The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Two uses for ragweed

Mulching with ragweed

It's ragweed week around here.  Even though Mark went through a couple of months ago and tried to rip up all of the small ragweed within our core homestead, some plants slipped through his net.  Now that the massive plants are getting ready to bloom, it's time to go through with the loppers and cut each one down so we don't have thousands of new plants next year.  The "chore" becomes much more fun when I realize I can easily load all that awesome biomass into the green wagon and use it to top off a kill mulch for next year's high-density apples.

Deer-nibbled ragweed

Meanwhile, out in the starplate pastures, I'm leaving the ragweed alone.  I figure that anything willing to grow in that poor soil will only add much-needed organic matter to the ground, and if the ragweed plants spread their seeds widely, we can just mow down the offspring when it's time to turn the area back into pasture.  In the interim, ragweed acts as a very good deer-monitoring tool since the plants are very tasty to ungulates at three to five feet tall.  Weeds like the one shown above are a sign that the deer are busy munching in that pasture --- yet another reason not to plant apple trees there until our fencing is 100% complete.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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