Weeds and Diseases are Nonexistent

This may strike a lot of people as crazy. That’s fine.  It is a perspective and you can take it or leave it. I’m not trying to change your point of view. This post is simply question my perceptions, yours, and the masses.

Nature inherently wants to create abundantly healthy organisms and ecosystems. It is continually attempting to restore every individual and system through a continual feedback loop. However, the limitation is in our ability to listen to a speechless form of communication. Instead, nature communicates through the lens of reality. Weeds in the garden and immune disorders that consumes its host are a few examples out of many.

Weeds in the Garden
Common weeds in the garden are thistles, dandelions, and grasses. Each has their own  story but they are all common to poor soil conditions, unfilled space in the garden, or a lack of diversity. Taking the time to learn about each plant focuses more light into what Nature is communicating to us. Thistles are deep rooted, grow in many soil conditions, and grows in disturbed (tilled) or neglected soils. Dandelions are similar to thistles; they have a deep tap root and grow in disturbed/neglected soils. Deep tap roots mine nutrients and make them available to other plants when the plant finishes its life cycle. Instead of pulling out these plants we can allow it to grow and finish its life, eat it, or cut it back before it goes to seed (when you see the flowers cut it back). Grasses also tend to grow in disturbed soils. They tend to mat up and take over a garden if not carefully managed. However, they also have beneficial aspects to them as well. Grasses have fungi growing on their roots which help facilitate nutrient exchange. These fungi are known as mycorhizzal since they grow into the roots of plants. If these grasses are next to vegetables the fungi will also grow into the roots of those plants and also help facilitate the exchange of water and nutrients. Because some grasses do form mats and take over the garden, it’s fine to manage them by trying to remove them. Another way of managing them is to allow animals to eat them for you. The overall message is that everything in nature performs a function. If we take a step back, nature will always fill a vacuum like an empty spot in the garden. There are no weeds.


Honey Mushrooms in the Yard

No Diseases
Honey mushrooms are commonly referred as parasitic mushrooms that cause disease in trees. They grow into the roots of trees and slowly feed off of decaying wood within the trunk. Over time, the tree will die and the fruits of the mushroom will spring out of the ground to spread its spores. If we take a step back and observe the environment around our trees, there is a common pattern of nutrient and water deficiency. At my parents house in Arlington, Tx, we have clay soils that go down 2-3 feet before you hit hard subsoil. Every rain, the water tends to run off rather than soak into the soil to water and hydrate the plants. During the dry summer months, this means inadequate amounts of water. Every 250473_223451991017926_5317440_nAutumn, as the leaves fall they are raked up and hauled off. Nutrients are leaving the system causing greater devastation to the yard. In the past couple of years, the amount of trees being lost in my parents and neighbors yard has been more than 15 oak trees cut and removed. As these stumps decay, we see the honey mushroom rising out of soil. Now, what is the function of a mushroom? It is a decomposer which cycles nutrients back into the system. Since there are no nutrients cycling and there is little water, the honey mushroom is returning nutrients back and spreading its spores and extending its mycelium to infect other susceptible tree roots.
When we build up our soils, we are also allowing more water to hydrate and stay within the system. In time this creates a healthier ecosystem that can support the growth of these trees and other plants. In time, other types of fungi will grow and compete with the honey mushroom pushing back its growth.

Accept the Feedback
What we call weeds and diseases in nature and for ourselves is only a perception. If we look further and understand their functions we can begin to learn their processes and functions in these environmental and biological systems. When we begin to understand a little bit of why they are growing and becoming prevalent we can begin to change our habits and behaviors. This initial step forces us to realize that we are a part of this system, and we are influencing it. However, before we can even begin to change the world outside we must change the way we perceive the world within and around us.

So are there weeds? Are there diseases?
Or is it all just feedback loops?

Field Guide for Managing Annual and Biennial Invasive Thistles in the Southwest
Controlling Cynara Cardunculus (Artichoke Thistle, Cardoon, etc.)

Co-existing grass species have distinctive arbuscular mycorrhizal communities
Mycorrhizae and Turfgrass
SOIL FUNGI By Elaine R. Ingham, Oregon State University

Honey Mushrooms
Armillaria Root Disease – US Department of Agriculture Forest Service

Inside Job

They’re the best. You work within to create a new system that changes the old.
Viruses, bacteria, and fungi all work in these ways to deteriorate or build up an organism.

The battle then becomes a challenge to create new paradigms within an organism, society, or organization. For myself, it’s been changing the paradigms of the family unit to accept and encourage the passions that I’ve chosen in life.

Words Are Not Enough
They just don’t cut it these days. You can only sugar coat a message so much. Without the actual cake or substance, words only go so far. I spent a lot of hours if not days on discussing the benefits of gardening with my family. It only convinced a few if any. The actual tomatoes, watermelons and squash got into them.

The taste alone says a lot more than any word can describe. It’s like tasting chocolate for the first time.

Challenge Yourself
When I finally realized that the watermelon actually made the change and my words started to have more meaning. From that point onward, it becomes necessary to start scaling up the operation and who better to do it than oneself and the ones closest to them.

The self is the best place to start when working on the inside. We often place blame on others without realizing that they have come from diverse backgrounds, all requiring different environments to change the old paradigms. By having the actions to follow through with the thoughts and ideas, you begin to live up to your words. People see that and acknowledge it without even having to say it; that’s trust.

Commune with Others
There’s no better way to invite other people in than by giving them good food and drink to eat. With nutritious food from the garden, the farmaceuticals will begin to transform the body through the tummy while your words begin to change their their brains with words of passion.

The results are phenomenal. The next step is to design the next actions to take, test them in the real world, and obtain feedback (a yield) to either try different actions, retest, or scale up.

Convert the Opposition

The opposition is a mix of all sorts of people. In my case, it’s a mix of family, friends, co-workers, and the at-large community. At the same time, I have co-creators in each of those categories as well.

Before I rant on how I go about converting people with opposing ideas, it’s important to know that I do this passively all the time. It’s never an active duty of trying to change them or a want to change them. They have to want to change themselves. After that, I only serve as a guide pointing out paths and destinations that I visited and how they get to the same place.

Passive Conversions
It’s much like passive income. As a side note, passive income are assets that build up over time. For example, if you grow a plant from seed, nurture the plant, and get it to the point of having seeds, you now have more seeds to grow more plants. This is more active, but it can be passive if the soil is prepared and the seeds self-sow themselves or if the plant is perennial. It grows back year after year while providing for our needs and Natures.

To passively convert people is much of the same techniques as planting a seed. It starts with telling them about your story. Those that are interested will find ways to find you and build a relationship. That’s all it takes. For people with opposing views this often leads to arguments and goes nowhere. In that case, it becomes more active. It’s important to remember that you’re not trying to change them. They have to change themselves.

Converting the Opposition
When I first wanted to garden, my parents never understood how I would make a living from doing it. I didn’t know either, but I believed I could find a way. For a short while they were right, and didn’t want me to waste my life growing food. In my eyes, they opposed my passions and dreams. It didn’t matter what I said; it never changed what they believed about my ambitions.

I made the right choice in ignoring their criticisms. I found a job, but I still didn’t convince them about the many reasons why we need to garden. One summer at the school we had a bumper crop and nobody was there to harvest and use it. At the time, I wasn’t actively cooking so I gave it away to family and friends so it wouldn’t go to waste.

In one evening, the vegetables got used and those who spoke out against me gardening are now inviting me to garden for them.

More than One Way to Communicate
It’s often that we forget that actions speak louder than words. The act of giving away the abundance from a garden spoke louder than any word that I have ever spoken to anybody that has not agreed with what myself and my friends are trying to accomplish. I believe that more of these simple acts of love and kindness will crush all the arguments we have with each other and bring us back to the table of good food and delightful discussions.

Partners in Crime

A partnership is much like playing tag.

There are a few different scenarios with the people playing with you. Some want to play and will put all their energy and passion into the game, others will opt out after a few minutes and go do something else, others will watch, and the rest think they want to play but they always change the rules or call time out before they get tagged.

Whatever the case is, you only want to play with those who really want to. The rest either don’t have the passion yet, are observing, learning or doing other things, or they feel superior enough to change the rules every 2 seconds. Regardless, it’s not worth the energy and time to dedicate towards those who don’t treat your time and energy equally.

The Audience
Observers are okay if you’re in the game to impress. This can be beneficial if the audience is giving thoughtful feedback. Otherwise, this can be detrimental if they’re constantly taunting and booing.

Partners in Crime
Dedicated people are hard to find. They have to be just as committed in the game to be of true value. At the beginning, they may not be as passionate, athletic or energetic. It’s during this time that they’re chasing you, but in time you hope that they’ll progress further than you in one or more areas. Boom! Tag you’re it! Now, it’s your turn to chase and tag them back. If they’re not putting in as much energy and passion as you are, it’s time to find someone else until that person is ready. Likewise, if you can’t keep up with them then you’ll get left behind; unless, they’re willing to wait up for you.