[permaculture] Major histocompatibility complex

Rick Valley bamboogrove at cmug.com
Sun Mar 23 14:10:05 EST 2003

> What we call weeds generally move into disturbed ecosystems: tilled or burned
> sites, clearings left by downed trees, and so on. Weeds (and almost all
> so-called invasive plants) have a tough time colonizing intact ecosystems.
> You'll see a few dandelions in old-growth forest, but far more in the clearcut
> next to it. Kudzu first colonized old farms, and then the carved-up forests.
Well, if we define weeds as plants that move into disturbed systems... and
of course we do find very few dandelions that move into old growth forest.
But I do see English Ivy in intact forest that isn't too carved up. (I don't
get into old growth much!) Also holly trees. Worn-out old farms were
precisely the places that the USDA encouraged people to plant Kudzu, so it
worked. 'Twasn't a weed at first, because the diversified farm was still a
reality. I figure the idea of "weed" has to include not being "wanted",
because I know plenty of people who plant dandelions and harvest them,
myself included, whereas I am extremely troubled by lawn grasses in some
circumstances. (in some other circumstances I profit by them)
I suppose you can say that lots of people don't want some other people, so
some people are weeds. We evidently need a good ID manual on this, because
it seemed some people had their buttons pushed by the least hint of
stereotypical ideas on which people might be weeds. We have seen numerous
failures by governments in deciding which people are weeds, but now we have
governments deciding which plants are weeds; I hope the disruption is less
than with deciding particular peoples are weeds. The best I can come up with
is MY definition of which plants are weeds:
The ones I decide are weeds ARE weeds.


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