Monday, July 6, 2009

I <3 Pigweed!

Lest you think my sanity is completely gone (though most of you probably believe that already), let me explain myself...

I've recently learned that weeds can be an indicator of soil health. For example, last year I had an over-abundance of weeds like Corn Spurrey and this strange weed pictured below which I have been unable to find a picture of on the web anywhere (help me, Caitlyn!).

If it is a rare weed, I think I will cultivate it and sell specimens for $1000 apiece...


But I digress... these weeds grow in soils that are either too sandy or clay, deficient in Calcium, and are slightly acidic (ph 5-6). That means not very healthy plants grow from that soil, unless you are a weed.

This year, I worked on the soil a lot - and now am growing the most beautiful crop of Pigweed that y'all ever seen! This gorgeous weed indicates that my soil is rich in nutrients, is now getting loamy, and has a neutral ph of 7!!! It also tells me that my soil is either lacking in iron or magnesium (I can rule out iron because of the high clay content) - magnesium deficiency is usually caused by too much nitrogen, which makes sense because of all of the manure that was added. So, I can correct this by balancing the content of mulch this fall and using epsom salts in my foliar feeding.

So yes, I love weeds now. In fact, most weeds are far more nutritious in your salad than lettuce. So go nibble on a few weeds now and then (I retain no responsibility if you happen upon a poisonous one and keel over)!

My 17-year-old brother, Nathan, just returned from a trial run on a commercial fishing boat. He stole the camera for two weeks, but at last I can document recent happenings.


Here is our lovely addition - doesn't it look like a barn roof? You have no idea how excited I am to have my own tiny room and sewing abode... best of all, my dad promises to make the doors little-sister-proof!



The 4th of July was a work day with our good friends and neighbors - we cleaned the milk parlor, spread gravel, mucked out the barn.









Isn't milk beautiful :)





We also made a duct-tape dress form. No matter how much I enjoy being made into a silver robot object incapable of picking up scissors, I am more thankful to discover that, contrary to prior belief, I am not claustrophobic (and Sarah is a superb architect, duct-tape ripper and won't slice you up with the sharp scissors).


Growing things: raspberries...




Grapes...








Blueberries...









the first Zucchini!











tomatoes...










beets...













beans...











My pitiful herb garden which I promise to focus on this next year...















The rare and beautiful Slippery Elm, famed indian remedy for all ills...













And liquid fish/kelp fertilizer for my foliar spray... yum!

















Okay, I'm done being weird :D






5 comments:

King's child said...

Aaaah, a true kindred spirit. ;D

Your Slippery Elm is beautiful! I can't wait to get some cuttings!

Your mystery weed/herb looks familiar, I will do some poking around and see what I can find out about it...

And as I always say: "There is no such thing as a weed, it's just a misplaced herb!

And that is exciting that you will be getting your own room! :D

~Caity

King's child said...

I'm back! Your mystery HERB is Purslane! Latin name being: Portulaca oleracea.

Broken off stems root very easily so when you pull it up you have to make sure you get it all.

May I have a little cutting? Purslane is a fantastic herb to have in the garden and I haven't been able to find any around our place.

~Caity

Gwennie said...

It looks like your garden is growing wonderfully!

If you want to see a lot of weeds, you should come over and see the empty patch of lawn where our garden is supposed to be. : )

Garden of Glory said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Caity!

One purslane plant coming right up with no charge to you!

King's child said...

Yipee! Now it's my turn to say thank you!!

~Caity