Let’s not use the word “Busy” to describe the management of a hay field from invasive plant species.

Daily writing prompt
What is a word you feel that too many people use?

To me, “busy” is an overused and misunderstood word. “Busy” indicates unplanned activities; possibly from someone who has too much on the go. Maybe they cannot say “no”.

Was I “busy” this morning as I set out to survey the edge of my property for invasive plant species.

Mid August brings us many rewards and challenges. Yesterday I cut back blackberry bushes in order to get at the ripe berries. After 3 days of picking, I should have enough for a cobbler. It makes me wonder how bears and other wildlife manage to get enough to eat before winter.

As first year farmers, we can say the potato crop was a success but can we store enough to last us a year? It appears deer politely ate a small pumpkin. We have lots of vine and blossoms but few “set” pumpkin or squash.

The invasive species shown here are are all relatively new to New Brunswick. The Woodland Angelica (shown on the left) (Angelica sylvestris) is highly invasive, taking over an entire field in a year. If sap from the stalk gets on your skin, it can react with the sunlight and cause severe burns. We carefully cut down all that we find on the property. The wild morning glory (Convolvulus arvensis), once establishes on your land, it is there to stay with roots up to 30 feet deep. I destroy all of them I can find around our compost pile. It is a daily task now. We want our bees working on our food products not these pretty flowers.

The beautiful Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), was unintentionally spread by gardeners because it can grow in the toughest of soil with 2.7 million seeds per plant. You cannot stay ahead of it but it is not a direct threat to our food growing (except the attracting of bees).

Seeking feeding habitat and shelter at the north edge of the property for berry-eating animals resulted in joy but we ponder why aren’t there more places like this with a path leading to ripe berries.

Tree growth with this summer has been nothing short of amazing. The rain has been plentiful. As a quick reminder, New Jersey lost its Christmas tree industry last year due to drought.

The “pond on the trail” may be too deep for some sports vehicles. It is going to make our winter hikes a challenge, staying on the edge!

Surveying our property for invasive species is a diligent process. Let’s not say it will keep us “busy”; let’s say occupied.

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