space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From My Window
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Menominee/Marinette Both Drop Games in Tough Week of Play
* Menominee Defeats Gladstone for First Win of Season
* Coleman Sweeps Lena C.C. Invitational
* Peshtigo Routs Stockbridge to Hold Second Place Spot
* Oconto Drops Match/Packerland Lead to Southern Door

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
10-10-2019Front Page
Fire Prevention Week Celebrated Oct. 6-12

10-10-2019Front Page
Bay Lakes To Re-Do County's Economic Development Plan

10-10-2019Front Page
Remembering The Peshtigo Fire, 1871

10-10-2019Front Page
Lena School District Voters Approve Budget

10-10-2019Front Page
Woman Arrested for Drugs in Oconto Falls

10-10-2019Sports
Menominee/Marinette Both Drop Games in Tough Week of Play

10-10-2019Sports
Menominee Defeats Gladstone for First Win of Season

10-10-2019Sports
Coleman Sweeps Lena C.C. Invitational

10-10-2019Sports
Peshtigo Routs Stockbridge to Hold Second Place Spot

10-10-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Wolverines Boosters Report Treasurer Stole $20,000

10-10-2019Community - Wausaukee
Harvest Supper in Wausaukee Oct. 19

10-10-2019Community - Wausaukee
Piano Dedication at Wausaukee Church

10-10-2019Community - Wausaukee
Bond Center Family Night

10-10-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Collecting Can Tabs For McDonald House

10-10-2019Community - Crivitz
Coast to Coast Rosary Oct. 13

10-10-2019Community - Crivitz
18 at Even Monday Cards

10-10-2019Community - Crivitz
CAWC To Meet at Bobbi J's Oct. 17

10-10-2019Community - Coleman
Rolling Stones Tribute at Equity Hall, Pound

10-10-2019Community - Coleman
Beaver Church Booyah Lunch, Bucket Raffle

10-10-2019Community - Coleman
Fall Feather, Fur Swap in Oconto

10-10-2019Community - Coleman
Maple Valley Insurance Couple Earn Distinguished Service Award

10-10-2019Perspectives
From My Window

10-10-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-10-2019Obituaries
Marvin M. Brickner

10-10-2019Obituaries
Jeanette L. Klose

10-10-2019Obituaries
Gale J. Knowlton

10-10-2019Obituaries
Joseph Kowalski

10-10-2019Obituaries
Marcia Murphy

10-10-2019Obituaries
Roberta J. Nerat

10-10-2019Obituaries
Richard R Lardinois

10-10-2019Obituaries
Michael J. Schneider

10-10-2019Obituaries
Barbara L. Seifert

10-10-2019Obituaries
Lorraine B. Shepherd

10-10-2019Obituaries
Joseph E. Tatar

10-10-2019Obituaries
Dawn M. Wagner

10-03-2019Front Page
Marinette Fire Destroys Storage Building, Contents

10-03-2019Front Page
Peshtigo Council Hires New Parks And Recreation Director

10-03-2019Front Page
Police Chief Richard Badgley To Be Honored In Madison

10-03-2019Front Page
ETZ Zoning Restrictions Aired Again By Stephenson, Crivitz

10-03-2019Front Page
Dick McFarlane Retires After 37 Years as Rural Mail Carrier

10-03-2019Front Page
31st Annual Historical Day is Amazing Success

10-03-2019Community - Wausaukee
Smoked Brisket Dinner Oct. 5

10-03-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Church Fundraiser Oct. 5

10-03-2019Community - Wausaukee
Piano Dedication at Wausaukee Church

10-03-2019Community - Wausaukee
Harvest Supper in Wausaukee Oct. 19

10-03-2019Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Board Sets Record Request Policy

10-03-2019Community - Crivitz
Winners in CBA Raffles on Sept. 28

10-03-2019Community - Crivitz
Wroblewski Promoted to Senior Management Team

10-03-2019Community - Crivitz
Get Membership Awards at State Convention

10-03-2019Community - Coleman
Oconto County Youth Fair Annual Meeting

10-03-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board To View Budget Oct. 7

10-03-2019Community - Coleman
Benefit for Alivia Schulte Nov. 3rd

10-03-2019Community - Coleman
Lena Features TV "Cooking Mom"

10-03-2019Sports
Oconto Drops Match/Packerland Lead to Southern Door

10-03-2019Sports
Strong Week For Area Gridiron Squads

10-03-2019Sports
Woller/Kitzinger Are Weeks Top Area Runners

10-03-2019Sports
Win Moves Bulldogs Into 2nd Place In Packerland

10-03-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

10-03-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-03-2019Perspectives
From My Window

10-03-2019Obituaries
Alberta L. Barker

10-03-2019Obituaries
Julia B. Behrend

10-03-2019Obituaries
Doris Borkowski

10-03-2019Obituaries
Marlene A. Bournonville

10-03-2019Obituaries
Karen J. Breed

10-03-2019Obituaries
Bradley D. Gerbers

10-03-2019Obituaries
Patricia A. Hanson

10-03-2019Obituaries
Peter E. Hendricks Sr.

10-03-2019Obituaries
Donald M. Huempfner

10-03-2019Obituaries
Stella Jaworski

10-03-2019Obituaries
Alice V. Klitzke

10-03-2019Obituaries
Glenn A. Lemsky

10-03-2019Obituaries
Harold C. McKenney

10-03-2019Obituaries
James R Perreault

10-03-2019Obituaries
Cleo B. Smith

10-03-2019Obituaries
Diane A. Smith

10-03-2019Obituaries
Randall D. Swanson

10-03-2019Obituaries
Vivian (Sager) Tolzman

10-03-2019Obituaries
Kaylin M. Wendt

10-03-2019Obituaries
Orvis Zimmerman

09-26-2019Front Page
Marinette County Drug Court Celebrates Five Year Mark

09-26-2019Front Page
Co. Zoning Denies Fence Variance, DNR & DOT Ok.

09-26-2019Front Page
Former Teacher Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault

09-26-2019Front Page
Paula Bergold Charged With Concealing Mothers Death

09-26-2019Front Page
Lena Lions Honored As "Friends of Education"

09-26-2019Community - Wausaukee
Town Pembine Discusses Legion Park Play Area

09-26-2019Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Board Okays New State MLS Grant

09-26-2019Community - Wausaukee
Thank a Vet Light a Light Nov. 11

09-26-2019Community - Wausaukee
Kids Club Offered at Wausaukee Church

09-26-2019Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Society Meeting

09-26-2019Community - Crivitz
Town ETZ Committee To Meet On Sept. 30

09-26-2019Community - Crivitz
Farewell for Religious Ed Coordinator Oct. 13

09-26-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Man Takes Command Post

09-26-2019Community - Coleman
Ralph Seewald Given Century Farm Award

09-26-2019Community - Coleman
$50,000 Cash Bond Set on Meth Charge

09-26-2019Community - Coleman
Farewell to a Special Bridge

09-26-2019Community - Coleman
Three Meth Sellers Get Time In Federal Prison

09-26-2019Sports
Coleman Blasts Crivitz For MONLPC-Small Lead

09-26-2019Sports
Crivitz Defeats Gillett to Strengthen M&O Lead

09-26-2019Sports
Maroon Boys/Girls Claim Silver at Border Battle

09-26-2019Sports
Bulldogs Go 2-0-1 in Busy Week of Play

09-26-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

09-26-2019Perspectives
From My Window

09-26-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-26-2019Obituaries
John F. Arnold

09-26-2019Obituaries
Loretta Berg

09-26-2019Obituaries
Kathleen C. Deschaine

09-26-2019Obituaries
Virginia H. Dionne

09-26-2019Obituaries
Gerald L. Doberstein

09-26-2019Obituaries
Harvey C. Gardebrecht

09-26-2019Obituaries
Robert J. Gannon

09-26-2019Obituaries
Eugene Hoffman

09-26-2019Obituaries
Donald T. Hruska

09-26-2019
Donald T. Hruska

09-26-2019Obituaries
Robert W. Kahl

09-26-2019Obituaries
Curtis G. Larsen

09-26-2019Obituaries
Nancy J. Molignoni

09-26-2019Obituaries
Joseph Mosur

09-26-2019Obituaries
Gary O. Smith

09-26-2019Obituaries
Barry Schubring

09-26-2019Obituaries
Earl W. Ten Pas

09-19-2019Front Page
Ellen LaMarche, Cuts Ribbon At New Coleman Tower Park

09-19-2019Front Page
Speakers Assured No Cuts Pending for Library Funds

09-19-2019Front Page
Cedar Corp To Give Breakdown On Water

09-19-2019Front Page
Wagner Considers Letter to Michigan Town of Lake On Back 40 Mine Issues

09-19-2019Front Page
PFOS Again Issue At Water Sewer Meeting

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Pembine Firemen to Give Presentations to Students

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Speed Limit, ATV Use Discussed by Town Amberg

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Town Garbage Pickup Starts Sept. 26

09-19-2019Community - Wausaukee
Beecher Children's Christmas Party Dec. 14

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
Town of Stephenson Names Rogers To ETZ Committee

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Harvest Fest Proceeds to Scholarships

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam at Crivitz

09-19-2019Community - Crivitz
17 at Even Monday Cards

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
CHS 1969 Class Holds Reunion

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
Machickanee Cast Set for October Comedy

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
Lena School Enrollment Increases by 35 Students

09-19-2019Community - Coleman
Suring School Annual Meeting Set for Oct. 28

09-19-2019Sports
Marinette Sports Hall Of Fame 2019

09-19-2019Sports
Cougars Crushes Eagles for MONLPC-Small Lead

09-19-2019Sports
Wolverines Hold Early M&O Conference Lead

09-19-2019Sports
Tigers Take Home D3 Team Titles at Shawano

09-19-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

09-19-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-19-2019Perspectives
From My Window

09-19-2019Obituaries
Kathy L. Axtell

09-19-2019Obituaries
Hilma E. Backman

09-19-2019Obituaries
Beatrice Baldwin-Baird

09-19-2019Obituaries
Betty M Bereza

09-19-2019Obituaries
Arnold DeLaurelle


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should Marinette County put a green roof on the old jail?
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
© 2000-2019
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites