Garlic Mustard Musings
Garlic mustard was introduced from Europe in the 1800's as a culinary herb. It quickly escaped cultivation and invaded our woodlands. Garlic mustard rapidly outcompetes native vegetation and due to its high seed production rate can establish quickly in both sunny and shady spots. Although edible by people, there are no local insects or animals that can tolerate the pungent taste.Garlic mustard is also allelopathic, producing chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants and mychorrizal fungi. Volunteers diligently scour Busse Woods in the spring and early summer hand pulling garlic mustard before seeds fall. They tromp through poison ivy and mosquitoes while toting heavy garbage bags full of the noxious weed. But they also make discoveries and find wildflowers blooming in a remote corner and migratory birds singing a mating song. It's also a time to talk and laugh with each other and develop new friendships. Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped this season, including high school students from Distict 214, Nielsen, and Citi as well as our intrepid regulars. Join us this Sunday, June 12 for our last pull of the season.
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