Last week I delved into weeding and our strategies to combat the looming invasion that comes with plowing and planting. This time of year is especially hard on folks with allergies. My fields look like it has snowed! Living near the river also means living near cottonwoods, and this time of year all my freshly tilled beds are also freshly seeded with cottonwoods now!
If I walked away today and did nothing more out in my fields, there would be a million trees sprouting this Spring and a new forest would take over. Nature is not a fan of bare ground and will constantly look to “plant” something in the freshly tilled ground. I know this. I get it, which is why I try to keep most of my ground planted and only actively till ground that I want to grow vegetables on keeping the rest in pasture, orchard or cover crops.
This week we are planting buckwheat, not to harvest for people food, but to feed our soil and also cover the ground. In this case, I am choosing what to cover the ground with as opposed to letting nature pick! There is a lot more thought that goes into my strategies, but you can sum it up as mimicking nature and working with nature to grow the healthiest food possible.
One of the challenges as a farmer, small business owner, husband, dad, grandpa, coach, volunteer is finding time – time to do anything, and it all feels important. I am constantly juggling. It is the same for most of you. A few of you might be thinking, “What is he talking about?” Well, I am talking about weeds! A lot of our life is more like a garden/farm. Weeds are always entering our world. If there is a free moment, it has 10 weeds that are looking to fill that space. And unless we plan and anticipate, the opportunistic nature of “life weeds” will overwhelm us. Bear in mind, weeds are not always bad, but they are not essential either. This means as the farmer of our lives we get to make room for the important crops and be diligent to limit the weeds – not a small task!
Food is something that consumes a lot of time, especially when you are managing blood sugar or fighting cancer or trying to lose weight. Sadly, the Standard American Diet, aka SAD, is more akin to weeds than food and the whole food system, organic or conventional, is built around processed sugary and/or fat food choices.
May I state the obvious: processed food is everywhere and it is hard to eat a healthy “weed” free diet! That is why we advocate eating more fruits and vegetables and keeping lots of them on hand. We also recognize that weeds are prolific and fill every nook and cranny. Purchasing less processed foods is the first step to keeping less healthy food choices out your pantry limiting their access to your life and your health.
Thanks for eating fresh fruits and vegetables and making Klesick’s a part of your life’s weeding strategy. We want you to be the healthiest you that you can possibly be so you can enjoy this wonderful life.
Your local farmer and local food advocate