Many of you will remember my letters from last year, warning of the dangers hoary allysum has for horse’s health. They are many, and they are serious when ingested either in hay or in the pasture. Our roadsides are covered with it — the mowing has done a tremendous job of spreading the weed seeds.
What’s to be done? Do we just watch as it becomes our toxic version of knapweed? What is the matter with you people? No one likes excessive chemical use in our environment, yet, if we don’t get a handle on this, strong chemical use will be the only viable solution.
How about forming a new, and very useful association — "Hoeing the Hoary for Horses." 3-H, instead of 4-H. Here’s a job opportunity for anyone looking for work. Get a shirt, get a cap, get a hoe at a yard sale, some pamphlets describing the weed, and plastic bags at the dollar store. Small investment for a big business opportunity. Knock on some doors where hoary alyssum is present on the roadsides, and offer to rid their property of the scourge for a fee. Maybe people have more money than time, since they aren’t hoeing themselves.
If you don’t want to pay a 3-H worker for this job, then pull your head out of the dark place, and do it yourself. This weed spread is going kill horses, drive up the price of hay, increase our chemical exposure and have a negative impact on our economy. Quit sitting on your butt watching it take over and do something. If everyone took care of weeds on their property, and the adjoining roadsides, this could be stopped in its tracks. It would have been easier 10 years ago, when I first sounded the alarm, but it is still not impossible to control it.
Now is the time to do it, before it has developed 2500 seeds — seeds which are viable for nine years. Hoe it, bag it and dispose of it. Do not ignore it until it has formed its seeds, and the county mower sows it over more valley roadsides.
Join up now! No dues, no meetings, no discrimination, as all are welcome to participate. Become a proud member of the 3-H. Hoe a weed, Save a horse.
— Jane Lambert, founder, supporter of 3-H, Stevensville