[permaculture] Exotic Plant Erradication

Kirby Fry peace at totalaccess.net
Wed Aug 28 09:09:27 EDT 2002


>> Give me about a dozen examples of what a farmer would encounter.   Let's
talk about land management in terms of 0.5, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 120,
360, 720, and 1500 acre size farms, OK?  <<

What would a farmer encounter?  Well, let's first consider a principle of
scale that, the larger a farm is the less likely it will be sustainable and
the more likely it's pollution by-products will reach lethal concentrations
and go largely unused.  But specifically a farmer (in the U.S.A.) will

Many weeds and woody plants coming up behind his plow which he would surely
feel compelled to spray with round-up or 2-4-d.  Critters attacking his
crops and endless efforts to eradicate such critters.  The loss of nearly
all soil nutrients and minerals.  An increasing dependency on genetically
modified crops, the latest super hormones and deviously clever chemical
cocktails.  New and intriguing outbreaks of BSE (mad cow disease) and hoof
and mouth disease.  Fertilizers destroying the soil microbes, collapsing his
soils and causing algael blooms in local water ways.  Manure lagoons that
the neighbors despise and the state never quite gets around to noticing.
Freezing peaches towards the end of summer.  Overspraying pesticides and
defoliants so that the once wildlife rich margins of his property won't even
support a single tree.  The loss of all of his topsoil and organic matter.
Subsidies that encourage him to produce a commodity in an already flooded

What are you getting at, Steve, that Farmers have too many obstacles in
their way to allow exotic plants to flourish?  Or that permaculture ethics
should be waved for anyone in a commercial venture?

At the very least we need to treat exotics like pollution and consider them
to be an under-utilized resource.  At the best, we should be ecstatic that
something manages to survive and cover the soil inspite all of our best
efforts to denude the planet.

Kirby Fry

For the real scoop on environmental and social justice issues check out the
archives of Democracy Now!

More information about the permaculture mailing list