Posts Tagged ‘Weeds’

Weeds or Wild Nature

The following article was published in the Permaculture International Journal in 1997 (issue 61) provides an indication of the ideas which are further developed in other writings in Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability and which is the subject of the new book being researched.

If you reproduce or quote this article please credit the author and PIJ as original publication source.


The permaculture movement’s development since from its conceptual origins1 in the 1970’s has been closely connected to Landcare and revegetation. The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms. The design principles which are the conceptual foundation of permaculture were derived from the science of systems ecology2 and study of pre-industrial examples of sustainable land use. They suggested agricultural systems needed fundamental redesign rather than fine tuning. A much greater role for trees and other perennial plants to stabilise the landscape and provide for human needs was one of the cornerstones of the permaculture strategy. From one perspective, permaculture is a revegetation strategy.

The initial permaculture vision involved forests of “useful” species planted in arrays to mimic natural systems. Although food species dominate the strategy for intensive (zone1&2) systems, in more broadacre areas fibre, animal fodder and timber along with passive environment functions are the appropriate “uses” of revegetation. My revegetation manual3 concentrates on these broadacre landscapes and functions of revegetation. What identifies it as permaculture is the design system approach and the integration of the productive and environmental functions of farm landscapes.



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This database focuses on Australian flora giving information and insight into a number of non-indigenous plants commonly known as weeds. It also function as an exchange node for facts and stories.

The aim of this project is to rediscover the traditional knowledge, celebrate the multiplicity of cultures in botanical terms, and learn the legal status of such plants.

The framing of “illegal” and unwanted flora within a cultural context will draw attention to the concept of “permissible species” as a social construct. Weeds are defined by a nation’s law, and what is declared weed in one place may be a precious resource in another. There is a significant metaphorical connection between this definition of “weed” and the arbitrary restriction imposed on human migration by national governments.



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It is commonly thought that large weed populations are responsible for driving desirable grasses from a turf area. In reality, the presence of weeds, and the lack of turf, often indicates the turf’s inability to compete and survive in settings where weeds can. Although it is impractical to expect totally weed-free turf, the presence of large numbers of weeds is often an indication of problems in the growing environment or in turfgrass culture. Employing recommended cultural techniques and altering the growing environment can improve turf quality and health and, thus, reduce the need for pesticide applications.


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Weeds, what do they mean?

Weeds will always be present especially anywhere we really don’t want them, it is inevitable. They are natures protective groundcover and can be an indicator of your soils condition. Weeds congregate in force on land devastated by floods or fires to provide erosion control for the soil. Following is a short list of common weeds, background facts, and what their presence may indicate. See weeds in the link page for some great ID sites to find out what that weed is. How about a Mixed weed and flower salad from your organic yard? Many weeds are packed full of nutrients and a great source of food!

Weed Wars: Weed ID page

Weeds as Soil indicators

Wise Weeds

Weeds Australia – Weed Identification

Weed leaves

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