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Sun Nov 23, 2014, 10:53 AM

in defense of weeds.

(from my farm blog on fb. i am being harassed by the city of chicago. i will have a lot to say in this group.)

so, i have learned more than i wanted to know about the chicago "weed" ordinance. i deny that i am or was in violation of the ordinance.

as i understand it, one key provision is that weeds are "untended", and then gives a couple arbitrary heights, and says anything over 4' must be cut back in the winter. no specific species are mentioned, and it is up to the discretion of the hearing officer, who may or may not know anything about wildflowers or native food plants.
i deny that i am or was in violation of the ordinance.
yes, many native plants have sprung up on my farm. yes, i let a lot of them grow, thrive and even seed.
BUT, nothing is allowed to stay unless it serves a purpose.
i do weed my weeds.
i eat my weeds.
i feed my weeds to my critters.

so, if i can eat it, i let it grow. if it makes an edible seed, i let it grow.
if pollinators frequent it, i let it grow.
if birds eat the seeds, i let it grow.

we harvested 2 kinds of mustard for human use.
we harvested a couple bushels of amaranth.
green corp kids harvested 4 big burlap bags of poor mans pepper, and a large pile of lambs quarters. (which grow beyond the arbitrary height of 4')

my chickens have feasted on an armload of fresh weeds 3-4 times a week since spring. their favorites gets sorted out where they are out of place.
when something threatens a crop, i pull it out.

if it conserves the topsoil, i let it grow.
if it feeds the soil, i let it grow.
if i think it is pretty, i let it grow.
there are several recognized wildflowers on the farm. i let them grow.
if it is something that it is useless to fight, and the bees like it, i let it grow.

if it is invasive, i dont let it grow.
if it is in the wrong place, i dont let it grow.

if it is overgrown, i dont let it grow.

i have cleared a dozen nuisance trees.
i have cleared a huge wild grape for now, tho i have let it cover much of the rear of the lot. some sort of building will be put there in the near future, i hope.

that is if this stupid fight with the city doesnt bleed the building fund dry.

i know a lot of people dont see the beauty that i see on my farm. i feel sorry for them. they should visit more often. they should learn.
i am happy to teach them.

one more time- the native plants at moah's ark are not untended. they are food. how can food be a weed?



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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply in defense of weeds. (Original post)
mopinko Nov 2014 OP
MrMickeysMom Nov 2014 #1
blackcrow Feb 2015 #2
mopinko Feb 2015 #3
TexasBushwhacker May 2015 #4
mopinko May 2015 #5

Response to mopinko (Original post)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 10:47 PM

1. Maybe someone will allow library space for people to learn about weeds...

I agree… There is a balance, and you can make your yard eatable.

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Response to mopinko (Original post)

Mon Feb 2, 2015, 07:14 AM

2. how are things going?


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Response to blackcrow (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 2, 2015, 09:22 AM

3. grinding through the system.

have a theory that the real aim is to make me get rid of the chickens. the inspector, who knows nothing about poultry, thinks that using deep litter means that i am not cleaning up after my chickens and that it is unsanitary and a nuisance.
knowing that people dont do that voluntarily, or happily, they are trying to pile it high enough to break me. too bad for them.
continued till june on that one.
have 2 hearings this month, including 1st on the actual farm lot.
will probably continue that, just to play their game.
2nd hearing on the small case on the 2 flat. that i might just have to deal with.

have tons of evidence for them, tho. we made a book out of the fb page, which shows how much we have done. actually, made 2 versions because it wouldnt all fit in one book.
judge will get an earful. and an eyeful.

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Response to mopinko (Original post)

Sat May 16, 2015, 07:35 PM

4. I had friend with wildflowers in his front yard

They were pretty, lavendar spikes about 18 to 24 inches tall. He used letter stencils and spray paint and made a very professional looking wood sign. It said "State of Texas Wildflower Research". No one ever complained or told him to mow.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #4)

Sat May 16, 2015, 07:57 PM

5. ha.

moah's ark butterfly and bee sanctuary?
might work. the city used to give out little plaques to gardens that were "certified wildlife something something". tried to get the alderman to consider me for one, but no dice.
they might not do it any more, but. ..

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