From the beginning of horticulture about 8000 BCE or earlier to the present day, weeding has been women’s work. Women, who were the gatherers and preparers of food in traditional nomadic societies, no doubt were the first to discover that seeds dropped at a campsite one year sometimes sprung up as plants the next year. When this discovery was systematized, agriculture was invented, and human beings began to settle down in the first villages and towns.
In the early days of horticulture (the name for the earliest stage of agriculture before the plow was developed), the cycles of planting and harvest and all the stages in between were understood to have been given to mothers by the Great Mother, the Source of Life. The secrets of planting, seed collection, harvest, and food preparation and preservation were all perceived to be “mysteries” connected to the ongoing cycles of birth, death, and regeneration in the universe.
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