Foraging for Hidden Harvests

Eric Kelly of Charm City Farms

Eric Kelly of Charm City Farms

Eric Kelly doesn’t really believe in weeds. Or rather, he’s got radically different ideas about weeds than most people. As far as he’s concerned, almost every plant has value, either as food or medicine, or because it’s doing some kind of work in the soil. Clover, for example, which some people make great efforts to eradicate from their lawns, does an excellent job fixing nitrogen in the soil. Symbiotic bacteria take up nitrogen from the air, transfer it to the roots, and then leave it in the soil to nourish other plants. The flower and the leaves of purple clover, says Eric, are medicinal, as well.

“A weed is any plant that grows in a place you don’t want it to,” he says. “The only plant I ever weed out is grass.”

Also known as the “Mangy White Bushman,” Eric teaches Baltimore denizens how to find food in unexpected places. Read More >