MARCIA POWELL -- Blog article (#16) – November 17, 2014 –
“The Summer of Superweed Hell!”
My last blog was July 5th, two months after planting the WPP (Woody Perennial Polyculture). My mentor, Kevin, came to visit, checked the plants and informed me that they were being stunted by the weeds. Furthermore, the weeds happened to be “superweeds”--weeds that have become resistant to Roundup. Turns out these plants (the species I have is waterhemp) can grow 1-2 inches A DAY (!) and each plant has some 500,000 seeds per plant!! Eeeeeeek! Conventional farmers are indeed freaking out about them because Monsanto's herbicides do not kill them.
The war started by my paying a couple of guys to come in with their weedwackers and fell the majority; but they could not get to the ones right in the rows of plants. These I had to pull up by hand, or, if they were too big to pull, sickle them off at ground level. Then I had to smother the ground with 4-5” of wood chips to (hopefully) smother the stalk root and kill it. Plus, I found that a few weeks after the weeds had been “wacked” (instead of pulled), they grew new sprouts and so needed to be sickled. Thus from the 2nd week in July up until yesterday when it snowed, I spent from 2 to 4 hours a day weeding and mulching! (One positive by-product: I've lost some 10 lbs and am really buff!)
While I battled the superweeds, my garden did its thang, producing a bumper crop of cucumbers, squash, lettuce, kale, kohl rabi, carrots, beans. Somehow I went through life not realizing that pickles come from cucumbers. Duh. Anyway, I got a recipe for breaded pickles, which Bob made, along with some relish. Now I like eating pickles. Ended up giving away a fair amount of produce to some local food banks, as well as getting ideas on how to market next year's produce.
Meanwhile, in September I attended the Illinois Libertarian Party convention in Chicago. Turns out I was #6 in the state in terms of collecting ballot access signatures (540) (deliver what is needed and wanted...). At the final meeting, going over some bylaw changes, I noted an error in grammar. So they voted me in as Deputy Secretary for the state party. Okay... why not?
We fought a major battle to get our seven candidates for state offices on the ballot. It was such a pleasure to be able to vote for them on Nov. 4th. The percentage of people in Illlinois who voted Libertarian was way up from previous years. I perceive a groundswell occurring towards Libertarian viewpoints and candidates. Will continue working with my county chapter to grow the party.
Readers of my earlier blogs know that Bob Lawrason, a permaculture designer, came to stay with me last December to help create Lockie Farm—rain bins, hugelkultur, compost tea, worm compost, biochar, bone salve, etc. I learned a lot! Both of us being single, we checked each other out, but in the end determined that we were not a match. So I checked out a great online dating service—the Affinity Exchange :-)-- and sent out a message to Dave Christian.
Although originally from St. Louis, he was at the time in the Philippines working with his son. Thus began an online courtship—challenging, as the normal sequence is to connect online, then meet asap to see if the “chemistry” is there enough to pursue a courtship. Anyway, we finally met on Oct 10th when he returned to St. Louis. That meeting went well enough that we decided he should move in with me so we could continue the courtship—again, backwards, as the norm is to pursue the courtship to the point that you determine that you should live together. Oh, well—I've always been an adventurous spirit. Meanwhile Bob moved to Michigan where he can continue his career as a permaculturist. Dave started learning how to weed and mulch waterhemp.
One day, working at my computer, I noticed a black sedan slowly backing up down my road, which is a dead end … strange... FBI? CIA? Come to get me...?? So I dashed out and spoke with the driver. Turns out he's a local farmer who was really curious about what I was doing. I got his number so I can invite him to my open house next summer. Anyway, that prompted me to get a little sign made with my phone number so curious people can call me and stop by. Knowing that little sign would not survive the winter winds, Dave helped me attach it to a board and some posts. I transplanted a couple of ornamental grass plants my mortgage broker had given me and then purchased some fake red berries and “planted” them in pots to add a splash of color. I've come to realize how important it is to me to create beauty as well as a sustainable farm.
The Affinity Exchange continues to help people match up. (Please do refer your single friends.) And I'm up to four regular piano students (need more).
My advice: continue your spiritual growth; donate to the people who are fighting the chemtrails; eat organic/local and avoid GMOs; avoid flouride and vaccines; invest in hard assets; be politically active; know your neighbors and help build community. I continue to recommend www.ThriveMovement.com as an excellent source of information and advice.
Hope you all are flourishing and thriving in these challenging times.
Please write and give me an update on your adventures.
Oh, and it would be great if you could subscribe to my blog so I could take you off the email list. http://messagesfrommarcia.blogspot.com/
Love to all, Marcia (217) 582-2112 home (818) 552-2211 cell