Monday, December 9, 2013

Harvesting Invasives

On Thanksgiving Day I stopped on a roadside not far from my home to collect phragmites (Phragmites australis subspecies australis). I collected one basket of stalks with which to make the pulp. It doesn't seem like much, but I should be able to get a few pieces of paper out of it. In any case, there is plenty more if I run out. I was careful when removing the seed heads, so as not to distribute them elsewhere. They are bagged for burning at a later date.

Last week I met with Hope (below), a Botanical Technician at the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, to collect common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). We walked along the Red Cedar River across from the Michigan State University football stadium. Volunteers have been removing buckthorn along the riverbank there for many years, but it's a constant battle.

Hope showed me how to identify buckthorn and was kind enough to help me remove a good amount of it. Thank you Hope!!! I will definitely be going back with my saw to gather more after the first few rounds of paper making. Have I mentioned that I've never made paper before? More on that in my next post.