Strangely, one of my goals with GotWeeds? is to put myself out of business. Which will never happen, judging by what I see on the landscape every day. But I’d be happy to see that happen on YOUR property. This is how I figure it: Invasive plants require a lot of time and energy and attentiveness. A trained eye and some basic knowledge are helpful as well. Many people are either unable to take on the work of maintaining their property, or they go after the undesired invasives once and the experience completely discourages them. Understand that when I talk about maintaining a property, I am referring to the entire landscape: the edges, the swampy sections, the old dumping ground, the overgrown garage, etc. It’s not enough simply to mow the lawn if you want to be rid of the invader entirely.
So my thought is to offer people a plan that sees them through that incredibly difficult Year Two. Longer growing seasons and climate change are admittedly x-factors in the treatment of exotic plants, but I feel that most landowners can ably finish off a non-native invader if they can just get over that initial hump. Eradication does take years, and should be followed by more years of monitoring (ideally the idea of monitoring your land should become an annual practice, once in the spring and once in the fall). Isn’t stewardship really about a care-taking presence? Performed by those who have a deep connection to the particular parcel of land or even the larger watershed?
So when the treatment work gets down to the final years of control, when things are somewhat “easier”, I am perfectly open to the idea of handing off the responsibilities. Children or neighbors or service organizations can take on the work, or at least parts of it. Why pay me? The great reward here is that the work builds a connection to the landscape and puts a real value on stewardship. This is why I am absolutely willing to share all I know and train all who are interested in the manual / mechanical techniques. I bring to my work a trained eye, years of experience, a sensitivity to the needs of the site, and a relentless passion for the task. Make no mistake – there are some real dangers involved, but with a couple of good conversations on the treatement site, there is no reason why most people cannot take on a larger role in controlling invasives. And if something comes up, you’ll know where to go for help.