Yay! This weekend, we got a compost bin going, and I’m super excited to radically reduce my kitchen waste!
Did you know that yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is mentioned as a great compost activator? I’m definitely going hunting for a yarrow plant so that I can test this theory of it helping to speed up the decomposition of other plant material.
Yarrow, also known as thousandleaf weed, is of course beneficial to have in the garden for more than just compost!
- It attracts beneficial insects such as wasps and ladybugs to the garden
- It improves the health of the plants around it
Besides its value in the garden, it is also a great medicinal herb that have been used for hundreds of years:
- It is used to staunch bleeding and topically applied to cuts, scrapes, abrasions and even for nosebleeds
- Yarrow tea is said to be beneficial in the combating of colds as it induces sweating, while relieving fever and purifying the blood
- It is believed that yarrow taken with other herbal medicines will intensify their beneficial actions
Interestingly, the I-Ching divination method originally used dried yarrow stalks, and in Sweden the plant was historically used in stead of hops in beer making.
I’ve always loved the look of the feathery leaves and the flower heads – ranging from white to bright pink and aparently even a yellow variety exists. Definitely a boon to my garden, medicine cupboard… and compost bin!