Weed Love

Today I took another trip to my mom’s house, where the raised bed in the backyard that I started months ago had some goodies waiting for me–the very last of the carrots and a few onions. The carrots were already much less sweet due either to the warmer weather or the regular storms lately, but that won’t stop me from eating them.

Overflowing handful of carrots and onion

(By the way, if you have a backyard, I strongly recommend growing some carrots. They take forever to grow but they’re extremely low maintenance and really sweet and juicy if you pick them when it’s cool out.)

Do you see what’s behind my hand? That raised bed is full of weeds! Pretty primrose. Reinvigorating clover. And other types of weeds. The weeds didn’t stop the food from growing at all. In fact, the largest onion in the bunch was one that was nearly hidden beneath a thick section of clover. It reminds me of Masanobu Fukuoka’s farm as described by Larry Korn’s intro to The One-Straw Revolution:

Some vegetables go unharvested, the seeds fall, and after one or two generations, they revert to the growing habits of their strong and slightly bitter-tasting wild predecessors. Many of these vegetables grow up completely untended. Once, not long after I came to Mr. Fukuoka’s farm, I was walking through a remote section of the orchard and unexpectedly kicked something hard in the tall grass. Stooping to look more closely, I found a cucumber, and nearby I found a squash nestled among the clover.

These veggies weren’t quite that wild, but they were just as beautiful.

Handful of carrots and onions in front of a weed-filled raised garden bed

Speaking of weeds, there were plenty of dried seedpods on the clover so I grabbed a few to use in my own garden later, as well as the dried seedpods of the peas that were too small to harvest on my previous visit. The only things left are the garlic and oregano, which I haven’t decided yet if I should just dig it up whole or leave in place and propogate cuttings. But I have at least a few weeks before the garlic can be harvested, plenty of time to decide.

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