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.