Abundance of the Everyday Life - A Burdocks Diary

Posted by Monika Meulman on

Let's start off with an agreement. 

Humour me.

Ok, let us at least agree upon an idea:
weeds are plants that get in our way in life.
thistle in southern ontario stands tallColtsfoot in the spring shows up where the streams arewoodland geraniums are welcome by forest foragersgarlic mustard is a must for late spring salads

Are they weeds or are they unsung heroes?

Gardeners dislike weeds because they spoil grass lawns, suck away nutrients from planted harvest gardens and take over fragrant and annual flower gardens. But some people will extol that weeds are not weeds at all.
There's a saying that: a weed is just a plant who's uses are unknown.
dandelion coffee or tonic elixir is a must have for optimal health
Actually, weeds can be defined as misplaced resources (I will explain!). When we get on the weed bandwagon and curse the very weeds we walk on, I think we are missing the point.

What point?

Weeds excel in the environment we have offered them in abundance. We give them space: they come in and take it. Complaining about weeds growing where we have created cracks in the sidewalk and empty open soil beds between our flowers is like tsk tsking when people pile on into an empty subway car during rush hour. It is the natural flow of resources. Have you heard the saying 'the universe abhors a vaccum'? We fail to recognize abundance when we see it.

Your challenge for the season follows below - read on!

This September, it is harvest time.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we are poised to celebrate with family and friends after two years of pandemic. That's a welcomed abundance. Seeing all the rich colours of vegetables and harvest foods at the farmer's market and our local grocery stores or even in our gardens, we feel blessed. We can see the abundance. But what about the weeds?
Weeds are the epitome of abundance. Join me in celebrating a handsome and abundant weed this September: the overlooked, under appreciated, much misunderstood Burdock.


Burdock is the Arctium genus. It belongs to the family of Asteraceae and though it is native to Europe it has spread and championed North America for over 200 years. It has some of the largest leaves of all the common weeds in our parklands. It's lush, rich stature and it's medicinal uses all shout: I am wonderful. Burdock root has traditionally been used by herbalists for over 300 years to purify the blood, help support skin disorders and even as a blood tonic. It grows everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. It is also eaten in Japan as a popular vegetable (Gobo) in many dishes. Yet, most people in North America are unfamiliar with this generous offering from mother nature. This fall season, I invite you to practice seeing abundance all around. I challenge you to find one new abundant resource in your life every week until the end of this year. Learn about 'those unwanted weeds' or pesky mosquitos or even different types of mold. Nature is full of surprises and truly full of abundance waiting to be discovered. Did you know mosquitos pollinate blueberries?
As the days grow shorter, the air gets crisper and Thanksgiving draws near may we harvest our bounty from the garden and honour the land where we are, where we walk. Let us send a graceful thank you to the weeds and grasses we walk upon in life, for they are setting the stage for seasons to come.
"We are worth no more than a blade of grass 
 from the book:  A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle 
by David Young, Robert Rogers and Russell Wilier

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