A Plant Whose Virtues Remain Undiscovered

| 1/4/2012 7:40:25 PM

Somewhere there’s an intrepid explorer halfway around the globe discovering some fabulous plant that grows in all climates and require no nutrients…nay it makes its own. This plant is resistant to drought and freak frosts.  Pests freeze and turn to stone upon sighting this plant.  The fruit it bears will cure what ails you from hangnails to male pattern baldness and its so delicious most people faint upon first tasting its delectable nectar.  

But we aren’t going to talk about that plant.   

I’m going to tell you where to find plants that accomplish all of this (well I exaggerated a bit!) in your own backyard.  You might call them “weeds”. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said of weeds:  A weed is but a plant whose virtues remain undiscovered.  A lesser mind might think that Mr. Emerson implies that weeds have no virtues but in fact he was taking a swipe at us for being too unimaginative to see the benefits.   

Perhaps it’s in our nature to see conflicts where they really don’t exist.  Weeds are something portrayed as having a mind of their own.  If only we had a way to stop these invasive undesirable plants from taking over the garden, choking out the things we planted – Tomatoes from South America, Cabbage from the Mediterranean, and Carrots from Asia.   

But what if we did find the virtue?  What if these plants had some redeeming qualities that we could just perhaps exploit?  Would fields of thistle pop up with farmer in tow, worrying over each spindly plant?   

Jason Akers
1/7/2012 12:55:07 AM

Thank you. I'm definitely going to have to try that recipe this spring! Thanks for the head's up!

1/7/2012 12:42:59 AM

I like the way you think! I've always said a weed is a plant in the wrong place, now I see that it IS in the right place! One early summer day there were two young ladies strolling through the neighborhood picking unopened dandelion flowers. They asked if they could pick mine and I said 'sure, what are you doing with them?' They batter and fry them! They said they were delish! I haven't tried them yet, but may this growing season.

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