WHile the info in hhere might be of little use to anyone not growing rice and barley in Japan, the spirit and intent should be of great value to anyone that gardens. We have often explored the place where weed meets garden here, and many of us are starting to take a less stringent view of volunteer spontaneous plants than we used to.
I was brought to the idea originally by Joseph Cocannouer's Weeds: [url=http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/weeds/WeedsToC.html]Guardians Of The Soil[/url], so F-san's ideas here were not new or foreign to me, but that is not the case for most gardeners. We have been set against nature at every turn; soil organisms, insects and even the plant world we cherish has earned our enemity.
Yet Nature is trying to set plants in place based on needs in the soil. Ever notice how one weed does well here, another in this condition or that? Nature's every move is designed to build more soil, better soil, with a higher fungal content. The plants select biologies, the biologies adjust the soil, and we get succesion. Our gardening continually pushes back against this improvement of soil towards a more fungal dominance. Yet we would find many of our crops enhanced by that very process.
This year I embraced the weeds. Let the lambsquarters and purselane have their way. Ate a good deal of them in the process and used some for compost. I like lambsquarters as a pot herb very much and nibble and munch when I am in the garden (and often out of it as well). This chapter is one I have embraced for some time, and wonder who else is revelling in the fecundity of weeds... anyone?