Wheatgrass: More Stacking Functions by Carol
July 31, 2011, 10:39 am
Filed under: by Carol | Tags: , ,

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Photo credit: Cecily Anne

One of the side effects of studying permaculture is that its concepts tend to permeate many aspects of your life.  (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one) 🙂  I’ve written before about stacking functions which basically means that the elements in your design (life?) are chosen to serve more than one function. This concept is just irresistible to a lifelong optimization geek. Sometimes I have to stop myself from finding them everywhere.

But Wheatgrass growing, for us anyway, is a pretty juicy one. (Oh my, I am on a bad pun roll). In the Sprouts post, I mentioned that we grew wheatgrass along with an array of sprouts. The health benefits of wheatgrass are well documented and growing it is easy. What has been fun is to discover its many uses. Once it reaches maturity we harvest it, keep it in a green bag and juice it about every other day. Function one. The juicer produces a “waste” product of dry grass which we often chop up to feed our worms. Function two. Once we cut it, it acts much like grass in your yard and regrows. That second growth is not as nutritious as the first but one of our cats loves it and so we put it out on the patio for her to graze. Function three.

As it grows on the patio, it provides an awesome “hedge” behind which both cats can stalk birds visiting the feeder. Function four. Note that the feeder is safely hanging behind a glass wall where the cats can’t actually get to it. Finally, the second and subsequent growths become ever more gnarly but when harvested, provide an ongoing source of mulch for our patio garden. Function five. Once we have gotten all we can from a tray, we swap it out with the new tray we’ve had growing in parallel and start the process over.

At present, we have no compost pile as we live in a condo. But there’s a future function six when we can return the remains of the tray back to the soil, via the compost pile, to further enrich it. SIX FUNCTIONS??!! Gosh I love this stuff!