Copyright: 1994, 2012 S. Tephyr Burgess
I find weeding one of the hardest things to do in The Garden. Yes, part of it is because it is a chore. But mostly its hard because it is in direct violation of "The Primary Directive" of Co-Creationism. We are supposed to allow all of Nature in The Garden. Looking at some innocent plant and telling it "You don't belong there" just doesn't seem right.
When I first started Co-Creative Gardening I would weed as little as possible. Your right, The Garden was taken over by untold numbers of "weeds". The plants that I wanted, as well as what the Devas wanted were crowded out and even smothered. I didn't know what to do.
I meditated on this for a long time& and the answer they gave me was that it is understood that one of my jobs it to take out some of the extra plants. That Co-Creative Gardening was just that: Co-Creative. That is both of us working at the growing; a cooperative effort. If no weeding was done than it was The Wild, not The Garden. Weeding should be done in a conscious manner with a little mindfulness when weeding. And to make sure nothing is wasted.
So here are some tips on how I go about Consciously Weeding:
I always try, no matter what the activity to let The Garden Devas know what I plan on doing, at least the night before. Though often these days I simply go out, look what needs to be done, find out if it is an acceptable activity for the day and give them a few minutes to adjust. So far this doesn't seem to be objectionable.
I do my gardening in the early morning and in the evening: before and after the heat of the day. Before I start I would sit and simply be open to the Devas and Nature Spirits around me. Occasionally I would be left off the hook and I would be told now is not a time for weeding. Trusting: Ill find something else to do. Usually two things are apparent: either I choose what needs weeding as I go along or I will be told that a certain weed needs to be thinned out or even taken out of The Garden entirely and I would work on that plant exclusively.
Weedings are divided into three categories:
Harvest for food and medicine and the metaphysical. Please do not eat anything unless you are positive of it's identification.
Unlike other Co-Creative Gardeners I don't "Release" the Spirit of the plant. Before I start I tell all who wish to go on to do so but those who wish to stay are welcome. This will be further covered in an article on Conscious Harvesting and Preparation. But for now I will say that I feel that if the plants feel that their energies and spirit are needed to stay in The Garden, the compost or in the harvest and preparation; then they are needed.
As I go down the beds I look at each plant and touch it, waiting to receive either a yes or a no "vibe". If yes, I pull it and either put it in the compost bucket or harvest basket next to me. Each plant is scrutinized and connected with. I thank each plant for its gift either to me from the Harvest Basket or The Garden from the compost. This is as sacred an act as actual mindful harvesting and you may find it helpful to give an offering before you begin. You might find this time consuming at first, but after a time you will find that it takes you no more or less time to weed than if you didn't do it. Often less as I find that more often than not plants just slip out of the ground rather than with me struggling. Actually, if I find I have to struggle to get plants out I take this as a gentle hint that either the plant needs to stay or it is time to stop for the day.
I get quite a lot of medicinal plants harvested just by weeding The Garden. I just keep in mind the seasonal requirements and preferred times of day for Harvest. Its how I get my Dandelions, Yellow Dock, Mullein, Evening Primrose, Saint Johnswort, Purslane, &&.
Frances Bacon said that "A weed is just a plant where someone doesn't want it" or something
along those lines.
I try and keep that in mind too when I weed. I have received many plants from the Devas by taking into account before I weed it out that it might be there because they want it there, as well as I or someone else will need it in the future. I carefully look at each plant and if I don't know what it is I don't pull it: I go look it up. I have been given American Pennyroyal, Saint Johnswort, Heal All and Velvet Plant to name just a few; by paying attention to who I am about to pull up.
Again, as I have said on this site before; Not taking my needs into account exclusively. Just because something is growing where I didn't plant it doesn't mean it doesn't belong there and often I will find that I will have a need for it;
One story is several years ago I started to feel unwell. My energy was slowly depleting. After some time I grew weaker and weaker. I even stopped gardening. I even went to a doctor who told me to get more rest; there was nothing wrong with me.
But I got worse, to the point where I couldn't even get out of a chair with out a struggle, I slept constantly and I was irritable and depress; all very unlike myself. I was getting pretty worried at this point.
What I didn't notice was in my untended garden, Yellow Dock was starting to take over. I went to another doctor who had the forethought to take a blood test; I was the most anemic person she had ever seen. I don't remember what my blood count was but her reaction was that no wonder I couldn't get out of the chair.
Guess what is an herbal ally for anemia? Yep, Yellow Dock. Anytime a plant starts to get out of hand I take a real close look at it and find out everything I can and then look at my and my family's health problems. Or the opposite: like in a previous story about the Deer eating my Rose hips. That year I didn't need any. The year I did have a need they were left alone and I had plenty.
So, yes it is understood and even encouraged that we weed with-in our gardens. I think you will find that if you follow the above and add any of your own elaborations you will actually begin to enjoy weeding; well, maybe just a little&&