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Go, Pigweed, Go

Superweeds menace GMOs. That’s the word from the latest news reports of Amaranthus palmeri (aka pigweed) crowding out crops of genetically modified cotton and soybeans.

Here’s how it works: Farmers buy both herbicides and seeds of crops that have been genetically modified to survive those herbicides and are thereby — at least in theory […]

Brits Eat Their Lawns

Hmm… There, the government encourages people to replace lawns with fruits and vegs and everybody has a right to a garden allotment. Here, community garden allotments are rare and, in many municipalities, you can be fined for growing rambling, diverse, edible, drought-resistant, organic herbs and vegetables rather than tidy, mono-cultural, useless, water-sucking, chemical-fed grass. […]

Made for You and Me?

So, I understand that Obama-palooza culminated with two white guys singing “this land was made for you and me.”

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen

That reminded me of a night, several years ago, in Ann Arbor. The organizers of the annual womens’s Take Back the Night march against rape had worked out a […]

Flower Power

The super-weedy yards here at the sanctuary are blooming with Rose-of-Sharon, cypress vines, and, most strikingly, sunflowers. Sunflowers always surprise me, and not just because (around here, where spilled birdseed guarantees lots of volunteer flowers) they sometimes pop up where I least expect to see a splash of sunshine.

I remember one summer day […]

Radish Pods!

It’s stir-fry season in the garden. In between the flush of springtime crops like lettuce and peas and the lush summer season of cuke, zuke, and tomato fruits comes a lull wherein what’s available for dinner often turns out to be (as it was for me last night) two string beans, a handful of […]

Ephemera

Lilacs bloomed in my urban backyard every spring in Ypsilanti. Every year, I watched the buds swell, waiting for the moment when they would burst into flower, filling the air with a delicate scent that seemed to prove something about the persistence of beauty. The weeks when the lilac bloomed were always too short […]

Natural Anarchism

Because I’m working on a related anthology chapter, I finally finished typing up a talk I gave back in April of last year. I’ll post it as a document in the texts section of my website, whenever I get around to fixing that up, but here it is now, for anybody who’s interested.

Natural […]

Freegan Fall Gardening Tips

I harvested the last of my peppers and tomatoes this week (thank you, global warming) and so now it’s time for me to belatedly share some of my fall gardening tips for freegans and cheapskates.

First and most importantly: Seed saving, sharing, and swapping.

Obviously, when you save seeds and then start them […]

Wheat Seeds Are Doing It for Themselves

The Max Planck Institute has figured out how wild wheat seeds dig themselves into the ground.

Image: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces

Here’s how they summarize the process:

The awns of the wild wheat are both steering mechanism and engine at the same time. They guide a ripe grain to the […]

Dandelion Liberation League

“We hate dandelions.”

That’s what the lady on the television says in one of those commercials for the suburban WMDs known as “weed killers.” She seems like a nice lady and pretty normal, so I wonder what the dandelions could have done to make her so mad?

I mean “mad” in both senses of […]