ecology nature culture science philosophy
I intentionally cultivate what most people call "weeds" (actually pioneer species) in my garden, and was able to stymie the efforts of my neighbors to give me legal trouble (they actually called the cops on me because I won't have a nice, empty, expensive and destructive lawn like them) by establishing that "weed" is a subjective term that means "any plant you don't like". The "you", in this case, refers to the property owner, and I like all my plants, because they all fit into the scene ecologically. Therefore any dislike of my plants on the part of neighbors is their problem. In any case, many nondomestic (well, I suppose they're domestic at my house) pioneer species are actually nutritious vegetables, many of them quite tasty, and they cost nothing, which is the chief complaint against them in our society and the main reason why agribusiness companies instigate entire social movements to eradicate "noxious" or "invasive" species. The campaign to wipe out "non-native" species developed top-down (from Monsanto to you and me, so we would buy herbicides), not because people wanted to be the Rush Limbaughs of horticulture and treat blackberries like illegal immigrants. As I've said in my blog, quoting Bill Mollison, we are in a position now where we have to organize recombinant ecologies just so we will be able to survive in a few generations, as there just aren't the "native" (what does that even mean?) species left to support humans almost anywhere on the planet and fossil-fueled food transportation will not last forever.
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