Why do weeds grow so well?

Domesticated crops are less hardy (in many senses of the term) because they have been bred too strongly in limited numbers of qualities. Weeds can survive better because they are not performing at their maximum at all times; the excess is security.

Say you have two plants, plant breed A has bred to have high seed production whereas plant breed B is wild. Both plants are injured, while they are in flower and have to allocate extra resources towards healing their injuries. Plant of breed B is able to divert some of its energy away from its flowers and all its other systems because it has a bit of excess to spare, and even though it produces less seed it still produces some. Plant of breed A has all of its energy going towards making flowers at the time it’s injured, and by diverting energy away from them it doesn’t have enough resources to support all its flowers and doesn’t make any seeds.

In the wild, breed B’s linneage would go on to outproduce all the plants in breed A for all the nutrients in the soil, but in captivity where larger seedheads are selected for the only plants that will continue to be planted by the gardener next year are those with the larger seedhead that were fortunant enough not to be injured. But this means that one event coming through, say a dog running through the garden, is enough to destroy the crop. Whereas the weeds capable of being plucked and cast off still reroot and grow to fruiting.

The model of morality to follow is that of a simple weed. Like water, weeds live in the places no one else wants, use the resources that remain untaken, and persist and subside.



I was gathering mushrooms for supper a couple days ago when I came across this little girl. She was just sitting curled up under a spruce like little rabbits do, barely even moved when I scooped her up. I brought her inside and sat her down on my bed to take this picture, and she’s been living in my cabin since. I was planning on cooking her up with the mushrooms, but then I thought I’d give a try to taming her. It’s always fun to have wild animals that are friendly with you living nearby, you know? And even if you come to know the raven that always comes for your fish carcasses or the ermine that periodically clears out the family of shrews under your cabin (these are some of my neighbours), it’s a little different when they come up to you asking to be petted. Provided I can keep the dogs away from her once she’s back outside, that is. She does look awfully tasty though, mmm, snowshoe hare.

I come across bones regiliarly while I’m out in the woods. I bring them back home to have them handy for various projects like sewing needles, knitting needles, or fishing hooks (I go through allot of fishing hooks). From left to right it’s piles of vertebrae, ribs, miscellanious jaws shoulder blades and hip bones, and leg bones. These all come from moose. Last night I found a very old carcass from a young calf killed by coyotes, which is what made me think to even take a picture of my bone pile in the first place. It’s just an everyday ordinary thing to me, I don’t usually realise how unusual that must be for people in the city.

A sewing needle I made yesterday from my bone pile, for example. It’s wedge-shaped in its length because if you try to make them the same width all along their shaft they break much more often.

A couple japanese knotweed containers. Very simple to make. I needed to make some more small things containers since I didn’t have anything to stick the hawthorn thorns I collected into, and those are the ones sticking out of the top container. Hawthorn thorns are all around generally useful. I usually use them as toothpicks, but they also make suitable awls or emergency sewing needles. My next project is to make a comb using dulled hawthorn thorns. I’ll post about it when I finish it. Speaking of dental hygeine though, hawthorn twigs also make an acceptable chewing stick, so I replenished my supply some at the same time.

Blue bead lily berries, which supposedly make a blue dye. I’ve never seen them as plentiful as this year, so I decided to gather a pile for a friend to test out. Although, it could be that I’ve never seen them this plentiful because I’ve not really looked. The berries are inedible and have no other uses as far as I know, and the edible leaves have far gone by by the time the berries are out. On the right is a small handful of goldenthread rhizomes, which are a powerful antibiotic containing the same chemical as goldenseal. Goldenthread is much more common though. It also makes a bright yellow dye, or so I’ve heard. Need to get my friend to test this one too.