By Kathleen Bean
Summertime means long sunny days and that means WEEDS! Because we operate on over 70,000 acres of organic rangeland, we spend a lot of time hand-pulling weeds or using our favorite tool, the Pulaski, to dig them out by the roots.
Our field staff puts in countless hours in the summer going after weeds, often in pretty remote locations. Field Tech Ben Stout says he now scans the edges of paths for weeds when he’s running or hiking, and sees them when he closes his eyes at night. But once in awhile we make a party of it, as we did on this day when we attacked knapweed at Lava Lake Main Ranch. Spotted knapweed is a very invasive weed that was introduced from Europe in the 19th century. In addition to crowding out natives, it actually produces a toxin that kills other plants in close proximity. It’s at the top of our hit list for weeds on the ranch and our grazing allotments.
Knowing that we’ve kept the worst of the weeds from going to seed makes for a satisfying day of hard work.