Same Plant – Differing Opinions

Growing up the first paid job I ever had was walking beans for my Grandpa and my Uncles.  If you’re not familiar with the job let me explain.

My cousins, an Aunt, Uncles, Grandpa, and I all spread out across the end of a soybean field.  Each of us had a few rows that were our responsibility and with hoes in hand we walked across the field getting rid of the weeds.  I’m sure my hoe was taller than I was at the time.

Since the beans were in rows it was easy for a kid like me to grasp the concept that anything growing in between the rows was a weed. I remember hoeing rogue stalks of corn, buttonweeds, and milkweeds.

I always thought that milkweeds were cool because when you chopped them the cut bled a milk like substance.  That’s why I always liked it when one was in my row.

A weed is but an unloved flower. - Ella Wheeler Wilcox Click To Tweet

Flash forward to today and now we actually have a place in our yard where we grow milkweeds… on purpose!  If my Grandpa was still around I’m sure he’d think we were crazy.

Milkweed Plants

To farmers milkweeds are a nuisance.  To a fan of butterflies they’re one of the most awesome plants ever.  Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed leaves and monarch butterflies lay their eggs on them.

Our milkweed patch started by accident.  Some plants just started growing on their own in a place where we didn’t have anything else growing . Before we knew it they were full grown and we noticed how much the insects and butterflies liked them.

Milkweed with butterfly

Since they weren’t hurting anything we continued to let them grow and now they’ve come back several years in a row.

Even though as a kid I was taught to cut them down today I enjoy milkweeds. I enjoy the butterflies they attract and I enjoy the memories they bring back.

The butterfly is a flying flower, The flower a tethered butterfly.-Ponce Denis Ecouchard Le Brun Click To Tweet


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