This is a healthy garden. These are green beans. The garden is being kept reasonably free from weeds to allow the beans to establish and grow. We do this without chemicals, of course, so this is accomplished with hand, hoe and cultivator.
This is also a healthy garden. It is overrun with bugs and weeds. The plants (broccoli in this case) are beginning to bolt. It looks like a wild, unruly mess. So why do I say it’s healthy? Because as the broccoli began to wind down, nature was allowed to take her natural place. Because the soil and the plants haven’t been poisoned, they explode with life and variety. The weeds prevent erosion and attract beneficial insects. When they’re plowed back into the soil to make way for our cover crops and fall plantings, they return biomass to keep the soil healthy.
The flowering plants, such as this bolted broccoli, are food for pollinators, including our honeybees. By the end of the summer we expect the now pristine bean garden to be as wild as this one. That’s the way we want it and that’s the way it should be.