Did you know that the tap root of the Dandelion grows one to three feet straight down, and the common clover plunges to over a hundred feet into bedrock? That’s a lot more than I originally thought. You can imagine my surprise when I learned that it’s roots can grow so deep. Learning the properties of common weeds rocks for grade school kids to agriculturalists.
It’s important to learn the ABC’s of the botanical world early in life, especially since weeds in the ‘D’ category stand between you and your Maker. Ingesting certain weeds can cause more than a tummy ache; playing with death can be as innocent as making a whistle out of a Hemlock reed – yes, it’s that poisonous to the touch.
On the other hand, if they’re under the ‘E’ category many wild weeds can save you from starvation, and are superior nutritionally to cultivated vegetables. Minor’s Lettuce loves to be picked and eaten so long as it’s leaves and flowers are cut, not pulled. And the common fern produces two or three tender fiddlleheads which are so crispy and crunchy they snap off with ease, while the fiddleheads the plant needs to keep alive for itself are soft and pliable to the touch.
Under the ‘H’ category are the wild things that heal. Medicinal plants are so common you’ll never need to cross the threshold of another pharmacy again to take care of all your health needs. Dandelion is only the starting point of the long list of wild weed herbs which serve as both nutritionist and healer. Our wild weeds nourish the fruit of the earth, just as they replenish the origins of life… wild things are the Alpha and Omega of the cycle of nature from soil to body. The pre-established template that can survive in the most barren and harsh of environments, pulls minerals into depleted soil to heal the land and spark the spirit. Wild weeds, at their very root, are characterized by a depth, breadth, and ferocious tenacity that makes the heart sing.