Millet

April 21, 2021

I am not always the best at weed eating around the back fence.  After all, few people see my back yard as there is an open field behind the house, right?  I did not weed eat along the back fence last week before I did my first “real” mow.  Melissa had suggested the stalks that were appearing at that time might be the Red Day Lilies that her mom had transplanted from her own grandmother’s garden.  These in turn had been brought from Oklahoma when her great grandma had married and moved to Arkansas with her new husband.  Even though Melissa’s mom often talked about these Lilies, Melissa was unsure where they had been planted.  We hoped this was what had sprouted.

Daylilies are a group of plants in the genus Hemerocallis, including several species and many thousands of cultivars.  These plants produce flowers that last for just a day, but they tend to produce many flowers on each stock, providing a relatively long bloom period.  This plant is not really a lily.  Before 2009, the scientific classification of daylilies put them into the family Liliaceae.  Unlike daylilies, which have a fibrous root system, Liliaceae species grow from bulbs and, if ingested, are harmful to humans and animals.  Regardless, we hoped the plants sprouting along the back fence were the Red lilies.

I have mentioned in the past how the birds tend to throw out any seed they do not like.  While I stock black oil sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds in two of the feeders for Cardinals, the one between is mostly small seeds easily consumed by the small wrens and finches that flock to the yard.  When I checked the content of my bird seed it indicated a large percent of millet seed.  Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food.  They are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa, with 97% of millet production concentrated in these developing countries.  I had ignored the sprouting plants on my back fence, (but not cut them down).  When I checked this week, they had budded into heads of millet.

Thoughts:  Millet has been consumed by humans for about 7,000 years and played a significant role along with wheat and barley in the rise of multi-crop agriculture and settled farming.  Millet can be used to make bread, beer, cereal, and other dishes.  Apparently, it is not only good for humans, but is also a staple in many bird seeds.  We have a variety of plants, flowers, and seeds that we have chosen to pass on to the next generation of descendants.  What we choose to pass on depends on what we believe to be important.   We need to make sure that the important aspects of our life are shown to be important to the next generation as well.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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