Agriculture

When a Weed is More than a Weed

Dandelions were brought by the earliest settlers to the Pacific Northwest, as food and medicinal plants for gardens. They escaped.

Earthworms were also brought by European settlers. Curiously, settler culture now encourages worms, on the grounds that they are natural to building soil, which isn’t so, yet spray dandelions with toxins, on the grounds that they spread terribly. They do spread into perfect, green lawns, that’s true, and onto road margins, like the one above, and pastures, orchards and hayfields, but that’s  not a reason for poison. Sadly, the “reason” for poisoning them is that they make claims to perfect private ownership and control of the land. Earthworms just make more of it. This is what it is like to live in a class society, and a racist one, always with its eyes on its roots in slavery.

4 replies »

  1. Darren Brujhell (sp?), a soil scientist from Alberta, told us that the worms that really do all the “positive” things are what we used to call night crawlers: the big ones are on the surface of damp ground at night. They did not reach here (Smithers area) until a couple years ago and people began complaining about the little “bumps” all over the lawns. The other non-native worms are not the miracle workers. Meanwhile in the Carolinian forest of the eastern parts of North America, night crawlers are eating the forest duff at an alarming rate, goofing up the fungal-based forest nutrient cycles.

    Meanwhile, my cows love dandelions, preferring it to other tame forages and grasses. In stored hay, baled hay or balage, dandelion leaves are long–reaching for the sky and light in a hayfield–and are also candy for the cows.

    Liked by 1 person

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