A long time ago, wort referred to useful plants and cunner meant someone who has knowledge of something. People who knew and used useful plants were referred to as wortcunners. Why would anyone today identify with such a strange old-fashioned word? Especially one that sounds so unflattering?
Here are 5 reasons you want to be more than a plant person and go old school to identify as a wortcunner.
Knowing plants and knowing how to use plants are two different things.
There are plenty of people that have a houseplant and know it needs sunlight and water. That's all it takes to be a plant person. Nearly any plant person can tell you what a violet is. But knowing how to use violets to make food like jelly, or infused oils, salves, and balms, syrup, candy, vinegar, soap, hair rinse, tinctures, cough medicine, and when and how to use them is an entirely different plane of plant knowledge. It's wortcunning.
2. Self-Sufficiency is the new indulgence.
In the craziness that was 2020, people had to take a hard look at what would happen if certain amenities and necessities were no longer readily available to us. Suddenly gardeners, canners, and herbalists didn't seem so extreme. Being able to supply and source what we need by ourselves is an indulgence in a world that is nervously dependent. You don't care if broccoli goes up to $9 a head because you have three rows growing from a .99 seed packet. Or if you're really good, from seeds you collected from last years patch.
3. You love dandelions. In other words, you have a deep appreciation for every plant.
Some people tend to have rigid lists of socially acceptable good plants and unacceptable bad plants. I find the term weed to be thrown around like a plant prejudice. Planting daffodils that offer absolutely nothing of value besides the color yellow is okay, but don't transgress the code of the suburban lawn by letting nourishing, medicinal dandelions grow. When you have a deeper appreciation for plants you understand that the value of a plant doesn't only come from it's aesthetic or normalcy. You have a deeper appreciation that goes beyond those limitations. You can appreciate plants that other disregard as weeds because you know they have amazing value that doesn't disappear when traditional gardeners turn their nose us at them.
4. Being connected to nature and the earth is more than just being green.
Being green is necessary to maintain a healthy world. But we need more than a recycling program to tap into the wellness that being connected to nature brings. We need to feel connected to nature and the earth in order to thrive. There is a reason things like forest bathing are becoming so popular for reducing stress! Nature is healing. When we remove our nature rhythm of connection to the natural world we suffer. Wortcunners are driven to get in tune with this rhythm. Wortcunners become aware of plant cycles in order to know when to use them, and therefore seasonal rhythms. They learn to connect and move in time with nature, building their lives in sync with it.
5. You see plants as individuals with unique needs, qualities, and personalities.
Basic gardening says put it in the dirt, put it in the sun, and drench it with the hose and it will grow. When you are a wortcunner you move deeper into your understanding of plants. You realize that thinking that reducing all plants to the same treatment doesn't work. Plants are unique to one another with very specific preferences. When you start to learn your plants on an individual basis and learn which conditions make them thrive, how they behave, what their tendencies are, you move into an advanced understanding. It is at this point that you can start to learn the qualities and uses of a plant. Only wortcunners can leap from just growing to really knowing a plant.
Being a plant person is great. There is so much more than loving plants because they are plants. There is a world of knowing plants that dives deep with thousands of channels to explore. This is where the wortcunners can be found. You can be a wortcunner. All you need is a plant curiosity and a desire to learn. The information is out there! Start growing plants, finding plants, googling plants, using plants. It's all there for you, wherever you are on your wortcunner journey.