Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Weeding the Mountain

So this month’s day of service I spent out with the friends of Tree People literally weeding the forest. I was skeptical at first but figured there has to be a logical reason why we would be pulling up perfectly healthy green plants—in an area so prone to wildfires, why would we want to get rid of something that is not brown and crispy?? The answer lies in the target of our attack: mustard greens and yellow thistles are both invasive plants to our region that are so toxic to the soil that their presence can kill native flora and even some animals. In an area in danger of drought conditions, these nasty weeds also “steal” water from the ground, so they had to go. Tree People insists on leaving the nutrients from the uprooted weeds in situ, so that the nitrogen from their leaves can do some good for native plants. (I’m trying to remain Zen about the fact that I have contracted a poison ivy-like rash all over my arms and legs during the weed pulling extravaganza…)

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