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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016