Good Stewards

Today’s post comes from tim.

i take my compost to the compost drop off spot by bush lake near my house.

i knew there was something special about this time of year and the woods but i didn’t put my finger on it until yesterday.

during the winter the woods are trees standing in a white floor that makes the woods feel like a vista of strategically placed trees in the word of white.

In the summer the undergrowth fills all the available space with things springing forth and only the path that is well worn is passable in the city scape.

up north where the canopy is so dense that the undergrowth can be filtered so effectively that the walk through the woods is a dream like crunch of leaves and twigs and a graveyard of fallen trees and broken branches left to figure out how to deal in a natural way with restoration.

from mid march til may 1 the woods are brown and gray with subtle shades of yellow rust and green that allow you to envision what could be if the buckthorns weren’t devouring the available light and space,choking out the wildflowers and ferns and grasses in their way.

i see a new creeper in the ditches that is slowly but surely covering the adjacent space with a vengeful lust. A 10 foot run three years ago turns to a 50 foot run and then an entire landscape with the nearby former plants buried by the blanket of the new invader

a while back i lived near bush lake and loved walking my dogs along the trails and paths that are there. I was aware of the problem with the invasive plants and the choking out of the native plants that comes along with it. The buckthorn issue is one i have heard about but it wasn’t until walking my dogs that i thought about it.

now i wish i could figure out a way to inspire people to work the area within a block of their house. maybe a grading system for a buckthorn collecting contest.

documented progress and maintenance reports. grading that makes the neighborhood aware of the invasion the solution and the progress realized and aspired to

i can do a 10×10 area of the woods. it feels like something that can be accomplished but a milllion acres feels like too much.

stewardship is such a admirable thing. maybe free park passes to minnesota state parks for picking up after the invasion? lions, church groups, neighborhood communities  and pta organizations taking responsibility for a chunk of the woods like they do picking up a mile of the freeway today would be a start.

if you could pick a little corner of the world to fix what might it be (take 2 they’re small)



33 thoughts on “Good Stewards”

  1. I’ve been pulling garlic mustard in a couple of places on the west side for a few years. You can pull the plants pretty easily if the ground is moist, and you only need to do it once per season if you time it right. You pull the tall mature plants that are about to flower. You can leave the little first year plants – they don’t flower or drop seed the first year. I also pull the burdock at the same time, with a weed wrench. I was making some progress in the area where the green stairs used to be, but then last year they fenced the area off for a construction project, and I wasn’t able to get to it to do the annual clean out. Soon we’ll see what it looks like this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There is a vacant corner lot near our house that is full of weeds and cactus. The owner is an elderly gentleman who mows it a couple of times every summer, just enough to keep the weed inspector off his back. He strews the sidewalks with cactus when he mows and it is impossible to walk dogs past the lot because they get cactus in their paws. I would like to see a community garden there.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If you know who the owner is, is there a reason why you haven’t approached him with that idea? Someone is going to have to show some initiative and leadership for a community garden to happen. We have several in our neighborhood, and they are maintained entirely by volunteers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi-
    I seem to have all I can do keeping our grass cut. I can’t even manage the brush on the sides of our driveway evidently… But this is a good way to go about things tim; like you said; just pick a small area and if we all could deal with it, the solution would be easy.

    Renee, your comment about the weed inspector rings a bell. in the townships, us supervisors are all deemed ‘weed inspectors’ by the state. And yet Olmsted county doesn’t follow that rule and doesn’t accord anyone as a weed inspector. Once in a while someone will call us to complain about noxious weeds in someones field. And we all have noxious weeds in our fields or pastures no matter how much we try to control them so it’s pretty hard to go tell someone else to control theirs.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. How lucky am I? I live smack dab in the middle of a small plot of dirt that needs tending half of the year. Back when I had a body that didn’t strenuously object to yard work, I cheerfully planted flowers and shrubs in places that previously hosted only grass. I blissfully ignored the fact that I was creating an oasis for birds, butterflies, and bees that would require a lot more maintenance than a lawn. Thankfully, Linda has once again agreed to help prevent it from taking over the neighborhood this growing season.

    Renee mentioned wanting to turn a vacant lot in her neighborhood into a community garden. I know of at least five community gardens here on the West Side. I was one of the folks involved in planning, designing, and planting the first one. It’s a flower garden, a beautiful colorful spot in our urban landscape. Three of the other gardens are vegetable gardens. What I love about all of these gardens is the community they build. People working together on a shared project get to know and care about one another; it’s builds a stronger community. Thanks for this blog, tim.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I wouldn’t know where to start. I live in a neighborhood that, especially this time of year when the snow melts, is trashy. People leave their trash everywhere. Part of yardwork here is picking up the plastic bags and food containers and other trash so the front yard doesn’t resemble a garbage dump. Should be done almost daily. Most people around here don’t have nice looking flower gardens and they certainly don’t have nicely manicured lawns either. Rampant weeds are very common.

    I have lots of flowers and shrubs and an herb bed and various fruit plants (raspberries, black and red currants, rhubarb). It was getting to be too much for me to handle even when I was healthy, so now I need to cut back. I still want to encourage bees and butterflies but some of these flower beds just have to go or they will be just big beds of noxious weeds. In about a month, I’ll have some prairie smoke plants to give away and probably some other things, too.

    Probably the best thing I could do is pick up trash when I go for walks in the neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. picking up even a single piece of paper feels good every every everyvtime
      i remember some story about the old college professor ( he was probably 50 eh?) who was known because he stopped and picked up trash on every walk every day. there was always more. it feels like the starfish story in reverse … instead of picking up the starfish and throwing back in to the sea, i am picking up a scrap of paper an empty pop bottle a plastic bag. it like there is so much how can it possibly matter

      my whole life sometimes seems like eating an elephant. how do you eat an elephant?… one bite at a time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Our Winona Post have a monthly had a monthly column about the “noxious weed of the month” – describing it and giving as much info as possible. There are also crews that go out to try and control things like buckthorn… I wish I had paid more attention, as I see this is all very vague. With our tiny center-city lot, I don’t have to do as much as I would have in Robbinsdale, where I use to pull Virginia creeper off the pine trees whenever I walked in the nearby park.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the worst time of year for trash in residential neighborhoods. When the snow melts, all the trash that piled up during the cold months shows up.


        1. remember when he did 25 minute lake woebegone episodes
          what an exceptional storyteller

          it’s all about bachelor farmers but he doesn’t even get around to how they hide all the crap in their yard under the snow until this time of year when it melts and turns to mud and exposes all the piles and pitched beer bottles and trash that was hidden beneath the snow

          but the bachelor farmers are there to remind us of unsteward like options that exist


  7. i’ve decided to add my 2 minute shower water conservation project to the mn cup competition this year

    i’ll keep you informed

    in a nutshell it allows you to shower a long time using the same 20 gallons of water and filter it to keep it fresh rather than using new water that goes down the drain

    it will be interesting

    how long a shower would you take if it wasn’t guilt and hot water determining what’s correct

    south africa is almost out of water
    this will help

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This sounds like an idea with potential. We shower with water that is clean enough to be drinkable. How much water could we save if we had better ways of utilizing our water?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. if you could wash dishes , clothes, your body and have the total usage be a fraction of current usage then we move to factory usage where jillion’s of gallons get used every day with no consequence just cause it’s free

        drives me nuts

        ethanol is

        Liked by 1 person

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