I started my stay at Songaia just in time for the annual Festival of the Earth. After a long celebration day, and a dance around the Maypole, the real work started.
In two weeks I have had a chance to work in the garden a lot, but as time has progressed, I have found my true passion: the destruction of our notorious bindweed. My first introduction to the stuff was about five minutes after I arrived – I made my way down into the garden and was greeted by Gabriel, one of the other interns. He pulled up a handful of bindweed and told me that I’d become familiar with the stuff.
I don’t think we were even trying to weed at the time – but its nefarious roots make their way all throughout the soil and it pops up just about everywhere. Now I find myself with handfuls of the stuff while I’m working on “finessing” the irrigation system, or planting tomatoes, or shoveling mulch. It seems to be the mark of many of the “Biogaians” to find oneself plucking idly at the bindweed during a break, or even whilst more intently working on something else.
In theory, there should be a low maintenance way for the garden to actively fight against an intruder like bindweed. Unfortunately, the stuff seems to be ridiculously hardy and productive. The other day I helped clear the rabbit fence on the south side of the garden and found it had tied up and out-competed Himalayan Blackberry, some hardy grasses, a ridiculous amount of Buttercups, and even some of itself. Everything was wrapped in its tentacles, sometimes it even would span several feet to reach another plant, and other tendrils would wrap around it until there was a green cord of woven strands.
The longer I stay here, I know I’ll get to work on all sorts of interesting projects, but I also know that the future definitely holds a large amount of bindweed too.
Halfway Through May: The Struggle Against Bindweed - By Evan Lewarch, Summer Intern 2015
Garden bloggers are community members, volunteers and interns at Songaia.