More weeds = more biodiversity.
In the last 40 years, we have lost around 60% of wildlife globally.
There has been a steep drop in farmland birds for decades, and pollinators such as bees are in a steady decline all over the world.
Ultimately, biodiversity across the planet is rapidly diminishing and we need to do something about it, urgently!
When there is a problem… we look for a solution… and most likely… it is connected to the weeds… the real problem solvers.
What the biodiversity debate rarely mentions is the very important role weeds play in creating and sustaining soil and plant diversity.
We have relegated these rebels to unruly pests in need of removal, never considering why they are so successful at surviving… and perhaps their bigger reason for being…
Because they have been viewed as stealing light, water, and nutrients from crops, weeds have been unwanted on farms and land throughout history.
In response, synthetic pesticides emerged in the 20th century and were used intensively to fend off insects, fungi, and weeds.
What this in fact caused was a total disaster… The overuse of these chemicals only resulted in insects, fungi, and weeds developing immunity to them and becoming even stronger.
Basically… don’t fuck with nature as it will come back to bite you.
Even with the strongest and most toxic chemicals that billions of dollars have been used to create, some weeds have been totally unscathed and in fact, grew even more resilient by surviving and learning to thrive amongst poison.
Weeds know what it means to survive… they crack the concrete… where there is death and decay, weeds bring new life. They know their role is too important not to keep fighting.
Weeds prevent soil erosion by covering and protecting open soil.
They are a home and a source of food to many wild little beings (eg. many insect species depend on weeds for food).
They bring insects to fields that naturally act as pest control (eg. bright blue cornflowers attract hoverflies which devour aphids, a feared crop pest).
This means that weeds actually help to make farmland self-regulating.
By destroying weeds, we are essentially rendering all of the animals that depend on them extinct.
In our obsession to keep our farmlands, gardens, and lawns perfect and “clean”, we are failing to see that everything in nature is interconnected.
Pulling out or killing weeds does not solve the problem, it only makes it worse…
Learning to work with and understand their wisdom is the answer to our problems.
The more diverse a farmland or garden is, the less vulnerable it is to pests and other ecological disturbances.
Just as weeds support our Earth Body and show us the vital importance of diversity, our human bodies are also far healthier when we stop interfering with them.
Nature knows that true health is not about ridding toxins and poisoning what is “bad”, but rather about embracing and loving all the bacteria and diverse beings that live inside and among us.
These little “pests” are ultimately what will strengthen and sustain our natural immunity as they continue to remind us that we are not and cannot ever be separated from them.
Just as removing weeds from farmland removes many important insects and birds from the land, pulling out weeds and rendering them useless to us as humans is incredibly ignorant in light of their healing benefits.
Weeds have exceptional medicinal and nutritive value, read our other blog post here on the benefits of wild weed infusions.
HOW CAN WE SUPPORT BIODIVERSITY?
Rather than get overwhelmed by the state of the world, let’s look at solutions to this crisis… We are ultimately the ones that can drive what we wish to see by choosing where we put our money and what we take action on.
- Support local, small organic farms - choosing where you buy your food from helps to move money away from destructive agricultural practices.
- Take care of and honour the environment and nature that surrounds you. The whole planet is a potential habitat for plants, insects, birds, and other animals, tread lightly and become aware of your surroundings.
- Remove rubbish from the parks or rivers in your area…
- Let your gardens go a little wild… knowing that a lawn with a few weeds is in fact far more beneficial for all the other beings you share that piece of land with.
- Let your own body go a little wild… did you know the incredible benefits your body hair has?
- Allow yourself to be well nourished… drink wild weed infusions, eat whole foods and trust your body's natural beauty.
To embrace biodiversity means to let go of perfection.
Nature is not meant to grow in a neat, orderly way, and neither are we.