Sunday, February 15, 2009

in defense of chickweed

time to clean up the yard some. as days lengthen and temperatures rise so do the weeds, thistles and grasses. we've been lucky to experience a very short bit of rain on two occasions this week. the damp ground is now perfect for digging new beds. the ground is not sopping wet but neither is it rock hard. so today the garden fork pierces the ground once more.

the currently planted bed are growing full steam ahead. the cabbages and kales and chards look taught, thick and wide. the carrot tops grow taller and taller and taller. the radish bulbs grow fuller. the beet greens cascade over the roots now ready for picking and the first spring peas are ready to pop. this season's cauliflower is cut and already eaten - not a flower left or spared - a clear sign that next years patch will need to be planned larger in size.

nothing goes to waste around here. there are plenty of cheerful mouths ready to enjoy the gifts. the chickenychicas and wabbit wabbit turn away very little from what's offered to enjoy.

even now the chickenchicas are munching on piles and piles of chickweed pulled up from several of the flower beds as we've got plenty of the self planted chickweed to go around. even i enjoy the chickweed now and again then again.

it's hard not to enjoy a bit of chickweed this time of year as it finds it's way into nearly each and every bed of lettuce and greens. you have the choice to either spend tedious times pulling every little bit of the weed out of your beds or to just trim it along with the greens and call it a day. frankly i find it quite tasty. it's slightly tart and quite delicate in flavor. the leaves are tiny beauties and wee white flowers are lovely to look at.

i often wonder what makes a weed a weed. who decided when it would one day go out of fashion from delicate tasty bit to weed? in the case of chickweed i find that it carries several redeeming qualities.
  • it is quite tasty and the chickenchicas love to munch on it
  • it serves quite well as a cover crop for flower beds in spring
  • it will set beautifully tiny white flowers if let alone to grow to mid maturity
  • the root system is shallow making it easy to pull
  • it seeds itself so it's free year after year
given the above - if one plans well, chickweed could become a green quite enjoyable. when the weather warms pull it up or allow it to serve as a green mulch and a constant source of munchies for your greens loving creatures.

what is weed?
oh i could go deep here
weed plant, weed people, weed ideas, weed weed (ah ha ha!)

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