I must regretfully announce that we are under siege here at the Rabbit house. No, it’s not the gangstas across the street. They’re moving out. I think the property manager decided to oust them after every upstanding citizen on the block called to chew her a new one. She probably figured it was easier to evict a pack of lowlifes than to face the wrath of a horde of suburbanites bearing pitchforks and minivans.
No, there’s a new enemy afoot. This bad guy is sneaky. Conniving. Aggressive. Destructive. And above all, persistent. The new invader threatens our very way of life, in fact.
See, we live a quiet life in tune with nature. I compost food waste and bunny poop. I grow my own vegetables. My farm accounts for easily 1/250 of our summer subsistence (the other 249/250 comes from peanut butter and pizza). But all of that could be lost. My garden could be decimated by that most vile transgressor- the blackberry.
(For the apartment-dwelling geek crowd, I am not referring to Personal Dung Assimilators, or whatever the heck PDA stands for.)
Brambles. Those twining, traveling vines of death. The cursed blackberry has established itself in my backyard. And a wily species it is. Much like the multi-headed snake that Odysseus slew, no matter how many vines I destroy they just come back again and again, stemming from root bases which can probably be traced to Osama Bin Laden or perhaps Saddam Hussein.
Yes, blackberries are the terrorists of the plant world. True, they make delicious fruit, but if they have their way (and they do, oh how they do) you eat blackberries and only blackberries, because they choke the life out of anything else you might try to grow. When the blackberries grow out of control (and it can happen in the blink of an eye), there are no succulent snap peas, no tender lettuce leaves, no sweet carrots poking hopefully orange out of the ground.
What to do? I am organically-inclined and do not want to spray herbicides of any kind near my crops.
“Roundup!” says Technogeek. “It’s perfectly safe!”
I don’t believe it. For one thing, Roundup is made by Monsanto, a company that has been described by some as the poster child for Corporate Evil.
Did you know that Monsanto has produced (and it is in widespread use) a “Roundup ready” soybean? It has been genetically engineered to be impervious to Roundup, and therefore, farmers can spray the stuff all over the soy crop to kill the weeds but leave the soy unscathed. Doesn’t that just give you the toxin-sweating heebie jeebies? All you folks drinking soy lattes- you’d be better off with organic cow milk. Seriously.
So no herbicides around my garden. Instead, I’ve been chopping vines and digging out roots wherever I find them. My weapons are the traditional ones. Spade. Hoe. Elbow grease. My enemy is mighty but I am, well, less mighty. The underdog. Root for me (as it were).
War is hell.