Here’s a late-summer picture demonstrating the use of weed drying stations in management of wild parsnip. See all the Christmas trees? If you scroll down a few posts, you’ll see the same tree farm as a field of gorgeous yellow. Lovely, unless you need to work in and among the lower-growing young trees. So while I think of weed drying stations as a spot for piling plant material for sun-baking, a hotspot is simply a weed drying station that MAY contain some plants with viable seed. It needs monitoring, absolutely, but I’ve achieved the goal of pulling them all into one specific place. No seeds dropping all over the 9-acre property. So we add onto weed drying stations all summer long, but at some point, viable seed becomes an issue. That’s when we exercise real caution not to spread seed, but we still pull the plants and consolidate the risk in one station: a hotspot.
I’ve been leaning on the theme of biosecurity lately, but I’d like to put two more concepts out there:
Stewardship and Transition.
Our work on landscapes hopefully moves us closer over time to a desired vision, a property or watershed more resilient, healthy, and biodiverse than its present condition. So we Transition the space, and we do so over an appropriate timeframe. Nature’s calendar must be respected here; she’s been doing this much longer than we have. What we can provide is Stewardship.
Everyone has their own definition of Stewardship, but I like to assemble a collection of terms that all contribute to the idea. My own single word for Stewardship is Presence. My Presence, or absence, is my signature on the land. It defines my approach, my values, and what I stand for. I find that meaningful; others have suggested terms such as Continuity. Again, a powerful word that calls to mind a connection between actions, day to day and year to year. Brilliant – good stewardship is how we care for the land and resources we are fortunate to have, and that should be a task that fulfills us without end.
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