The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Buckwheat Wins - But I Will Trim It Back in the Rose Garden

 Buckwheat can be like bagpipe music:
enough is enough.


The main invasion of Japanese beetles is over, and the Buckwheat is at full growth, some of it chest high. On Bethany's birthday I cut a perfect Mr. Lincoln rose and brought it inside.

I was returning from errands with Mrs. Ichabod when we spotted several birds on the ground near the large Crepe Myrtle, which is re-blooming. I was not surprised to see a Mourning Dove on the ground. They work the ground all the time for seeds, and plenty of Buckwheat was going to seed.

But we saw a male Cardinal reach for the Buckwheat and tear the seeds off. He was very aggressive and tore away at the plant. We loved seeing the actual harvesting of the seeds. Because of Buckwheat flour and pancakes, people think of the plant as a grain.

Wiki says:
Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrelknotweed, and rhubarb. Because its seeds are eaten and rich in complex carbohydrates, it is referred to as a pseudocereal.

I have repented of planting so much Buckwheat in the rose garden, because the soil helped it grow taller than the roses. However, the mistake will be erased when cold weather comes. Several gardening friends are also growing it as a cover crop. Buckwheat has a number of excellent qualities:

  • Short season crop, rapidly flowering and going to seed.
  • Dying off from cold weather, so not a pest.
  • Growth and tight root system push out long-term weeds.
  • Roots contribute 75% of soil organic matter.
We went from super-dry to 1.5 inches of rain during the Greek lesson on Ustream. When the sun comes up I will use the electric hedge clipper to mow down the Buckwheat in sections, day by day. 

The next task is to place a powder in the soil to promote a disease that will kill the Japanese beetle grubs and other white grubs. This milky spore disease is found naturally in soil and increases there when grubs die from the disease. Since Japanese beetles do not travel far, killing the adults next year and making the soil inhospitable to the grubs should greatly reduce the damage. Our very warm winter probably did as much for the Japanese beetle population as it did for the fleas and ticks. 

I may use a lot more Borage as a cover crop.
The rapidly blooming and seeding flowers attract bees,
and the flowers are good to eat.
My gardens are in a jungle state now, because necessary weeding did not take place before the Inferno weather - 100+ heat factor. I did not want to yank weeds in that weather and the teen helpers were no more willing than I. Next came bursts of rain to leverage the weed growth and Buckwheat, Buckwheat, Buckwheat.

Joe Pye Weed:
read this before sneering at me.


However, in my defense, we have butterflies all over the gardens. I keep adding butterfly plants - dill, parsley, Joe Pye Weed, salvia, etc. 

Creation Gardening means adopting habits that few others have:
  • Using as many leaves, newspapers, and wood products as possible.
  • Gathering as many organic products as possible, from coffee grounds to manure to neighbor's garden cuttings. Mr. Gardener gave me all of his garden trash, placed right in my compost bin. Later he took my extra chicken wire, which was a in the way for me and free for him.
  • Avoiding all toxins, including chemical fertilizers.
  • Diversifying the plants so that pollinators always have plenty of food.
  • Allowing for trashiness, since many creatures need leaf litter, certain weeds, and rotting matter for food and shelter.
  • Providing clean water for several bird baths, shallow pans of water for toads and other beneficial creatures. 
  • Placing logs on the ground, which are great perches for birds and squirrels, and they feed the soil.
  • Never tilling. If someone appreciates the enormous power of soil fungi, he will sell his tiller to someone and disturb the soil as little as possible.


The Creating Word had this all worked out at the very beginning. Modern farming in America has depleted the soil through plowing and chemical fertilizers. 

Another alarming feature of modern farming is dealing with standing water by draining or tiling fields. This practice has led to excessive flooding downstream, more drainage tile, and bigger levees to push even more water downstream. Cover crops loosen the soil and root systems carrying rain and snowmelt deep into the soil.