Hiya Hearty Tree Hugging Souls,
Abundance is Mother Nature’s middle name. Her mantra. Her loving law. She blows my mind with the ongoing giving. And whether we mindlessly mow her down, pave her paradise and put up a parking lot, she sends her troops up from the depths. To shelter and shade us, feed us and breathe with us. What a gal. Cut, crush or whack her weeds, she keeps growing.
She’s made for-giving.
Her Armagarden. To save us all.
The weeds that our culture wages war against? I’m eating them, because they’re generously growing like, well, weeds! Can’t stop them! No work required. They’re totally tenacious and extremely nutritious. They aren’t put off by concrete, tarmac, mortar or brick. They grow right past pesticides, pollution and planetary changes. Gaia’s graciousness reminds me there’s hope, despite our copious misdeeds against Her and each other. Thank goddess she rocks the green arena.
A few years ago hubby noticed (read: complained) that I was joyfully gobbling our garden goodies, but I wasn’t helping with the maintenance. Busted. Frankly, it’s hard for me to weed. It’s challenging to bend my joints, but more than that, I feel guilty yanking out any growing thing. Who am I to decide who stays and who goes? (I sidestep this rule for poison ivy, however. Read my post here if you’ve ever tangled with that bioch.)
My weeding aversion brought on daydreams of a miraculous maintenance free garden. No tilling. No trouble. Just our Gentle Blue Giant offering a cornucopia of food – where all grows in harmony and I don’t have to argue with Eden?
When I finally began Googling those indestructible “weeds” I found that a low-maintenance garden was already nipping at my heels. Dandelion, plantain, purslane, violet, lambsquarters and yellow wood sorrel (in the photo – the bright green ‘clover’ that tastes like sour apple – delish!)
I started by adding 2 big leaves of dandelion to my morning smoothie. I braced for the bitter. But it happily blended with the banana. Next day I put in 5 big leaves. Still fine! I added a small bunch of sour wood sorrel. Awesome! I read about plantain and easily identified it (it’s EVERYWHERE.) I tentatively tasted it. Very fibrous with a slightly mushroomy flavor. I threw that in too!
And all the while, hubby and I were still enjoying the smoothie.
I soon found a succulent weed called purslane, which I’d cursed over the years because it joyfully crawls along open dirt beds, minutes after you till the garden. I’d like to be THAT unstoppable. Purslane is another nutritional power-plant, with more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable. It can be added to salad, stir-fry, soup or smoothie.
I kept adding more weeds each morning, getting increasingly excited by my low-maintenance, organic, FREE FOOD grown by the goddess. My daydream was manifesting.
It didn’t take long before my anti-lawn-mowing campaign began.?
Bill was not on board. The increasingly overgrown look was worrisome.
We compromised. The wondrous weeds got the witness-protection-program within the three garden beds PLUS the two hidden corners of the house (which had a prosperous overgrowth) PLUS I got dibs on a long patch of “lawn” alongside the house, which was making way for weeds. Everything eventually gives way to Pachamama’s powerhouses. And there is still plenty of lawn.
How has our society gotten it backward? We plant grass, which we cannot eat, and we water, preen, pay and spray to keep that lawn luxurious. Meanwhile we battle the generous weeds which actually feed a vital hunger.
Recently, I was just about to pull (cringing) a tall and lanky number out of the garden. But I stopped my unconscious rampage and consulted Google.
No. Way. It’s edible. It’s lambsquarters and can be eaten like spinach! I have a garden of it. We’ve been unable to grown spinach nearly as successfully… and that was when we were TRYING. These sweet shoots are doing it pro bono. No problemo. I swear I hear them applauding me for throwing in the trowel.
“These humble edibles are packed with adaptogens—that is, they’re crucial to helping our bodies adapt to what life throws at us. Wild foods not only retain the vitamin and mineral levels that nature intended, they also carry critical survival information in their cells. When we ingest them, the wisdom that’s allowed them to thrive out in the elements becomes a part of us.” ~Anthony William, author & medical medium
Years ago, when I studied macrobiotics, I loved the idea that we not only get the nutrition of the plants we eat, but we also receive their radiant, invisible, indestructible life-force. Awesome. These wild delights have seen many, many seasons and navigated through drought, flood, freezing, scorching & mowing, but they still thrive. The plant DNA gets stronger and it passes its immunity & resilience on to us. To us! L’Chiam.
What did we do to deserve this Motherly care and cooperation? Just by being born into a bod, we are worthy of Her love. We do not have to toil to earn it. Creation knew we’d need sustenance and support. Even though *weed shake Her off and refuse Her gifts – She’d still offer and celebrate the miracle of our life, like any loving mom. The miracle of animals. Insects. Weeds. And for all of us sweet heathens, we have a Mega-mama overflowing with love. And groceries for ingrates.
Before you leave – a note of caution – purslane has a look-alike called “spurge,” which is toxic (it causes vomiting etc – luckily it tastes so bad that people don’t tend to swallow it!) If you look at pictures on the web, you’ll be able to see the difference between the two. Both have reddish stems, but purslane has thicker leaves, like a jade plant. Spurge leaves are thin, lay flat and grow neatly across from one another on the stem. Some have central red spots. Double check and go slow. And, of course, before you start eating any weeds out of your garden or lawn, be sure you’ve positively identified them.
And then enjoy Earth’s lavish abundance!
My friend Kathy Kane sent me this tidbit – the word vegetable comes from the Latin vegetare: to invigorate. I can dig it!
We are surrounded by energetic abundance, and although some days it may feel like the cash flow is low, we’re actually rolling in the green.
Yours in tree-hugging,
Weenie Greenie Julie