Today I visited the noxious weed board of our county with a sample of a particularly annoying weed that is rapidly proliferating on my land. It starts out very small and feathery, innocent-looking, with a sharp, half-familiar, not unpleasant smell. But pretty soon it is seven feet tall, growing in thick hedges, stinking to high heaven with a rank, foul odor, and giving me hives whenever I brush against it. The goats, naturally enough, won't touch the stuff, with the result that it is spreading.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I walked into the office of the noxious weed board with a wand of it in my hand, and the lady who met me visibly blanched. "Ooh, put that in the trash. Here, wash your hands." Turns out I have poison hemlock flourishing all over my pasture. Yes, the same plant that killed Socrates. It's a potent nuerotoxin, and it looks just like wild carrot (though it doesn't smell like it. I can't imagine anyone taking a whiff and deciding to eat it for lunch.). Madame weed board said "you just go to sleep, and never wake up."
It probably poses no risks to my goats, since they don't eat it, and it probably poses little risk to my kids, since it's stinky and sticky, but it is crowding out grass and other good forage that my goats need. The only good thing I heard about it is that it only spreads by seed dispersal, not by rhizomes or cuttings falling on the ground or anything else, so if I hurry, I can lop all the flowering tops off before they go to seed and maybe put a dent in it this year.
I went directly from the weed board to the farm store and bought a machete.