Tag Archives: gardening

Learning to Embrace Weeds

When I was a young child, my family took a road trip to Illinois to see my aunt and uncle, who have a large scale soybean and corn farm.  Forty years later, there are two things I remember vividly from the trip.  The first is how flat Illinois is.  Kentucky is full of hills, and you can never see very far off into the horizon.  In Illinois, we could sit on the porch and see the rain coming 10 or 15 minutes before it actually arrived.  The second thing I remember is being in my uncle’s soybean field when he pointed out a weed.  The weed was an oat plant.  I knew he must be mistaken because oats aren’t weeds.  I loved oatmeal for breakfast, and my grandmother made awesome oatmeal raisin cookies.  (Shout out to my Mimi.  God rest her soul.)  How could oats be considered weeds?  My uncle went on to explain the definition of a weed.  A weed is any plant that grows in a place you don’t want it to grow.

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When Good Bees Turn Bad

“Honey bees don’t want to sting you.”  I tell school children this all the time when I conduct outreach events on behalf of our local beekeeping association.  What I don’t tell the children is that my statement is only partially true.  Honey bees do want to sting you in the months of July and August.  During this period, our naturally docile bees turn into hell on wings.    

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