|Comfrey flowers quickly turn to seed - and even more comfrey.|
I did not have to look for comfrey in Michigan. The herb grows everywhere, so people consider it a weed. Organic gardeners like its green growth and deep roots, which mine minerals from the lower layers of soil.
Most plants are happy with feeding in the top 12 inches of soil. The plants with deep roots bring up those minerals that are out of reach of most plants. Tree leaves are a source of minerals, and so are the big green weeds often cursed, doused with Roundup, and cut down down with electric flails - weed-eaters indeed.
|The big velvety Comfrey leaves are attractive, good for composting and mulching.|
I suggest caution in using herbs for medicine,
since opinions flourish on the Net.
Comfrey is on my list for the backyard next year. Near the alley, it will be a good screening plant and source for compost and mulch. Pumpkins will grow back there, too. I may grow very large butterfly bushes for a screen with sunflowers helping out while the bushes grow.
|If it looks like the foot of a goose, it is goosefoot and good to eat.|
I am a weed eater, when I know the weed is a good, healthy plant, related to spinach.
Learning the difference between good weeds and bad ones will help gardening projects. Goosefoot is big and green, with deep roots. Pigweed is similar, but not so nice. If compost and mulch producing plants are growing on their own and sheltering birds, why mow them down and bag them up for garbage?
|This could become the official herb of the Church Growth Movement,|
started by Karl Barth and Charlotte Kirschbaum,
imported by Fuller Seminary.
Daily Bird Care
Later I want the back part of the yard full of plants that will feed and shelter birds.
For now, I make sure there are many stations for drinking and bathing. A dozen total in the front and back yards always have fresh water from watering, and I dump out dirty water that could shelter mosquitoes.
If there is human food to share, I toss some out among the flowers, to encourage them to stop by regularly. The resident population will be based on food, shelter, and water, so an abundance and variety will encourage more birds and more species. Sassy spits out crust - she will only eat medallions of cinnamon toast, and she leaves some snacks when they do not suit here. Crackers and stale bread might go out in the garden, but I like to toss a few peanuts instead.
Cardinals love to bathe but they are shy, so I will see one at the far end of the yard at this time, but eating at the feeder during the winter.