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We have weeds

by on June 7, 2016

red dead nettleGo Local Food does keep a few weeds around the fields and of course they grow when we are trying our best to be productive. Where we are growing crops now that the bio degradable cornstarch is being used, we are seeing the benefits of fewer weeds.

But where we can and it doesn’t affect productivity, we are happy to have those weeds which have value for the local wild life. We are working with nature in many cases. Still, the time will come in the season when those crops not planted through cornstarch have to be weeded in order to allow them to thrive.  Over the coming seasons there should be a little less weeding with more use of cornstarch and that excellent machine. Nice thought.

That common weed, the red dead nettle of which we have had plenty in the last few months, is a favourite with all sorts of pollinating insects. So we have no need to weed it away until we want to plant up the area with crops for the Go Local Food crop share.

Last summer Go Local Food planted a glorious display of marigolds which are great favourites with the ladybirds. We also had many ladybirds in the poly tunnels feasting on such things as the aphids we really didn’t want.  Of course, marigolds are edible in so many ways so more a crop than a weed.

Bumblebees, solitary bees, honey bees, moths and their caterpillars, butterflies, hoverflies and birds all use the dandelion!  So many sorts of wildlife feed on these widely spread and cheerful spring weeds (flowers!) but we only have a few of these. Did someone say “Thank Goodness”?

Therefore if we aren’t in any hurry to clear the beneficial weeds from an area until we need to plant it up and keep it clear to allow our crops to grow, we are actually only working with nature. We need bees and hoverflies to pollinate crops such as beans, peas and squash. Without them we would not be able to grow such a variety of crops out in the fields.

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