Home, invasion of garlic mustard, and Food Farms & Community conference

Stefan forwarded news of a new film released on YouTube which is worth a look. Home describes itself as

an ode to the planet’s beauty and its delicate harmony. Through the landscapes of 54 countries captured from above, Yann Arthus-Bertrand takes us on an unique journey all around the planet, to contemplate it and to understand it.

Meanwhile in my home landscape, it’s weed time. The latest scourge to reach us is garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), which as its name suggests, is a garlic-like member of the mustard family, and according to one source is

A winter herb used in salads and as a garlic or onion substitute for recipes. It is high in Vitamins A and C. Contains antiseptic properties and was used to clean wounds and abrasions.

But in one of those life lessons where you learn that food that’s good for you might not be good for everything, garlic mustard is otherwise a scourge and highly invasive, as well as toxic to other plants.

The ASLE session on invasive species that I attended raised some interesting discussion about the fine line between wanted and unwanted species, and how often it seems that the “invasive” label gets applied when human economics are jeopardized. And how often humans have created the problem through some idea that they can control nature by introducing one life form to take out another.

How I wish I could drop everything and jet off to Vermont next week, to take in the Food, Farms, and Community: Rural America’s Local Food Renaissance conference at Sterling College’s Rural Heritage Institute.

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