one of my 2017 goals is to learn my herbaceous plants. it’s one thing to learn a plants name, but it’s another to learn what a plant can be used for and how it functions in the ecosystem. to that end, i started small, working on plants in my yard – so called ‘weeds.’
first thing i learned about weeds is that most of them are nutrient accumulators, meaning they pull nutrients out of the soil and concentrate them in their leaves and fruit. which makes them really good for you! but also good for all the plants they grow near – as they drop their leaves, the nutrient laden mass decomposes and enriches the soil.
in the picture, i’m holding a handful of purple dead nettle, a common weed here in georgia. forcing myself to learn weeds first has really taught me to appreciate the nature right outside my doorstep. my friends with wild intelligence taught me that you don’t have to go into the ‘wilderness’ to connect with nature – it’s waiting and working in our yards no matter how hard we fight it. this all blends nicely into the self-directed permaculture education i’ve been working on too!