kinds of kale
2 kinds of kohlrabi
2 kinds of cabbage
We received support from Emory and Henry. Volunteers from the Emory and Henry garden, including Mary Beth the Emory and Henry garden coordinator and Glade Springs farmer’s market manager, helped us plant, and will be taking care of the flats for the next four weeks, giving us labor and greenhouse space in-kind.
We did our first video garden tour and interview with a participant. I look forward to collecting more footage and creating a mini-documentary of our program.
|Me, pondering all the members of the plant kingdom. What a patchwork group of wonderfulness.|
Be light, live lighter–