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Mother Nature's Weed Army!

 
Alex Ojeda
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So, I have this tee shirt design. The idea is that mother nature comes in with her weed army to try to fix the problems created by monocropping or just plain bad land management.

In your opinion, what would your picks be for the best weed army to defeat the evil monocrop!

I'd like to tailor this message with the most effective land healers that you can come up with. Think of it like a video game where you are outfitting your team and you know the opponent is a real killer.

I'm hoping that having the proper choice of weeds on the tee will not only inspire the wearer to talk about the problem and how these weeds are the cure, but it will give the viewer/question asker something to think about next time they think about pulling a weed or pass a monocropped field of anything.

Thanks in advance for your input!
Weeds tee.jpg
Current tee design
[Thumbnail for Weeds tee.jpg]
 
paul wheaton
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Jordan Lowery
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Dandelion
Mullien
Lambsquarters
Nettle
 
John Polk
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Many consider yarrow to be a weed. It is a very permies-friendly plant.



This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

 
Alex Ojeda
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John Polk wrote:Many consider yarrow to be a weed. It is a very permies-friendly plant.



This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.



John, I'm trying to grow yarrow and I can't keep it alive. Do you know anything about this plant that would help me?

Yarrow is supposed to be great for activating compost, so that with comfrey, borage and tansy are in my garden.
 
P Thickens
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Nettles, definetly. Also, I will not wear anything with 'bitch', I think using gender-specific insults are degrading to all humas ("bitch", "cunt", "dick" etc). Yes yes this usage is a positive refutation of that, but it is still a usage.
 
Marla Kacey
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I agree with P Thickens: I would not wear anything with such a word. I only understand the context because I've heard it used on Paul's podcasts and seen it in his posts.

Also, had I not heard the phrase, your design would have merely caused he to scratch my head. HUH? I think it's an age thing. I know young people are using such language, but older people still see it as extremely offensive.

Perhaps a different message? 'Weeds: Mother Natures bandaid for damaged land' or 'Weeds: Mother Natures medicine cabinet'?

I do love the idea of the T-Shirt! Would love to spread the word that weeds serve a vital purpose and should be listened to and respected (just like women, lower income people, children, etc.).
 
Julie Helms
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I agree with the language issue. It may be pop culture savvy, but it's still crude to many and will be a turn-off to the message. Love the idea otherwise!
 
paul wheaton
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Marla Kacey
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I'd love to see the second one!
 
Burra Maluca
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I think there might be a picture of it in this thread.
 
Hanley Kale-Grinder
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The word "bitch" is very patriarchal. Of course, all derogatory language is offensive to one group or another. Just sayin...

Otherwise its a great idea for a shirt!
 
John Polk
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Alex:

I always thought yarrow was easy to grow. It will survive almost any US winter, and is common in rock gardens.
It does want full sun.
It is a great companion plant for mints and herbs, as it makes their oil production skyrocket (= more flavor).

EDITED to add: Is yours dieing or just not flowering? It usually won't flower the first year unless planted early.

 
Leila Rich
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Alex, are you starting it from seed or root divisions? It doesn't help when people go "wow, you killed that?" but the stuff is totally indestructable for me in poor, dry soil.
Maybe it's a female thing, but I'd be unlikely to wear a t-shirt with 'bitch' on the front.
My favourite weeds. So many, but here's three: dandelion, sow thistle, nettles.
 
Alison Thomas
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Alex, maybe you're being too kind to it. I agree with Leila, poor dry soil. Mine gets no attention whatsoever, other than to keep it under control as it's actually a bit of a pain here.

Yes, the 'bitch' thing - agreeing with Leila too on the being female bit. I wouldn't wear it. I'd wear one that said "Because Mother Nature knows best! Look and learn"
 
nancy sutton
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Isn't the meaning - 'personal slave' ? Maybe I'm too old to translate correctly, but if that's it.. could just use that language. Less punch.... especially for the youngsters, but.....

And, could someone come up with a use for quack grass (just learned it is alellopathic, ugh!!), bind weed, and ivy? I'm eager to harvest my horsetail for fungal spray, per Paul's video of Brian's healthy squash ;) - I'll have lots!! :) (I don't even think biodynamic 'peppering' would work for these take-no-prisoner perennials.)
 
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I'm a 23 yr old male and I also wouldn't wear that shirt with that word on it. Down with the patriarchy n'at.
 
Alex Ojeda
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nancy sutton wrote:Isn't the meaning - 'personal slave' ? Maybe I'm too old to translate correctly, but if that's it.. could just use that language. Less punch.... especially for the youngsters, but.....

And, could someone come up with a use for quack grass (just learned it is alellopathic, ugh!!), bind weed, and ivy? I'm eager to harvest my horsetail for fungal spray, per Paul's video of Brian's healthy squash ;) - I'll have lots!! :) (I don't even think biodynamic 'peppering' would work for these take-no-prisoner perennials.)


Thanks Allison, Leila and john!

I had it in one spot and felt that it wasn't doing too well, I then moved it into my regular keyhole garden and it's since expired. It's gone from green to brown. I'm going to hold on to it until the sun has returned and see if something grows out from the root ball.

I may have to go find some more and plant it into a sunny, dead soil area and see what happens. Thanks for the advice!

I'd also like to see if I can replace my Equisetum Arvense (horsetail -the one that's frilly). I bought some online and put it into a bed where it wasn't all that sunny and kept it moist. The summer heat wasn't as tough in this area, but it died. It's real close to some successful turmeric if that helps. Thanks!
 
nancy sutton
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Where do you live, Alex? If your turmeric (a ginger relative?) survives outdoors, I'm guessing it is a sub- or actual tropical location. I think yarrow is a temperate, dry climate, short-lived (i.e., divide and replant every couple of years) perennial plant.

And if you're in a temperate area, you shouldn't have to buy horsetail! Just look around - it's all over the place in our dampish, coolish Z 7-8 maritime Pacific Northwest. But beware of it's inerradicable nature.

 
Alex Ojeda
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nancy sutton wrote:Where do you live, Alex? If your turmeric (a ginger relative?) survives outdoors, I'm guessing it is a sub- or actual tropical location. I think yarrow is a temperate, dry climate, short-lived (i.e., divide and replant every couple of years) perennial plant.

And if you're in a temperate area, you shouldn't have to buy horsetail! Just look around - it's all over the place in our dampish, coolish Z 7-8 maritime Pacific Northwest. But beware of it's inerradicable nature.



Sorry, maybe I should have said this from the start. I live in Jacksonville, FL. We are an 8b 9 zone. The Turmeric grows great over summer and dies at first frost. The yarrow is growing like a perennial at my friends house where I got this. He thinks it's a "weed" and wants it gone. It grows in full sun. I'm thinking that it must be getting too much moisture at my place. Most plants grow well in this same spot, but not the yarrow.
 
Alex Ojeda
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OK, so far it seems that the top 8 list is:

Dandelion
Comfrey
Plantain
Mullien
Lambsquarters
Nettle
Yarrow
Nettles

Anything else?

Maybe Dollar Weed? Edible weed that most of america is poisoning their yards and waterways just to fight back this beautiful ground cover of a plant?
 
Alex Ojeda
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I have another version of this shirt and here it is:

I would just leave it at Resistance is Fertile. For me, it means that in order to resist weeds you have to make your soil fertile. It also means that if you have infertile soil, the resistance (weeds) will make it fertile. I think it's fun.

What do you think?
Weeds-tee-on-shirt.jpg
[Thumbnail for Weeds-tee-on-shirt.jpg]
 
Leila Rich
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That's cool and I want one!
Will you post to NZ?
 
Alex Ojeda
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Leila Rich wrote:That's cool and I want one!
Will you post to NZ?


I sure will. Can I get your approximate address at alex@alexanderandblack.com so that I can figure out the shipping?
 
Roy Clarke
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Alex Ojeda wrote:I have another version of this shirt and here it is:

I would just leave it at Resistance is Fertile. For me, it means that in order to resist weeds you have to make your soil fertile. It also means that if you have infertile soil, the resistance (weeds) will make it fertile. I think it's fun.

What do you think?


Sorry Alex, those words may have a meaning for you, but it won't mean anything to others, and if that's the case you won't get your message across. Why not just replace "bitch" with "slave" on your first picture. That is inoffensive, and reasonably clear.

Technically "weeds" will grow easily in fertile soil, they may just be different from the weeds that would grow in infertile soil.
 
Leila Rich
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I like 'resistance is fertile'.
I don't buy/wear clothes in order to provide clear instructions to all; I prefer a slightly enigmatic conversation-starter.
Maybe I'm a bit PC, but I'm about as unlikely to wear 'slave' as I am 'bitch'.
Star Trek, permaculture and puns, all in one package: works for me
 
Alex Ojeda
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Hey, what does everyone think of the slogan: WEEDS -Everything you need is under your feet? I like the idea that you are talking about Weeds and you are implying that they are things you need. Which is true. Another conversation starter? What do you think?

You could start talking about medicines, food, fiber, glues, dyes, decorations... anything else?
 
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Another candidate is burdock Arctium lappa. Though considered a weed in North America, it is a popular vegetable in China and Japan.

George de Mestral (a Swiss inventor) began investigating the plant after spending hours picking the seed heads off of his dog.
He was fascinated by their 'hook-and-loop' mechanism used to attach themselves to pants, sox, and passing animals.
The rest is history: we now call his invention "Velcro".

 
Alex Ojeda
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John Polk wrote:Another candidate is burdock Arctium lappa. Though considered a weed in North America, it is a popular vegetable in China and Japan.

George de Mestral (a Swiss inventor) began investigating the plant after spending hours picking the seed heads off of his dog.
He was fascinated by their 'hook-and-loop' mechanism used to attach themselves to pants, sox, and passing animals.
The rest is history: we now call his invention "Velcro".



That's a very cool story. I don't think we have burdock down here in the south. I'm thinking that the shirt should have a cross section of weeds from all over the country. Burdock should be on the list for sure!
 
Diego Melians Ii
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Hi Alex. I have been listening to the podcasts where you and paul wheaton discuss Sepp's Permaculture book. You really do a great job with it! I am reaching out to you because I have purchased 40 acres in north florida (Madison County) and I really would love to talk to you about how to proceed with my vision of establishing a food forest on the property. Is there some way I can reach you? I'd really love to connect with you and other "permaculture dreamers" in north florida. Thanks for any help you can provide.
 
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Dandelion!! There are folks who now tell me that everytime they see dandelions in thier yard they think of me - and they are actually thinking about letting the dandelions live! Progress!

I like that you have two T-Shirt selections. Can we change the spelling of the first one to Biatch so they can't throw me out of the grocery store for wearing it?

That shirt is my choice. Fits me perfectly. My hubby just bought me a sticker for my scooter that says "I am not a bitch, I am THE bitch and that is Ms. Bitch to you". I resemble that remark. : )
 
Nick Garbarino
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Any plant that volunteers on bare soil is good, well except maybe grass burrs. As for slogans, how about "weeds need love too" or "have you hugged a weed today?" or "got weed?" well maybe not that last one. um....."weed's not just for brownies" .......this is getting worse, I better stop.
 
Jeanine Gurley
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Ha! I just sat here trying to come up with slogans and didn't fare any better. I thought they were pretty good but they would also get me in a lot of hot water!

Here is a safe (lame) one:

Dandeliion - it's whats for dinner - (oh that just sucks).

I like your first T-shirt - that is the one I want.
 
Kylie Harper
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Alex Ojeda wrote:I have another version of this shirt and here it is:

I would just leave it at Resistance is Fertile. For me, it means that in order to resist weeds you have to make your soil fertile. It also means that if you have infertile soil, the resistance (weeds) will make it fertile. I think it's fun.

What do you think?


I LOVE THIS!!! And actually, I'd leave the the part about righting human wrongs. I think it's great as-is.
 
Philip Smith
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I like it. I'd wear it.
 
Alex Ojeda
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Kylie Harper wrote:
Alex Ojeda wrote:I have another version of this shirt and here it is:

I would just leave it at Resistance is Fertile. For me, it means that in order to resist weeds you have to make your soil fertile. It also means that if you have infertile soil, the resistance (weeds) will make it fertile. I think it's fun.

What do you think?


I LOVE THIS!!! And actually, I'd leave the the part about righting human wrongs. I think it's great as-is.


Thanks! I liked it too. I just want to say that not only are weeds amazing plants and deserve a place in our gardens, but they only reason they are there is due to our own ignorance. So, learn to live with them, or learn to not incur their wrath
 
Leila Rich
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Alex, can I call this a 'project'? I've moved it there, but let me know if it's not.
I thought it could be a handy place to add new things as you come up with them.
 
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