The Weed Commissioner

| 11/11/2013 8:34:00 AM

Dear reader, If you have been following the story of our farm, you may be thinking,”Why did they buy such a mess?” It is true that we knew the buildings were in bad shape, and we knew about most of the junk. Then, something nasty happened to us that we didn’t deserve and weren’t prepared for. Something I want to tell you about. 

Although our farm has been in drought condition the last couple years, we had plenty of rain that first year. In fact, we had so much, every time we came, we spent the first few hours mowing what we just mowed the weekend before. We only had an old lawn mower, and we started our mowing in the house yard, and worked our way outwards, always needing to check and pick up junk ahead of the mower when claiming a new area. 

We never had time to venture very far, and before we knew it, the whole place was very thick with tall weeds. Larry started noticing thistles along the edges, cut a few, and brought them back in a wheel barrel for me to see. It was only springtime and they were already like tall, skinny bushes.


Quote: “Even the richest soil, if left uncultivated will produce the rankest weeds.” Leonardo da Vinci

One day, the weed commissioner called us at our city home. He was pleasant, but his message was that we needed to take care of the thistles as they are a noxious weed, or we would be fined. Furthermore, if we didn’t, he would need to send someone out to take care of them for us and we would also be charged for that.  

11/21/2013 9:36:44 PM

Thanks for chatting back, Dave and Pamela! Good to hear from you. Dave, I've heard of goats cleaning up the place, but not sheep! Pamela, yes, I guess we all have our problems. I mentioned to Larry that after writing a few stories, it seemed like all we had were problems, but I guess the many benefits kept us from being deterred. Either that or we are just stubborn! We'll all hang in there together, OK?!

Pamela Tinnin
11/14/2013 9:07:59 AM

Mary, I've really enjoyed reading about your trials and tribulations very similar to some of ours. You have weed control authorities - we're too remote for that thank goodness. However, we do a lot of weed whacking for fire control. We live in an area where there is high fire danger especially during a drought year like this one, Northern California on oak woodlands which is dry all summer and into fall until first rains. One of our biggest challenges is living a mile up a shared private dirt road, meaning four other places, one of which has a 56-acre vineyard that means semi trucks/trailers during grape harvest. Then when it comes time for annual maintenance, it's hard to get people to agree as to what needs to be done or to pay their fair share. Oh, well, these are part of country living! Keep writing - I like to read other people's country experiences.

11/13/2013 4:51:23 PM

Mary, Canadian thistles. Oh boy they are tough to overcome without chemicals. My Dad solved the problem by purchasing a herd of sheep. He said they will go crazy over thistles. It's just like candy to them. When he first turned them out in the pasture, even he was surprised that was the first thing the gobbled up. Of course your field of thistle is terribly out of control. The unfortunate thing about thistle is that it can spread from the roots as well as the seed. It's a nasty weed but as you say it does have beautiful purple flower. It's unfortunate that you inherited such a mess. It would be difficult to find some one to agree to mow down the thistles because of the fear of bringing seeds to the next place they mow down. Good luck on your thistle control. ***** Have a great farm cleanup day.

Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me