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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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