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Bye to my Weed Bed

    Sad news: April 2005 was my 24th and last April as volunteer keeper of the weed i.d. bed at Seattle Tilth's demonstration garden in the Wallingford neighborhood. Why the last? A major disagreement.
    2005 was the 2nd year in a row at Tilth, that Garlic Mustard, a flavorful woodland weed declared "noxious," was pulled from my weed bed in unquestioning adherence to a directive of a low-level King County government functionary. This, after I twice made my case to Tilth and stated my intention. I concluded that the Tilth staff involved had no backbone to stand up for principles of common sense and education. Kneejerk obeying the letter rather than the spirit of law, disregarding the value of a labeled weed i.d. garden voluntarily maintained for 24 years by an expert, signified plainly that "penny-wise, pound foolish" incompetence ruled. So, I grew mad, lost patience, took my leave, and hereafter the Tilth staff may do anything desired with the weed bed. (Its brick border is all that remains.)
    The U.W. Medicinal Herb Garden, Tilth's Garden, the Washington Park Arboretum --and the like-- are valuable educational resources. It is vastly better to label Garlic Mustard (and others) as "noxious," while not letting them spread there, than to blindly censor them. Thousands of Garlic mustards grow in Seattle. Having one or a few in the weed bed, is not a problem --it is an asset.
    More people should stick up for, and protest for common sense and so on, rather than silently give in to wrongness. Indignation may raise the blood pressure frightfully in the short run, but its long term result can be sleeping calmly at night. I have friends who similarly walked away from years of volunteering, or quit lucrative jobs where questions of ethics demanded a clear choice.
    Let us hope for a good resolution: may whatever course is selected as the future of the weed bed site, prove educational, attractive, valued and cared for. And may I find a worthy volunteer cause for the next 24 years. (Nothing comparable has emerged thus far . . .)

(originally published in my July 15th 2005 newsletter.)

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Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert

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