For the last week or so that we’ve been farming, weeding has been our primary activity. We began by weeding out a sizable raspberry patch, followed by the weeding of our herb garden, as well as several other small plots. Removing all the unwanted plants surrounding our produce makes our job harvesting immensely easier; at the same time though, weeding makes me feel a little guilty. Why do we have the right to remove all these grasses, flowers, and vines which clearly flourish on the land? At times I feel like a colonial power, planting produce that will benefit my needs, while uprooting the bad native weeds.
So why can’t we just get along with weeds?
It’s because weeds are even greedier than we are. Weeds thrive because they absorb a tremendous amount of water, growing to colossal size, while other plants fall behind. When we pull weeds out of the ground, they shrivel quickly in the sun because they lose this source. Weeds also germinate at a rapid rate, spreading seeds far and plentiful.
We weed diligently, not because weeds are bad plants, but because they do not require nutrient rich soil like our produce does. They can regenerate without our help, whereas the relationship between us and our produce is symbiotic: our vegetables need us to grow, and we need them to eat.