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  • At War with the Invasive Beast (or, a Day to Reconnect with the Farm)
  • Sumner Smith
  • farm

At War with the Invasive Beast (or, a Day to Reconnect with the Farm)

I've been feeling a little like I'm in a winter rut lately.  Wake up, work, go to yoga, work.  With a few other fun things thrown in - family, dogs, cranky old horse, weird wild goats.  This isn't a bad rut, but it left me feeling a little disconnected from the farm itself.  Admittedly winter isn't prime farm time - the land kind of goes to sleep, and aside from a little more animal care (anyone want to haul hot water to the barn?) things tend to come inside during the winter.  But still I've been doing way more computer work (new wholesale website? check!) and way less farm work than usual over this winter, and it's making me antsy.

So on Sunday I grabbed my loppers and headed out.  My arch-nemesis is an invasive bramble called multi-flora rose.  It's a beast - very aggressive with giant thorns that takes over everything in its path - and there aren't too many effective plans to combat it.  Goats are a notable exception - they do a good job, but there are lots of places here where we don't let the goats run (because I need a better temporary fence solution - once they're out of their regular pasture goats tend to focus more on things you don't want them to eat - hello flowers - and less on things you got them to eat.  Also, my particular herd of goats is kind of wild and not easily relocated.  Not ideal.)  So aside from goats, the options are herbicides - which I don't use, and actually aren't very good with multi-flora rose anyway- and cutting it.  So that leaves me and the loppers. 

Cutting the stuff is actually strangely satisfying -  instant gratification.  Sam says I have a problem - once I start I can't seem to stop.  So for a couple of hours Sunday morning I wandered around wreaking havoc on the brambles.  The dogs' particular favorite spot - the swamp behind a couple of the outbuildings.  There's hardly anything a farm dog likes more than a swamp - unless it's their person down in the swamp with them.  So everyone was pretty satisfied.

Also - bonus discovery - one of our apple trees that I had given up as dead has buds on it! This tree was uprooted during the giant culvert replacement of 2016, and looked completely dead thereafter.  In fact the only reason it's still in the yard is because I was too lazy to dig it up.  But now it has signs of life.  Laziness pays off.

 

  • Sumner Smith
  • farm

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