June 20, 2012 3 Comments
This is a guest post by Ben Stallings (brother of ‘Becca), adapted from this post at Blue Boat Home.
There are two troublesome things I have in abundance in early summer on our urban farm in eastern Kansas: overgrown weeds and ideas for what to do differently next year! As is often the case, adding two problems equals a solution.
If you have an organic garden, you probably have a compost pile, and that means you need equal parts green matter and brown matter. Dead leaves are easy to stockpile from the previous autumn, or you can buy straw by the bale, but green matter (fresh leaves, veggies, and fruit) doesn’t keep. If you need a quick burst of fertility for your nitrogen-hungry summer crops, you need a lot of green matter that will break down quickly and completely. You may not have seriously considered weeds as a source of food for your garden–a handful of weeds scattered around the garden is a nuisance–but a wheelbarrow-load growing all in one place is a resource! I start to eye the roadsides and alleyways for lush groves of unwanted plants.
I never paid much attention to giant ragweed (Ambrosia triffida) before I met my wife because I’m not allergic to its pollen, but Jessie is, and it makes her miserable throughout most of August and September. I try to do whatever I can to minimize this, which means leaving the house closed up even on nice days. But maybe I can do more than that . . . maybe I can get rid of the ragweed before it blooms! Read more…