Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lambsquarter - Underappreciated Plants & "Weeds"

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

According to Merriam-Webster.com the definition of a weed is:  a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially :  one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.
So, the location of growth is a true factor in the label of weed.  Sadly, many plants get labeled as weeds regardless of where they grow.  Many plants have acquired the label, "Weed" or "Invasive" that are actually quite beneficial; especially in our population that loves a manicured lawn or weed free fields.
This is a term often applied to Lambsquarters, the next "weed" in our series of Underappreciated Plants. If not cultivated carefully it can become invasive and outcompete many plants for nutrients.
It is probably a native of Europe, although its early use as a food crop makes it hard to pinpoint.  It came to North America with the Europeans, and is quite common in gardens and fields.  It's very hardy, grows vigorously and is a prolific seeder. Therefore is a main target of many herbicide applications.  It is a nutrient powerhouse loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as a fair amount of protein. 
I encourage you to plant or leave some underappreciated plants here and there in your landscapes.  If they are in a spot on purpose, they are no longer a "weed." Show others their subtle beauty and share the knowledge of their benefits.  You might even have the opportunity to share them with guests in a meal.
If you would like help with an edible and sustainable landscape, with a few surprises hidden in, contact me and I will help you get started, with a design or even a full installation and maintenance plan.

Don't forget I'll be leading the Forest Avenue Outreach "Summer Sustainability Series - Permaculture & Your Garden" talk this coming Thursday! 
Have great week!

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