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Weeds, Bees and other Things...

Someone once said a weed is just a plant growing where you don't want it to. When I was a child, there were wild radishes that grew prolifically in our small neighborhood. We would trample down an area, put down a blanket and we had our own outdoor playhouse with tall weeds as walls. At some point in the year, they would get mowed and that sort of play would be over for the year. It seems America is obsessed these days with weed control. Round Up and similar products fly off the shelves each spring. One thing I have been trying to do in the past few years is to identify plants. For instance, one thing that would grow everywhere in my area, was plantain. I had no idea it's name or the benefits of it until recently. We have used plantain leaves to brew a cold infused water during the California wildfires to help protect our lungs from the smoke. Plantain can also be used as a poultice on a bruise. Do you know what weeds are growing in your yard? Other "weeds" we have identified and used for teas or food are Yarrow, Dandelion and Mullein. Mullein as a tea is also good for the lungs and Dandelion can help rid your liver and kidneys of toxins. Did you know that dandelion greens were collected during the Great Depression as a source of nutrient dense greens for cooking or for salads? Another benefit of leaving some of those weeds alone is its a food source for the bees. If you want to give bees a chance, you might consider giving weeds a chance. On the farm, we have patches of goat heads growing. Most of this is along the fence lines. We believe its from herbicides being used year after year as they usually grow in places that are depleted of nutrients. We decided this year we will experiment with employing our chickens to do the job of weed control. They will eat down the new green growth of the goat heads as it first pops up. We will keep you posted on how well it works. :)


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