space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Wolverine Baseball Team Sweeps Weekend Tourney
* MHSAA Approves Phased-In Competition for Fall Sports
* Masters Walleye Circuit Visits Marinette Aug. 7-8
* Menominee Takes U.P. Baseball Championship
* Mondeik Rules Late Model Action at Norway Speedway

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: September 5, 2019

Janie Thibodeau Martin

Strangling Seattle



I love berries " cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, you name it. I am never so pleased with myself as I am when I find some new source of berries " and if it is a wild, uncultivated source, I am especially happy, like I imagine a hunter feels when he kills a big buck. So I snapped to attention when I noticed what looked like blackberry bushes, loaded with ripe berries, alongside the highway Mike and I were driving from Vancouver, B.C. to Seattle. We weren't really in a position to stop on a busy four-lane with our camping trailer. However, as we drew nearer to Seattle I saw more and more heavily-laden bushes (and commented each and every time, with Mike no doubt rolling his eyes,) I got excited thinking I'd be able to find a place to glean berries.

Sure enough, our campground within the city of Seattle was surrounded by a chain link fence being smothered by blackberry bushes which extended back into the brush as far as I could see. The ground under the fence was covered with over-ripe fallen berries. I immediately picked a quart of perfect berries and made blackberry sauce for shortcake. While I picked, I looked around the crowded campground and wondered why no one else was taking advantage of this bonanza.

Turns out, people in western Washington State have a love/hate relationship with their riotous blackberries; mostly hate and a month or two of some enjoying blackberries.

Turns out this plant had some help from someone besides Mother Nature. A man named Luther Burbank, a man considered eccentric and without formal training, who set out to breed new kinds of plants.

Among his creations were the Shasta daisy, beloved by gardeners; and the Burbank potato, which later begat the Russet Burbank " still the most widely grown potato in the U.S. But he had another idea, for a thornless blackberry. He traded seeds with people all around the globe, and in a package of seed from India (or possibly Armenia,) he found a blackberry which produced fruit that was large and sweet, plus it was incredibly prolific. So even though it still had thorns (and some mighty wicked ones, I can testify,) he offered seeds for "Himalayan Blackberries" to those who lived in mild climates, since it is not winter-hardy.

It was wildly popular, but the plants were unwilling to stay in their cultivated, desired locations. Birds spread the seeds far and wide, and the plants have spread like wildfire in the kind climate of the Pacific Northwest.

This "Himalayan blackberry" erodes soil and crowds out both native plants and some animals who cannot contend with its thorns. Frustrated property owners burn it, poison it, and hack it from the ground in usually unsuccessful attempts to eradicate it. It grows in wet and dry soils, in the deep woods and in full sun. The seeds live in the ground for years and the plants are able to spread by not only seeds; when the blackberry canes touch the ground, they can root themselves and turn into new plants. One source I saw said a single plant can spread 40 feet in one year.

Nearly every highway ditch and shoulder is covered with four foot high mats of blackberries. Impenetrable thickets line hillsides, climb up fences and buildings and overrun parks. While I was picking berries behind the dog park at the campground, I found a lovely blue plum on the ground. Looking up, I realized the berries I was picking were climbing and strangling out a mature plum tree. (It was covered with beautiful plums and yes, I managed to get a dozen of them by climbing part way up the tree, cursing the blackberry thorns that snagged my pants and scratched my arms.) There is no doubt in my mind that the plum tree, already obscured by blackberry canes half of its height, will eventually be killed by them.

When we toured a beautiful Japanese Garden there, I marveled at the layers of unusual flowers, shrubs and trees on its hillsides but then I began to notice the canes, just one here or there " but no doubt the blackberries were continually trying to establish a beachhead in the garden, and without the constant efforts of park workers and volunteers, they would soon destroy it.

Himalayan blackberries are delicious, but they are an invasive pest in Seattle. And prevailing wisdom is there is nothing that can be done to control or contain their ongoing spread until they hit a barrier created by winter weather. Think of it as Seattle's version of Kudzu, the green plant swallowing the south.

I was surprised during a visit to a Seattle grocery store when I noticed blackberries for sale. They were in half-pint plastic containers " big, beautiful berries like I'd been picking for free. They are so large each container only held a dozen or so. The price? $5 for two half-pints. So I was happy heading home with a big container of blackberry sauce in the trailer freezer.

I bet a whole lot of people wish Luther Burbank really had bred a thornless version of his blackberry before he started selling seeds for the berries which are now swallowing Seattle. Count me among them.



You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
08-05-2020Front Page
Large Turnout Republican Party New Headquarters

08-05-2020Front Page
By Split Vote Coleman Board Rules Blended Leaning For Grades 6-12

08-05-2020Front Page
Few Contests On Aug. 11 Primary Election Ballots

08-05-2020Front Page
Peshtigo School District List Plans for Reopening

08-05-2020Front Page
Marinette Council Hears Menekaunee Water Issues

08-05-2020Community - Coleman
"Voice of the Green Bay Packers" Wayne Larrivee part of PDPW Dairy Fest Line-up

08-05-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility To Meet Aug. 10

08-05-2020Community - Coleman
Lena Lions Dairy Fest is Cancelled

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
CAWC Back to School Supply Giveaway Aug. 19-20

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Business Association Persons of the Year for 2019

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Homeschooler Group Formed in Crivitz

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Twin Bridge Rescue Receives $7000 Grant

08-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
Old Fashioned Farmers Market in Wausaukee

08-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive New Location

08-05-2020Obituaries
Russell John Breitenbach Jr.

08-05-2020Obituaries
Douglas R. Dahl 

08-05-2020Obituaries
Roland B. De Rosier

08-05-2020Obituaries
Arline A. Ditch

08-05-2020Obituaries
Robert A. Filler

08-05-2020Obituaries
Stephen K. Gustafson

08-05-2020Obituaries
Gary A. Holzbauer

08-05-2020Obituaries
Herman J. Homan

08-05-2020Obituaries
Gerald F. Jandt

08-05-2020Obituaries
Karan M. Johnston

08-05-2020Obituaries
Linda L. Lazarski

08-05-2020Obituaries
Dr. Hilding L. Linderoth

08-05-2020Obituaries
James M. Lukas

08-05-2020Obituaries
Terri L. McVane

08-05-2020Obituaries
James Mondloch

08-05-2020Obituaries
Donald A. Phillips 

08-05-2020Obituaries
Gary A. Pabelick

08-05-2020Obituaries
Roseann Roberts

08-05-2020Obituaries
Harry Tomaszewski

08-05-2020Obituaries
Patricia A. Walker

08-05-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-05-2020Perspectives
From My Window

08-05-2020Perspectives
From our readers

08-05-2020Sports
Wolverine Baseball Team Sweeps Weekend Tourney

08-05-2020Sports
MHSAA Approves Phased-In Competition for Fall Sports

08-05-2020Sports
Masters Walleye Circuit Visits Marinette Aug. 7-8

07-29-2020Front Page
Jane Kopish Sequin Sworn In As New Circuit Court Judge

07-29-2020Front Page
Supervisors May Consider County Mask Ordinance

07-29-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Council to Meet Aug. 4 At Drees Center

07-29-2020Front Page
JCI/Tyco Issues Response to DNR

07-29-2020Front Page
JCI/Tyco Issues Response to DNR

07-29-2020Front Page
Judge David Miron Will End 37-Year Legal Career July 31

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Board To Meet Aug. 3

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Fire Dept. Raffle Winners Listed

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Library Board To Meet Aug. 10

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Postpone Pound Woman's Club 100 Year Celebration

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
American Legion Member Open House Cookout

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
CAWC Back to School Give Away Aug. 19, 20

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Sets Reopening Plan

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
Legion Post 476 Cancels Meeting

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Enterprises Receives $6,000 Grant

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Garbage Hauler Wants Trash Out By 6 a.m.

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Old Fashioned Farmers Market in Wausaukee

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire Department Hosts Booyah Sale Aug. 8

07-29-2020Obituaries
Mary B. Anderson

07-29-2020Obituaries
Katherine Beyer

07-29-2020Obituaries
Clayton B. Cassidy

07-29-2020Obituaries
Johnathon D. Chilcote

07-29-2020Obituaries
Marie C. Dirtzu

07-29-2020Obituaries
Allen W. Durow Sr.

07-29-2020Obituaries
Marlene A. Krejcarek

07-29-2020Obituaries
Elaine R. Kostreva

07-29-2020Obituaries
Corinne G. Linsmeyer

07-29-2020Obituaries
Bonnie McCoy

07-29-2020Obituaries
Darrien M. Mechalson

07-29-2020Obituaries
Ronald D. Mott

07-29-2020Obituaries
Robert F. Newell

07-29-2020Obituaries
Sandra A. Saunier

07-29-2020Obituaries
Sandra A. Steiner

07-29-2020Obituaries
Peggy G. Weber

07-29-2020
Country Cousin

07-29-2020Perspectives
From My Window

07-29-2020Perspectives
From our readers

07-29-2020Sports
Menominee Takes U.P. Baseball Championship

07-29-2020Sports
Mondeik Rules Late Model Action at Norway Speedway

07-29-2020Sports
Masters Walleye Circuit Visits Marinette Aug. 7-8

07-22-2020Front Page
Storm Damage

07-22-2020Front Page
Marinette School Board Okays $30.9 Referendum In November

07-22-2020Front Page
Peshtigo City Hall Now Closed Due to COVID-19

07-22-2020Front Page
BPM, City Near Agreement On River Crossing Issues

07-22-2020Front Page
County Board To Meet July 28th

07-22-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman 50th Reunion Nov. 7th Is Canceled

07-22-2020Community - Crivitz
LNRB Meet July 29th

07-22-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Class of 2020 Graduation July 25th

07-22-2020Community - Crivitz
ALA In the Know Committee Cancelled Due to Covid-19

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee 60th Reunion Aug. 7th

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
WCA Cancels 12th Annual Fall Festival

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
Town Athelstane Takes Down Hills for Safety

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire & Rescue Booyah Sale Aug. 8

07-22-2020Obituaries
Irene L. Anderson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Constance G. Armbrust

07-22-2020Obituaries
Douglas R. Bablitch

07-22-2020Obituaries
Donna M. Baldwin

07-22-2020Obituaries
Marion E. Bergstrom

07-22-2020Obituaries
Rudolph Burie

07-22-2020Obituaries
Rachelle L. Carlson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Clyde Chiesa

07-22-2020Obituaries
William H. Draeger, Jr.

07-22-2020Obituaries
Kenneth W. Fischer

07-22-2020Obituaries
Roger L. Gratto

07-22-2020Obituaries
Bernice M. Harper 

07-22-2020Obituaries
Susan L. Huhn

07-22-2020Obituaries
Amber N. Ikkala

07-22-2020Obituaries
Gerald F. Johnson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Linda A. Martch

07-22-2020Obituaries
John R. Menza

07-22-2020Obituaries
Avis A. Nelson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Pauline E. Nelson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Brett M. Pearson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Arlene R. Stankevich

07-22-2020Obituaries
Rev. Joseph Stanley

07-22-2020Obituaries
Scott A. Selby

07-22-2020Obituaries
Clyde J. Thoune

07-22-2020Obituaries
Marie A. Tuschy

07-22-2020Obituaries
Gunsten K. Versland

07-22-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-22-2020Perspectives
From My Window

07-22-2020Perspectives
From our readers

07-22-2020Sports
UW Study Shows Impact of Shut Down on High School Athletes

07-22-2020
Michigan High Schools Set to Play Fall Sports

07-22-2020Sports
Vulcan's Kelly Wins Norway Speedway Late Model Main

07-22-2020Sports
Wolverines Face Off With Rangers For Baseball Win

07-15-2020Front Page
Battle Fire

07-15-2020Front Page
Rob Wenzel Will Be New Middle Inlet Fire Chief

07-15-2020Front Page
Pound Village Board Hears Audit Update

07-15-2020Front Page
Peshtigo School Board Hears Plans For New School Year

07-15-2020Front Page
Coleman School To Air Plans For Re-Opening

07-15-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman High School Graduation held July 11

07-15-2020Community - Coleman
Fire In Pound Destroys Homontowski Home

07-15-2020Community - Coleman
Lena Classes Cancel Reunion

07-15-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz "Art in the Park" on Aug. 8th

07-15-2020Community - Crivitz
CBA Rummage Sale is Aug. 6-8

07-15-2020Community - Wausaukee
Senior Scholarships Off To Good Start

07-15-2020Community - Wausaukee
Cancel Fundraiser for Fire Dept. and Rescue Squad

07-15-2020Obituaries
Linda L. Anderson

07-15-2020Obituaries
Joseph R. Bauer

07-15-2020Obituaries
Donna M. Bunnel

07-15-2020Obituaries
Alice D. Combe

07-15-2020Obituaries
Lloyd R. Cook

07-15-2020Obituaries
Daphne Denby

07-15-2020Obituaries
William C. Ebert

07-15-2020Obituaries
James England

07-15-2020Obituaries
Elaine M. Klatt

07-15-2020Obituaries
Douglas A. Kurek

07-15-2020Obituaries
Helen L. Lauer

07-15-2020Obituaries
Robert Liberty


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think schools should allow all students to return 5 days a week?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2020
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites