We had the Noxious Weeds Man around this week. He wasn’t especially noxious, or weedy.
The Noxious Weeds Man is a government inspector, with the power to force us to spray chemicals. As we’re using organic methods, that would be really disappointing.
When we bought the property three and a half years ago, it was overrun with a weed called Serrated Tussock. Left alone for another two years, it would have covered the place.
Our wonderful neighbour Shane ploughed the two worst fields and sowed them with oats, which eliminated 99% of those tussocks, and gave us lots of oats as well.
The remaining areas we’ve been clearing by hand. Basically, our wwoofers do an hour each day chipping out pasture weeds, except in bad weather. This would have to be the favourite wwoofer job 😉 Some have been more conscientious than others.
Our wwoofers in the past few months have been very good. We had particular problems in our field with the big swimming dam, and also down by the highway. (Not surprisingly, the furthest places from the Wwoof Cottage.)
Anyway, we have pretty well cleared all the property of these weeds, so all we have to worry about is 20 more years of germinating seeds lying in the ground, or blowing in from other properties.
The Noxious Weeds Man drove around the farm with me, and determined that Cockatrice Farm is “pretty clean”. He did find the odd plant, but just a few and probably better than our neighbours. He’ll leave us alone for three years now.
Many thanks to all those wwoofers and visitors who have helped us, over several years, to get on top of this problem.
The ones we’ve missed have now gone to seed (alas) and the grass is getting too high to find them. We’ll have another go next winter, and get even closer to being free of tussocks.