Updated: Aug 17, 2022
A weed is any plant growing in a place you don’t want it to grow. So, a rose bush growing in the middle of your garden path is a weed, but the same bush growing in your cultivated bed is a specimen.
This is an ongoing debate at the ranch. Some noxious weeds are great forage for my sheep and goats, but not my cows. Sheep will get fat on leafy spurge, but cows won’t touch it. My sheep love the bramble weeds growing along the waterways, but I don’t dare let them near it after it forms a seed pod, or the Velcro style relationship it has with the sheep will destroy a fine fleece.
So, I try to use my employees to manage the ‘noxious’ weeds. Phoebe here is doing her part to control Canadian Thistle. You can always count on her to work tirelessly for the good of the ranch.
Common Tansy is a riparian weed that forms thick dense patches. The sheep like it, but they can get liver damage if they eat it exclusively. A balanced diet is the key to health.