Invitation to Care for Hoen-ji's Grounds
May is here, the lush temple grounds teem with life-- orioles, song sparrows, flowering dogwood, swallowtails, bloodroot-- as well as many weeds that you are invited to help pull.
If you can come pull weeds, please first focus on the pebble areas in the front and side of the Forman House. The blueberry bushes on the river side of the walking path are being strangled and are also in need of attention. There is a wheelbarrow alongside the pen of blueberry bushes for weed deposit.
Other areas of the grounds are always grateful for your help in liberating them from weeds. We'd recommend starting with the more visible sites (for example, near the Zendo or sculpture) and around trees and shrubs getting buried by the less desirable plants. Here's a Weed Gallery in case all plants look alike to you:
1. Garlic mustard. This one is edible, so you can snack while you pull. What you don't eat of this plant, you can pile in a wheel barrow or unobtrusive spot to allow it to die entirely. Once expired, we will complete the cycle by adding this organic matter to the forest soil as compost.
3. Japanese knotweed. Looks like bamboo, but belongs to the buckwheat family. Edible at young stages, and roots make strong medicine. Feel free to pull any sprigs and stems you see. Unlike the other species, this one you do not want to compost since an entire plant can regrow from a minute fragment of the stem.
4. You can also pull European buckthorn if you prefer to work with woody plants.
Thank you for your help in maintaining the beauty, sanctity and ecological richness of our temple grounds.