Gardener's Grapevine 2012.08.22

Written by David Green.

Have you ever noticed how as we age so do other things? I’ve heard “the more things change the more they stay the same.” Or how about “what comes around goes around”? On Sunday mornings Art and I love to watch a show called Sunday Morning. We watch it while getting ready for church and tape (DVR) the rest to watch later. Twice this summer I have talked about weeds and the program did a segment on it.

The definition of weeds is “a plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, esp. one growing where not wanted.” Basically, the segment talked about a lot of different weeds. Like the kudzu brought to our country 100 years ago to control one problem and it became an enormous problem that is now very out of control and taking over the south. My Aunt Pat had a plant she planted in abundance once that she called Michigan Kudzu. That would be a topic for another article I think.

They also spoke about weeds that are making a comeback as food. I wrote an article some weeks back on this, as a friend had fascinated me with talk of where our weeds originated from and why we had them. Usually as I get ready for church, this program is on and I pause to catch segments that grab my attention. Today however, I felt awful and had decided no one at church would appreciate my grumpy uncomfortable self so we stayed home and I watched the whole program.

This segment on weeds talked about a woman who is a lawyer in New Jersey who harvests edible weeds not only for her own dinner table, but also for posh restaurants along the east coast. She spoke about eating lambsquarter, creeping jenny, pigweed leaves, onion grass bulbetts and many more. She wrote a book called “Foraged Flavor” and it sounds absolutely fascinating. I want to purchase a copy. The premise of the entire segment was just to showcase a new look and differing looks on an old problem/crop.

As I said before in the past article many of our “weeds” started out as crops that people brought from their home countries as root stock to make sure they had something to eat in an unknown new place. In this TV segment a weed/crop researcher spoke about how southern farmers used seeds that had been genetically engineered to resist Round Up so that Round Up could be sprayed across their land to control weeds including pig weed. Now the pigweed has naturally altered itself to resist the Round Up also. They showed weeds growing in the cracks of asphalt in a city and thriving. The point is that for some reason weeds live without much water, food or even sun and thrive.

With more and more people crowding our world, our climate changing constantly, years like our present one where we deal with a drought and have a concern for rising food costs, maybe weeds are our future. They persevere where others can’t. Our ancestors knew something we did not or have forgotten. I guess what goes around really does come around.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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