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I just discovered giant hogweed on my property. I will completely eradicate it.  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
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I have giant hogweed on my property! This stuff can be very hard to get rid of and it's a plant with no redeeming qualities. Touching it with bare skin can cause blistering and makes you very susceptible to sunburn. It's native to Eurasia.

I discovered this single specimen yesterday. I will destroy it and make sure that it doesn't come back. There are tuberous roots which will have to die. It's in a spot that was cleared 19 years ago. It probably took hold during the early part of the succession. Cottonwoods and Alder are shading it, which probably accounts for the lack of spread.

I was out walking with my tenant yesterday, and when I pointed it out , he said that it has been coming up there for several years. He has no knowledge of which plants are desirable or not. We had planned to clear that area and mound up the soil for hugelkultur . That plan is now cancelled for at least 2 years. Disturbance of the soil would expose tubers that would start many new plants.

I will be working there next week and will deal with the hogweed then. A 15 foot perimeter will be marked out. Any new growth will be cut down and a big bonfire will be lit in the fall. I will monitor this area for quite a while.
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The two most difficult and expensive invasive plants to deal with in my environment are hogweed and Japanese knotweed. Over the next week , I will walk every inch of the property and the surrounding forest land beyond. If more is found , I will deal with it as well.
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I don't find a way to live with invasives that could cut my land value in half and make it dangerous to go for a walk. Only complete eradication makes sense for this particular plant.
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David Livingston
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its a menace go get it Dale

David
 
Rebecca Norman
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Yes, I've read about that plant, and it sounds terrifying. I'm sure you will have enough persistence to be able to get rid of it. Best of luck!
 
John Duffy
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Dale be very careful how you handle this plant. It can cause blindness if you get the sap in your eyes
 
Craig Dobbson
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In recent years our DOT has been running into Hogweed. A few workers have been seriously messed up by that stuff... like you said, Blisters and all that awefulness.
Sounds like you have a solid plan in place. Just don't go breathing that bonfire smoke though.
As for the Japanese Knotweed: young early spring shoots are edible. If you don't want to eat it, fence some chickens in with it. They scratch it down as far as it goes into the earth. The root masses are loaded with bugs and worms so the birds just keep digging and eating. I used to have a huge patch in my front yard til the chickens found it. 30 chickens took it all out in like a week. The patch was about 20x20 ft. This year only one little shoot came up. I pulled it and fed it to the pigs. No more knotweed. Good luck
 
Michael Bushman
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Dale Hodgins wrote:A 15 foot perimeter will be marked out. Any new growth will be cut down and a big bonfire will be lit in the fall.


I have never heard of this plant but sounds nasty. Since your area is so small, laying plywood over the area with some weight on it, will prevent anything from growing through and then you can focus on checking the rest of your property and rest easy.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I'm glad that I don't have Japanese knotweed as well.

I'm aware of the dangers to eyes and other body parts. It's good to restate them here for those less familiar. I will be wearing a full face asbestos mask and one of those disposable suits, with gloves. I'll get the job done, bag the waste and wash up in the same manner that would be done when exiting an asbestos site.

Blistering symptoms can persist for years and cause scarring. I wonder if anyone affected by this plant has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Some of the symptoms match.

Good note on not breathing the fumes. A large group of campers in South Africa, all died at their campfire, after using wood from a poisonous bush to have a barbecue. It was one of the many desert plants that has a milky white sap. If you encounter any unknown plant with a milky white sap, look it up before messing with it. Many are poisonous.

There's an advisory from work safe BC.

http://bcinvasives.ca/invasive-species/identify/invasive-species/invasive-plants/giant-hogweed/
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This girl picked some leaves while on a fishing trip.
 
Dana Jones
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Good grief! This stuff sounds terrible. I hope you absolutely kill it all! Where did it originate?
 
Dale Hodgins
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From Wikipedia ... Giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus region and Central Asia. It was introduced to Britain as an ornamental plant in the 19th century, and it has also spread to many other parts of Europe, the United States, and Canada.
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Vancouver Island provides an ideal environment for almost every temperate plant. I believe we have the worst infestation in Canada. We have the right soil and weather along with heavy sprinkling of idiots who will plant anything that looks nice. I have to admit that it's a very attractive plant for the garden. It grows almost 20 feet tall.
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These kids are oblivious. Many people will pose for a picture when a unique plant is found.
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Not much of a distribution map. I doubt that there's hogweed in Quebec's Northern Tundra or in the really dry parts of Washington.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Giant Hog Weed is one of the few plants I question the creators senses over.
What good purpose could this plant have?
I have searched and searched and have only found use as a human barrier plant to be a redeeming factor for it.
I am fortunate to not have it in my state, but that doesn't mean it won't eventually find its way here.

Fight it hard Dale and good luck, I have read it isn't so easy to eradicate.
 
Hester Winterbourne
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Giant Hogweed spreads by seed.  It lives for a few years before flowering and then tends to die off.  If you cut it down (very VERY carefully, obviously) in the year it decides to flower but before the flowers are capable of setting viable seed, you should be able to eradicate it.  There is a single plant on the motorway I pass regularly which was cut down in this way and has only put up a single leaf for a couple of years afterwards before it finally died off.  Obviously glyphosate would be even easier to kill it with (motorway crew have evidently done this with a larger stand nearby) since you would not have to touch it at all, but a big step to take for someone with permacultural principles.

Japanese knotweed is a different matter since it spreads vegetatively and (at least in this country) not by seed.  And it is edible.  But comes up through concrete.  It's a matter of knowing your enemy!
 
Wysteria Jackson
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I'm a bit confused as to how VT and NH have escaped this plant. I thought I had it on my property but it's about half the height of the ones in the images above.

Good to know about knotweed and chickens...we have a lot around here. I would think that much scratching would spread the roots around, spreading the plant?
 
Douglas Campbell
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There are several other plants in the Compositae that are similar in growth habit and appearance, but not as large.  Some of them also have poisonous sap.
Kids are attracted to the horrible giant hogweed because it looks interesting.
 
John Saltveit
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Thanks for the heads up Dale,
I live pretty close. I'll look out for it.

Japanese Knotweed is the single best source of resveratrol, which many doctors consider to be the best supplement to increase healthy aging. It is what is found in red wine that makes it somewhat healthy.   The problem is that by the time Japanese knotweed has leafed out so you can recognize it, it is so fibrous that it's almost impossible to eat.  Digging out the bulb carefully while destroying the rest of the plant is one method. Remembering where a plant was so you can find it at just the right time of the late winter/spring is another.
JOhn S
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Hester Winterbourne
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Craig Dobbelyu wrote:
As for the Japanese Knotweed...  They scratch it down as far as it goes into the earth. 


That did make me laugh a bit, because it will come up from metres deep (will go under house foundations for example), so I was imagining these heroic chickens following the roots down... but I guess they did the job so persistent surface scratching must weaken it enough.  That's good to know.  Yes though, if you didn't fence them in they could spread little bits of root around and it will grow from those.  So if anyone thought using a rotovator would have the same effect, be very careful to clean it afterwards!

Douglas Campbell wrote:
There are several other plants in the Compositae that are similar in growth habit and appearance, but not as large.


Call me a nitpicker, but it isn't in Compositae, it's in Umbelliferae (or Apiaceae to be more up-to-date).  Some individuals are more sensitive to the irritation from plants of this family than others.  Probably why Celery is now an allergen to be wary of.  My brother (asthmatic) would come up in a rash if he touched even cow parsley.
 
Amanda VanderVeen
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I just found out about Japanese Knotweed about a month ago because some has been spotted in Prince Rupert.  From what I've read, you can't even get house insurance in England if you have some on your property because of the amount of damage this tenacious plant does to buildings and any other infrastructure.  Apparently it will propagate from the tiniest fragment of plant material and grows quickly.  If what I've read is correct, herbicides have to be injected into the plant at repeated intervals in order to fully kill it.

Giant Hogweed has made it's way into quite a few areas in BC - scary stuff!  When I was growing up, we had common hogweed (cow parsnip) by our back creek, which is fairly innocuous (and, in fact, edible).  If it weren't for bcinvasives.ca, I wouldn't have known how dangerous the Giant Hogweed is.  I definitely watch for it when hiking around in the Northwest.
 
Queenie Hankinson
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uses for giant hogweed..contains anthraquinones, used to treat running sores, ear infections, heart disease, cervical spondylosis, sore throats.  Handle with care..look into the benefits of hogweed to other plant or animal species.

there are really no such things as weeds in permaculture..merely opportunistic plants who are filling a niche.

If you would rather not have it..what will replace it?

permaculture is the man-made contributions to an ecosystem..so if the weed is there, it has a purpose..to have an integrative system, you cannot leave a vacuum and something else should fulfill the same roles..be it toward succession, bioaccumulation, forage for insects or....
 
Hester Winterbourne
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Queenie Hankinson wrote:

there are really no such things as weeds in permaculture..merely opportunistic plants who are filling a niche.

If you would rather not have it..what will replace it?... if the weed is there, it has a purpose..


We are talking about plants in situations where they are non-native and have been introduced by humans.  Because they do not "belong" in the ecosystem, they can disrupt it and swamp out native plants, because they have no natural predators and are not kept in balance with the rest of the system.  This can endanger other species (which also have a purpose or use) who need the natural vegetation that has been displaced by the invasive.  Humans caused the problem, therefore humans have to interfere again in order to restore balance.  In my opinion.   

To be fair, if you take out the risk to humans from the sap, giant hogweed is probably one of the less disruptive, you don't often see it in a really rampant monoculture.  But himalayan balsam is causing huge problems here and will rapidly take over an entire riverbank for miles.  And because it is only an annual, it leaves the soil bare in winter and erosion happens.  There are many more examples.
 
John Saltveit
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The point is to understand what the plant is doing.  The plant is not a minion of Dr. Evil.  The plant has very specific needs and benefits. Many times we don't understand the benefits.  When we understand the plant well and what contribution it is trying to bring to the ecosystem, we can figure out a better way to work with it.  IE Thistles hurt for us to pull them out, but they are a "signal" that grazers shouldn't be continuing to eat there.  Artichokes are thistles that are amazingly full of antioxidants, even if they are a weird food.  We need to understand why that plant grows there, what it is bringing (is it dynamically accumulating something, is it a host for a pollinator, etc.) and is that plant the best to have growing there or is there another similar plant that would be more beneficial?
John S
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Queenie Hankinson
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Nature is amazing.  When a plant fills a niche, it is because on very basic levels the plant can perform necessary functions needed within an ecosystem.

By successfully occupying s niche, a plant has already demonstrated a certain level of integration in a system even if it is not in the interest of humans.

It is not relevant whether introduced by humans, brought by birds or in the scat of other animals. 

In an ecological sense, it also does not matter if the newly introduced plant upsets the natural ecosystem because ecosystems are dynamic, with destruction and ruination of a system often being a precursor to growth, change and rebirth.

Sooner or later, invasive plants, animals, insects and microbes reach an equilibrium though it may be a very different ecosystem and not as beneficial to us once it is achieved.

  By nature, (pun intended) all systems trend toward entropy.

My post was not to dissuade the removal of hogweed but to encourage careful investigation, so that IF removal is the chosen option, the cultivator is also aware of the niche or requirements.

TBH, chemical herbicides and pesticides normally have no use in permaculture because they often contain inorganic not conducive to sustainable LIFE and actually disrupt not only integration of an existing system, but disrupts life in ways we often have not anticipated.

Strive for life.  It is not always pretty, or neat but nature tends to know what she is doing.  If herbicides are introduced and a hole is left in the niche..what fills that hole,?  What plants or animals, microbes, fungi and insects are now adversely affected due to that hole and the resultant herbicides?.


Certainly, not light questions.

Cultivation requires man to IMPOSE his desires, needs, AND sensibilities on an ecosystem.....Permaculture encourages
Humans to work WITH nature and to reach a compromise so that both can thrive with minimal human impact and input.

If anything goes or is regimented too severely , that is a form of agriculture or gardening...but might be the antithesis of permaculture.
 
Michael Bushman
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If all plants and animals have their use and shouldn't be killed off, then nothing man does is bad either because we are just animals.

Planting a food forest is just as much agriculture as is plowing up a field and pouring chemicals on it, we are modifying our environment to better suit us.   One is certainly more sustainable than the other but its like the old joke of "will you sleep with me for a $1,000,000" ..its all the same.

 
Queenie Hankinson
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Nice try,πŸ˜‚ but that is not what I am imparting.

What is the difference in working in, on or with something ?

I am saying before removing a plant, it is important to consider what the niche is comprised of in order to not upset an ecosystem.

I am not saying hogweed should not be removed.  I remove stuff and move stuff around a lot.  I try to be judicious in every removal and replacement.

I further add the ideal in Permaculture is  to work WITH  and WITHIN nature and not just ON it or react to it.

"Animal" scientifically is a man made term but the truth is, mankind is the only biological entity on the planet that routinely does not act WITH nature or WITHIN nature but instead, acts against it oblivious to interconnections.

Even the most noxious plants cannot thrive  in a niche they cannot integrate with.  Humans constantly challenge this precept.


All other entities act within their genetic program and contribute natural results nature can adjust to.


(Humans think nature adjusting is a status quo with themselves as the center of things and their desires/needs/wishes paramount...but this is an anthropocentric  view,).


Over time, most naturally occurring scapes can be addressed by nature, she simply has to dig around for the right remedy.  Even the most hostile of deserts is evolving, though nature's response to non natural manipulation can take many thousands of years to assimilate and correct

This is where humans come in..we tend to both think and operate out of sync with nature, even when we want to work in or on nature.

We bring our elitist, human, do as we please baggage with us.  We tend to both think and operate in the very near short term as a species with our own desires paramount and our views myopic.

At a very basic level, humans are an aberration.  We create inorganic waste, nature cannot break down readily (and therefore cannot assimilate) we bind water in ways that break both the Krebs cycle and the Water cycle.  (it cannot be recycled and continually used)


If the earth was personified as a body..all animals and plants would be natural  gut and body flora helping to keep the body (the earth,) strong and we would be the bacteria that destroys the natural flora and caused sickness at our most benign, and at our worse we are like the ebola virus. Wreaking so much havoc we are. Killing our host.

Permaculture seeks an equilibrium between what man has routinely done, and trying to be more like other animals, existing and contributing in a way that other species can adjust. And either benefit from or integrate with and branch off from those ecosystems.

Traditional  Western agriculture practices are not input effective in most cases and are the antithesis of natural ecosystems.


A virus, unlike most organic life forms, is often oblivious to its host and destroys the body to its own detriment.

Humans are oblivious to the impact of their methods and are destroying the planet, much like a body , though resilient, can be overwhelmed by a virus.

So with permaculture (which is A sustainable approach but is NOT the only type of sustainable approach) we seek not to become natural but to develop a type of farming and living that we can easily perpetuate.  We strive to incorporate this into nature and HOPE she adapts it into a viable ecosystem.


Permaculture will NEVER,EVER be natural to the planet.  It will always be humans acting.  ALWAYS.  But it should be humans with a softer footprint, who CONSIDER the body and ask questions first not react first.

We also hopes nature takes the ball permaculture pop into the air...and runs with it.

It is a foul ball indeed, the more we try to employ techniques such as synthetic pesticides and herbicides and controlled farming.

Science still has no idea of the long term affect of pesticides and herbicides.  We build evidence empirically to determine long term affects but what is not considered are  plants and animals AFTER a certain amount of time or in other parts of a system, nor is this in-depth study required by law.

Safety tests do not require this..we do not know the effect of round up in an ecosystem over time...but we do know we have introduced a synthetic into a natural environment and there WILL be consequences.


That must be considered by those who employ permaculture BEFORE they impact an area and not as an "oops" moment later.

The planet cannot easily absorb too many more oops moments from humans.


FOOD FORESTS.

Food forests are still mainly managed, sustainable systems, but they don't have to be.

They will optimize selective plants and flora.  Some do project naturalization to a point, but the end goal is food.

But that s the permaculture model, that us not the only one being implemented.  There is a more natural model based n foraging and natural implementation.

I mention the uses of hogweed because some may want to have a softer footprint and strive to work with what nature is exhibiting and not impose the human ideal.



It is  Western human nature to dominate and impose an ideal, accepting and working within the construct nature produces is more an indigenous people and a planet friendly ideal.


There is no conflict in what I am writing.  I am not going to suggest what anyone does on their own land.

I am trying to point out what should be considered first..and whether this is embraced or not depends on one's idea of permaculture and understanding of ecosystems.

IMO.permaculture is not farming though it may have a farm within the system..it is not a food forest, though some may grow food in that fashion within that system.

Since I am first and foremost a scientist, permaculture will always be a dynamic SYSTEM that attempts to integrate human desired foods and human directed agriculture into a natural ecosystem.

For a scientist, success is NOT how much food is grown or how many humans fed..it is when nature accepts and adopts the human model and accepts it.

Failure is when the man made model upsets or destroys the natural ecosystem.

It is almost impossible to employ a true permaculture model and embrace modern human controlling the planet methods.

Modern methods seldom consider ecosystem impact, paramount is the end goal not the journey.

Since the planet is dynamic and billions of years old, the end goal IS the journey.

THE END GOAL IS THE JOURNEY, not mankind's myopic, short term desires

Put another way, the details in modern agriculture  are what is accomplished,

the details in permaculture is HOW this is done,

the details in food forestry or other methods that do not employ permaculture precepts is the QUALITY of the end result and how it was done.

The goal in nature is INTEGRATION, ON MACRO AND MICRO LEVELS, OF ALL NATURAL COMPONENTS.

The key word is Natural.  Frankly, humans don't even know the ultimate effect of the things they synthesize.


The thing is: food  forestry can be a part of permaculture but it also is a stand alone discipline as is wild crafting and foraging.

Permaculture is NOT definitive for sustainable living.  It is a discipline with many methods but it is not the only way.

You can have a food forest and zones 4 and 5 for wild crafting and gleaning within the permaculture construct....but many who wild craft or have food forests employ little to no permaculture

Permaculture is a scientific discipline, it is not an umbrella for all sustainable ways to grow food.

But more to the point and I stand by this..nature is pretty smart..if a plant has managed to enter into a niche successfully...prior to removing, that niche AND the role that plant played should be examined .

One of the most difficult things to recreate in ecology are niches...because the interconnections and impacts are very complex and far more numerous than we can easily consider.
 
Queenie Hankinson
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Michael Bushman wrote:If all plants and animals have their use and shouldn't be killed off, then nothing man does is bad.




(quote, Bushman) "Planting a food forest is just as much agriculture as is plowing up a field and pouring chemicals on it, we are modifying our environment to better suit us.   One is certainly more sustainable than the other ..."




Lol.  Several things...

1. Did I ever say killing hogweed was bad?  Or did I say the niche it occupies should be considered first and that it also had uses?

2. You assume because humans gave themselves the categorization of "animal" that we are like all other animals?  Like most human designations, we are hypocritical with this application.

When we want to justify behavior with a "you or  they do it too" mentality ...we INCLUDE ourselves in a larger group (be it the animal kingdom, politics, race or religion)

When we are in our elitist, self aggrandizing , destruction mode, we are exclusive elevating ourselves over other groups, be it all other living plants and animals, other religions or political parties,other races or countries..etc.

This dissonance destroys not only our sense of self, but also our connection with life on the planet..it is how we are capable of killing so nonchalantly.

  It also confirms we are an aberration.

We are capable of doing great harm to the planet and all who inhabit it, then capable of shades of lies and compartmentalization so we can ignore or try to justify what we do.

It ALL comes out in the end, as we reap what we have sown and not what we lie or justify to ourselves about what we have sown.



Planting a food forest may or may not be either agriculture or permaculture, but it does not have to be either.

Humans are unlike any other living entity on the planet .  We are an aberration.

All animals either work within nature or they die out.  Humans routinely work against nature and themselves.  We tend  to be very, very self centered and oblivious to our connections with everything else on the planet.

I have a food forest.  I did not cultivate anything. Instead, I introduced animals to my gardens then let then wander in my woods.  They dropped their feces and all kinds of stuff began to grow there.

It is a woods.  No plow.  No swales,  No shovels, pick axes, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, no direct cultivation by man.  None.  Not even a stick or sed dropping.

All food thus far was introduced by animals, but I opened a large portion of my garden for this and did chase some or gently herd others into the woods.  The squirrels did a lot.


Lots of garden escapees there, and every year it is more diverse and profuse.

There are even plants and flowers beginning to grow that I never had in my garden.  It is wondrous.

From quince to persimmon, huckleberries, gooseberry brambles, taro, wild yams, elderberries, raspberries, strawberries, kale, dandelions, poke, tons of stuff...and I never do a thing.

My flora has increased in diversity also with all kinds of birds, frogs and insects ..I have more humming birds and finches than I have ever seen in my life .

The only permaculture in my food forest has been in me giving it a zone designation.

I have too many herbs in there to count, numerous greens, edible roots, wild tomatoes and other fruits, great mushrooms too.

I may introduce potatoes in there....

My engineering of this, was simply to herd animals in to clear paths, eat ticks, and drop spore.

I pick as I go on walks and come back with a bounty.  It is not a glade, but the woods are not dense..

Food forests can be a component of permaculture BUT not all food forests perform either permaculture or agriculture.

To foment my own forest, I only planned to share my bounty with the creatures in it..and my now rich forest/woods are what they all gave back in return.
 
Lori Ziemba
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Queenie Hankinson wrote:

It also confirms we are an aberration.

We are capable of doing great harm to the planet and all who inhabit it, then capable of shades of lies and compartmentalization so we can ignore or try to justify what we do.

It ALL comes out in the end, as we reap what we have sown and not what we lie or justify to ourselves about what we have sown.


LOL, you sound just like me!  Only I call us cancer.


I have a food forest.  I did not cultivate anything. Instead, I introduced animals to my gardens then let then wander in my woods.  They dropped their feces and all kinds of stuff began to grow there.

From quince to persimmon, huckleberries, gooseberry brambles, taro, wild yams, elderberries, raspberries, strawberries, kale, dandelions, poke, tons of stuff...and I never do a thing.

I have too many herbs in there to count, numerous greens, edible roots, wild tomatoes and other fruits, great mushrooms too.

I may introduce potatoes in there....

My engineering of this, was simply to herd animals in to clear paths, eat ticks, and drop spore.


This is really interesting!  I would love to learn more details about how you did this.  What do you mean by "I introduced animals to my gardens"?  How?  What is your garden like?  Where do you live?  How long did it take? How much land do you have? I would <b>love[/b] to see some pictures! 
 
Queenie Hankinson
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I have 22 acres of woodlands in Southwest , MO near the Arkansas border.


I saw results in one season..with tomatoes and some greens and fruit.

Now, I am noticing more veggies I never grew like rhubarb and Chard.

This natural woods are also creating micro climates that allow annuals to winter over and some operate as perennials,

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The house is situated with a southern exposure and middle.  The incline is less than 15 degrees on about 80% of the land and zone 5 areas are 35 degree incline or more.

I have several aspects to my land.  Most, are. Zone 4 or 5 with gleaning of dead wood taking place in zone 4.

Soil is at a premium here so we create hugel beds out of dead wood, humus and truck in soil..we also use downed wood for rocket fuel stoves and as brown matter in our  co.post and worm bins. And in zone 1 have very large raised garden beds.

In Zone 1, we have formalized raised garden beds with soil in them 26 to 35 inches deep.  We are on rock so the soil is deep enough to suit small trees and shrubs and are permanent and prevent ground freezing.

all beds are cedar or stone retained  and are large, all cedar  bed bottoms were screened with 1/4x1/4 galvanized wire to discourage ground rodents and snakes.

The primary kitchen garden is completely screened in with the ability to apply row covers, to moderate sun and wind and seed/insect infiltration.

Usually, the row covers are not in use.

Water catchment systems are large pools that feed into each other..we use cattle feeding tanks banked by earth..we have no rain taxes yet in MO.

Watering is primarily from hugel application and rain water. (All cedar beds have a 12 inch hugel layer). We also consider all hardwood trees a potential emergency water source.

animal dispersion requires the decision to share the garden with any animal able to make it in or who eat from the lower beds scattered in zones 1 and 2.

Domesticated animals can also be introduced, by purchasing or borrowing them from neighbors..it also means providing areas to temporarily fence or corral the animals.

Basically, we use domestic farm animals as tractors, brush hogs and fertilizer by cordoning off an area for them then letting g them so fed in that area.we also either feed them veggie plants or allow them a cess in the gardens then put them in the corral.

Have brambles and brush to clear?  let your  neighbors know they can forage their goats on it.

Too many ticks and insects?  Borrow or buy guinea fowl or chickens..start them out in the woods, surrounded by portable electric fencing and tree cover, end their sojourn by snacks in the garden..both love squash, melons and tomatoes..then corral them back in the woods...as they eat and poop, they will do the rest.

You can make bunny and chicken tractors too.



The scattered beds are mostly culinary and medicinal herbs


On the EDGES of cleared areas, I planted things such as yams, kale and comfrey which naturally infiltrated the lighter wooded areas, also planted berry bushes on the edge.

Edges are not only the most prolific, they bleed or overlap, so anything grown in the edge  and not controlled will bleed into another planting area...animals carry it even more into an area.

Comfrey are interplanted with plantain, many greens, tubers, and velvet bean..as they spread...the animals follow and eat.

At any given time, you will see scores if turkey, deer, rabbit and other small animals in my woods.



Squirrels will automatically steal peaches, tomatoes, seeds and other veggies and then go into the woods.

Chickens, guinea fowl and goats will decimate a garden so they can be let in occasionally (judiciously forgetting  to close the screens up) then they are gently herded towards a portion of woods that has been cordoned off.

As they forage, they eat ticks and other bugs an drop feces..in those feces are potential new plants.

Deer love comfrey..they follow it into the woods and spread  more seeds, I plant near the comfrey, other things fowl and deer like..., that I hope will take.


This is not a high yield area for a production farm, but it is a very rich and diverse set up for any person, who does not mind meandering garden paths, picking what is available and not mindful that plantings in neat rows or groupings are nit happening.

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If you don't have or wish to use your own sheep, goats, bunnies or chickens as your farmers, volunteer an area for a neighbor.

Goats will clear paths and can be directed with moveable fencing, chickens and guinea fowl adore tomatoes and many veggies.

Not all will take, but a surprising number will.  Best if all, the foraging animals work as living tractors and fertilizers, the most work I do is in constructing and moving fencing to direct animals.

Note: a primary crop for me are velvet bean, because they can build one of the largest amounts of  soil in the least amount of time, another crop are various comfrey for obvious reasons.

I do not share pictures of my properties for security reasons nor of myself but to get an idea about this kind if approach watch Geoff's videos about his farm in Australia.  It's on YouTube.

ALSO Sepp  Holtzer farms this way, scattering seed Willy nilly and growing things in the Alps that until recently were impossible.


The key to this type of growth is to be very open to what nature produces and flexible in how and what you eat and preserve.



 
Lori Ziemba
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Queenie Hankinson wrote:I have 22 acres of woodlands in Southwest , MO near the Arkansas border.






Wow, thanks for all the info!  It sounds terrific.  I would think you have to let the animals eat stuff that has already seeded, for them to be able to spread it around?  I'm going to print this out and hang on to it.
 
Valerie Dawnstar
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I wish you well in eradicating your giant hogweed.  I have heard it has a "medicinal" value but I can't understand how one would process it since it is so toxic.

Sounds nice to be able to have the leisure to try & decipher why a plant would choose to live where it does but I have to disagree with Queenie.  This is a dangerous plant. (That was one of the nastiest photos I've seen yet of the damage it can do.) 

I have known it quite well for the past 9 years.  I have about 4 acres of it and that field is totally useless to me.  I can't even enter it once it starts growing and it is one of the first plants to show up in March, which was when we closed on our property.  I think we're making some progress but it's slow.  The DEC and local Soil and Water Conservation have been helping me battle it and this in spite of the fact that I have insisted that no herbicides be used on my property.  They pay for a local farmer to come in and mow the field through the growing season to keep it from setting seed.  It takes about 4 mowings then it gives up.  Until next year.  Every day once the flower stalks go up I go in with a long handled shovel where the tractor can't get to and cut them down to keep the seeds from forming.  I wear protective clothing and even so still try not to touch any of it.  I have tried digging it up, too, but I just have too much.  I wouldn't call them tubers but taproots and the plant is so successful I wouldn't put it past it to grow from a small piece of a root.  It is considered a long lived biennial.

There is one spot about 40 square feet where I was chopping some down and once I could see the ground discovered that I was standing in the center of a bunch of poison ivy.  And it was on a hill side.  That spot I am going to try burning in the early spring before any leaves form.  And if that doesn't work...

I have read that animals will graze it but pigs, since their skin is so like ours, can be burned by it, too.  One of my neighbors had cows on a patch of it and it was gone.  It was obvious because the plants were growing just outside the fence.  I don't have fence or animals.  I did have 3 alpacas for a summer and they would eat it when it first came up.  They didn't seem to be bothered by it.  I found them a new home since I can't afford fencing.  (I chased them more times then I care to remember.)

I have black walnuts on my property, too, and while there isn't a lot of the giant hogweed under them, I cut down one flowering plant today right under the tree.  Can't have them in there with my raspberries.

This topic naturally caught my eye.  If anyone else has any success with this, I sure would be interested in hearing about it.
 
Lori Ziemba
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Yeesh Valerie, that sounds like a nightmare!  I  have never heard of this plant before.
 
Lori Ziemba
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Does this plant cause the blisters from just touching a leaf, or do you have to break it and get the sap on you?
 
Queenie Hankinson
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Valerie: full respirators when burning?  I imagine like poison ivy, the volatile oils can be extremely dangerous if inhaled.  Again, not saying the hogweed should stay, but if what the niche is that it occupies is identified, another, friendlier plant can be introduced to take its place.


Everyone must do what works for them.  I have hogweed, but it can get no more than shin high..no soil, it does not grow very tall in rock.  I handle it with gloves..usually...and consider it a medicinal.  Mine has been here for years but is not prolific and yes, we have let it go to seed, but it has never really taken off.
 
Queenie Hankinson
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Heh, heh...just read on plant forager.com that young hogweed leaves are edible and make a very delicious soup.....πŸ˜‡.  Food of the future?  Or maybe only regular hogweed is edible and not the giant?

The oils in the regular are rendered harmless by cooking...what of the larger variety?  Anyone know of persons attempting to taste test cooked giant hogweed 😝
 
Queenie Hankinson
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Lori: I follow the old adage of " one for the pot". You are correct, I plant for the family and residents and also for animals.  What I leave is allowed to go to seed.  I also pull up plants for compost but throw many into the wooded area still heavy with vegetables..by morning, the animals have normally eaten them all.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Dale Hodgins wrote: ... Giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus region and Central Asia. It was introduced to Britain as an ornamental plant in the 19th century, and it has also spread to many other parts of Europe, ...l.

Yes, this plant is considered an ornamental plant here, and treated as if it is native. As long as you do NOT touch it, it is not a huge problem. It is not as invasive as the Japanese Knotweed. But I understand you do not want it on your land ... and then the problem starts: you have to 'eradicate' it. I think the best way to do it is with machines, so you don't come near any part of the plants. If damaged while alive they are most dangerous! If you cut dead stems, often the venom doesn't work anymore. But then you'll have to dig out the roots (totally) or it will regrow next year.
 
Lori Ziemba
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I've been thinking on this thread, and I remembered reading about using vinegar to kill weeds.  I found this  product

And I also found thisarticle.  It may be useful for the stray plants the tractor can't get to, or your county agents that are helping might have the ability to use it in large amounts.
 
C. Letellier
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Lori Ziemba wrote:I've been thinking on this thread, and I remembered reading about using vinegar to kill weeds.  I found this  product

And I also found thisarticle.  It may be useful for the stray plants the tractor can't get to, or your county agents that are helping might have the ability to use it in large amounts.


The recipes involving vinegar as an herbicide only kill the plant not the root.  The plant will regrow back from the root.
 
Lori Ziemba
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C. Letellier wrote:
Lori Ziemba wrote:I've been thinking on this thread, and I remembered reading about using vinegar to kill weeds.  I found this  product

And I also found thisarticle.  It may be useful for the stray plants the tractor can't get to, or your county agents that are helping might have the ability to use it in large amounts.


The recipes involving vinegar as an herbicide only kill the plant not the root.  The plant will regrow back from the root.


Well, she's hacking them out now with a shovel   This seems like an improvement.
 
Dale Hodgins
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This has certainly gotten interesting. I have no interest in discovering a new use for hogweed or in finding a way to integrate it into anything. I'm ridding my life and my land of this plant.

Even if it did have some medicinal value or other value, I would let others tinker with that, while I can rest knowing that I won't break out in boils or become blind.

There are several other plants that I have no use for. I won't accept any English ivy on my property. I cut down every bracken fern that I see and I expect to eventually pretty much eliminate salmon berries from my place. These plans are all extremely abundant in the wilderness that surrounds me. They are of no benefit to me, therefore I won't be growing them or permitting them to grow where I want other things. With these plans it's just a matter of weeding them out. Yes they are useful to some people for some things. If I wanted some I could walk to my property line and harvest millions of tons from federal land.

I do judge my efforts based on the quantity and quality of what I am able to produce. I currently produce mostly lumber and wild berries. I manage my place to produce better lumber and better berries.
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There was talk of herbicides. The only thing I'm doing is cutting and bagging, followed by burning of the immediate area once the fire season passes.

For me, none of it is up for debate. This hogweed is mine and I want it gone.
..........
I used to have a tenant who so far as I know, was the worlds laziest man. Last night, my other tenant Randy, joked that if he had known about the hogweed, he would have told him that it makes a nice hand cream. I then came back with, "We could have told him that it was a good toilet paper or that as a powerful aphrodisiac, it should be spread liberally over the private parts "
 
Queenie Hankinson
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Dale Hodgins wrote:This has certainly gotten interesting. I have no interest in discovering a new use for hogweed or ko in finding a way to integrate it into anything. I'm ridding my life and my land of this plant.

Even if it did have some medicinal value or other value, I would let others tinker with that, while I can rest knowing that I won't break out in boils or become blind.

There are several other plants that I have no use for. I won't accept any English ivy on my property...These plans are all extremely abundant in the wilderness that surrounds me. They are of no benefit to me, therefore I won't be growing them or permitting them to grow where I want other things.

For me, none of it is up for debate. This hogweed is mine and I want  it gone



GOOD FOR YOU!



Because we all come to permaculture with different objectives and needs; dialogues that explore different avenues allow readers to pick and choose what is helpful,  of interest or we have no use for.

Good luck in your eradication efforts!πŸ˜‰
 
Valerie Dawnstar
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Rubbing the sap on areas that don't get sunlight would probably not do anything.  It's not like poison ivy.  But it is way too easy to just brush against a leaf and be exposed.  Ask me how I know.  I have also learned to carry a bottle of water with me and if I get accidentally brushed, I can immediately rinse off the area and my skin will be fine.  Also, working with it on a cloudy or rainy day gives you a measure of protection.  It needs the sun to burn.
me-hogweed.jpg
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Here I am standing with a good bunch of them.
Fit-g.hogweed.jpg
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Here is my 'truck' sitting next to them for scale. (Yes, that is a Honda Fit. Great little car into which I can Fit just about everything. I do not put the giant hogweed into my car.)
hogweed-field-facing-north.jpg
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This is the field that was mowed with a strip of a good bunch of them along the north edge. The tractor can't get to them because of the sumac and other obstructions.
 
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