The Zen of Weeds

Blame it on Eve. When Adam and Eve got bounced from the garden for not paying attention to the rules, Eve got punished with a fear of snakes and Adam got punished with weeds. It seems to me that Eve got the better deal.

Every year I get the garden tilled and it becomes a broad and welcoming expanse of upturned earth in which I plant my seeds. Time goes by and other things begin to grow in the same space. I fetch my hoe and work up and down the rows until order is restored. Then I get busy with something else and next thing I know, there they are again, taller and more obtrusive than before.

So I get my hoe and go back to work, but now the weeds are in between the plants and can’t be hoed out. Pulling them takes time and never seems to get finished. By the time late August comes around, I’ve settled for a raggedy garden in which what I planted is barely able to survive surrounded as it is by the intruders.

Weeds have been defined as “plants in the wrong place.” That’s only half of it. They are also far sturdier and more resilient. Hoe them down and they come back up, often sturdier than before. Try that with corn or tomatoes or beans!

Why can’t the geneticists crossbreed weeds and garden vegetables with the sturdy genes in the good seeds and the wimpy ones in the weeds?

Or how about revisiting the original deal? I’d settle any day for being scared of snakes.

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