Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Finding Plant Pioneers • Striving to exist gently on the Earth, Sunburst Sanctuary practices organic growing techniques along with permaculture. The ecological term for a weed is “pioneer,” because it appears where soil has been disturbed. It’s job is to bring normalcy back to the soil structure. But when a plant appears where we don’t want it, we call it a weed. The photo above was taken in Sunburst Sanctuary’s “Garden”. A significant amount of wood chips have been placed on the path to discourage weed growth. The orange and gold calendulas provide beneficial insect habitat.
Above: Curtis sprays a natural weed deterrent on new growth in the Sanctuary’s labyrinth. His mixture is a gallon of white vinegar with a cup of salt and a tablespoon of dish soap. Weeds retreat from this mixture. Although the lush greenery Craig is mowing looks lovely in the photo below, it needs regular trimming in order to maintain it as a beneficial ground cover.
We’re thankful for the weeds, our plant pioneers, because they return the soil to a natural healthy state after it’s been disturbed. Nature is wise beyond our understanding.
When you arise in the morning
Give thanks for the morning light.
Give thanks for your life and your strength.
Give thanks for your food
And give thanks for the joy of living.
— Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Nation