Month: April 2016

Edible (and useful) Spring Weeds

In a permaculture garden there are many plants providing myriad functions. Have you ever wondered how we maintain such abundant gardens without the use of pesticides that seem to flourish in all seasons? One of the ways that we do this is to utilize nature to support itself. For example, many “weeds” or things that people consider to be weeds actually blossom and bring in beneficial insects and pollinators, or mine for minerals deep in the soil, bringing nutrients to the surface. ┬áThis is an important concept in permaculture for healthy thriving ecologically diverse gardens, so we brought the lesson to the classroom while working recently. In Lower-Elementary we had A LOT of spring weeds we needed to catch up with. We noticed while weeding that the most prolific of these was Purple Hen Bit (Lamium amplexicaule.)┬áThis purple flower is among the earliest bloomers and therefore one of the first food sources for honey bees. We explained that we leave these valuable weeds in the garden until after other nectar and pollen sources begin to …