Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seredipity or Spiritual Guidance

Yesterday, I was wandering the house and grabbed Weed of The Northern US and Canada off of the shelf.  It sounds like a great read, right?  We have had this book on the shelf for years and not really used it much.  When we first got it, it did not seem like it was pertinent ... we were looking for books on edible plants, but it seemed helpful to be able to identify some of the "weeds" in our area.

The authors define weeds as "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered".  As I leafed through, I could not help but chuckle at this.  The natives in my area, and I even with my limited skill and knowledge, knew of many practical uses for many of these plants.  Indeed, simply reading some of the common names for these plant suggested uses.  Arctinum minus Bernh., for instance, is known as both beggar's buttons and wild rhubarb, as well as the more common, Common Burdock.  So, if you knew this, how would you try to use this plant?

Enter serendipity.  I thumbed through until I found this ... Galeopsis Tetrahit L.  I have this plant growing wild in my yard ... as a matter of fact, I pulled a bunch of it last weekend and threw it in the compost pile.  The common name that caught my eye was wild hemp.  Al1 of you who know me well know that I like to make cordage.  And, I know that hemp is often used in textiles.

According to this site, the are several know virtues ... medicinal and utilitarian.  According to WikiPedia, it is a pioneer plant and helps to build poor soil for succession plants.  Wendy was particularly interested in its use a fodder for the rabbits.  Given the fact that this plant is native to Europe and Asia alone suggests that it must be useful enough for someone to introduce it here sometime in the early part of the European settling of North America.

So, next time you are wandering through your yard and see a "weed", you might want to try to see what it is.  It just might be the Universe providing something you didn't even know you needed.  As for me, my MooseBoots journey continues to surprise me in unexpected ways.  I am grateful for all of the guidance and abundance provided.


  1. As farmers, we are pretty good on our weed identification, even from the four-leaf stage. Usually, though, it's to determine where the problem areas are in our crops, so that we can "deal" with the weeds. This spring, while looking for greens we could give our laying hens, we discovered that they are crazy about lamb's quarters - almost more than lettuce that has gone to seed. It made weeding the vegetable garden fun, because I wasn't weeding out bad plants, I was looking for good food for the chickens ;)

  2. Julie, it is so cool that you have been able to work with the land instead of against it. I am sure the chicken appreciate it.

  3. To take it a bit further than just plants, when I open the coop door to collect eggs, there are usually a half dozen or so earwigs hiding out in the crack of the door. I always wait until the hens are at my feet before I open up the door, so that they can munch on the insects as they fall to the ground...maybe borderline cruel to the insects, but the chickens sure appreciate it! I really hope I am not crossing some line by doing so....

  4. I'd say you're safe. Everything eats something. And, everything gets eaten. The chickens are doing what they do. My girls will catch grasshoppers and grubs and feed them to the chickens.

  5. Thanks for the pardon, Deus Ex Machina ;) Have a great week!

  6. Julie - In an attempt to localize their chickens' diets, I've heard of people who will supplement with bugs. Their trick is to place a board on the ground for a couple of days, when they turn it over, it's a veritable smorgasbord for the chickens.

    I saw an egg carton the other day that claimed the eggs were from "vegetarian fed chickens." I laughed.

  7. Julie, I am not sure that I am qualified to issue pardons. I do believe that you can issue your own.

    Wendy, vegetarian chickens ... ha!

    Our chickens eat everything ... including ... yup, chicken.


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