Happy Accident in the Weedy Pasture…

Posted on Nov 2, 2011 | 2 comments

Sometimes, things get away from you before you can weedeat! Take this tiny pasture which has thin rocky soil and gets half shady in the fall. I’ve had no luck in growing anything I wanted to grow in it. I intended to knock back the weeds all summer, which at the time were about knee-high, with generic-looking green stalks. (Let me note here, that we never needed a weedeater when we had goats!)

Then the brush got chest high and I dreaded the nightmare weedeating job and put it off longer because now it would involve the gasoline weedeater vs. the lightweight electric. But it was funny to let the chickens run around in their own personal chicken maze, completely invisible once they entered,  and scratch around to their hearts’ content. And by then it was far too large for even a herd of biddies to hurt..  Finally, it got so close to first frost that I decided to let winter take it all down….sigh of relief.

But before that happened, everything bloomed. WOW! I’m not sure what these little white aster-like weeds are (anyone?) but the flowers cover the pasture now. And I have never seen so many pollinators in one place at one time! There have been native bees, butterflies, flower flies, and of course the Larrapin honeybees have been all over it. Meanwhile, all kinds of songbirds are hanging around the perimeter have a feast on all the various bugs. (Stay away from the bees you guys!)

You can stand in the middle of it be surrounded by a lively buzz and every flower, I mean every one, has somebody enjoying it. Amazing! My bee mentor told me how much-loved this wildflower is (as one  of the last nectar sources of the year) because light frosts actually make the plant produce more nectar.

I’m so very glad I procrastinated this time. Now I have a whole different outlook on this particular “weed.”  While I’m a farmer at heart, at the same time, I love what nature does to the land when the farmer steps back a bit and let’s the real master-gardener show me how it’s done! Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful Ozark fall.

—A Larrapin Garden  www.larrapin.us
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  1. Hi There Leigh…

    I love this post of yours. One person’s weeds is another species bounty. Thanks for sharing. Seems like you are doing well.

    Best… Bill

  2. Hi Leigh,

    That flower looks like fleabane (also called Showy Daisy). Folks used to use it in their mattresses to scare away the fleas. Will you let it grow back? It sure is beautiful, and great for pollinators!

    Thanks for the wonderful info. on the sweet potatoes (your comments on that are turned off). Yes, I was so surprised, too, to see such gorgeous flowers. I found that when it comes to potatoes, you do not have to rush around before the first frost to harvest them. Since they are underground, they will not freeze until maybe later in the winter. That always gave me time to tend to all the other harvesting in autumn, and get back to the potatoes at my leisure (does a farmer have that?) later on.