Monday, April 16, 2007

a day in the life

Jaden spotted a bunch of morels in the woods. We're going to let the little ones grow more then saute them in butter and garlic and serve them with fresh pasta.

Two of my favorite weeds.

This is one of my least favorite weeds, tansy ragwort. On Sunday as I was swinging a mattock into a patch of tansy it came to me that my war against tansy is in some ways analogous to the war in Iraq.
When we first started spending weekends down here there was a little tansy around but I ignored it as I had a lot of other projects. When I did get around to it the tansy was tall and had gone to seed. It smelled really bad and was blocking out other plants, so I hacked it down with my trusty machete (made in Columbia, they know machetes down there). A few swings and it was in shambles. But then it came back, not growing tall but spreading out, rapidly, and showing up under the plum tree, in the grass, near the blueberries. I was alarmed so I went to the big guns, my Honda mower, which so far has chopped the shit out of everything I've pushed it over. Of course it came back and spread even more. Only then did I consult the experts (google) and find out that when mowed tansy turns from a seed producing annual to a perennial that spreads from the root crown. I've had some success in the herb garden with a pick axe, rake and barkdust mulch method, but it still comes back. Digging out individual plants with my Japanese gardening knife is effective but hard and by the time I've cleared a sector the tansy is on the offensive elsewhere. We're considering implementing a new "security plan" involving several bales of old alfalfa hay, not even tansy can get through a foot of that. If that fails though we'll be forced to pull out and leave the garden to govern itself or use the strongest weapon in our arsenal...2,4-d, aka Roundup aka Agent Orange.

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