The War On Weeds in the Prairie West : An Environmental by Clinton L. Evans

By Clinton L. Evans

Even though combating weeds used to be of paramount significance to the rural improvement of Canada, there has scarcely been any learn on figuring out the origins and historical past of those lowly crops. ultimately, historian Clint Evans provides weeds the eye they deserve. during this ground-breaking research that spans 4 centuries of weed background, Evans focusses at the evolution of the connection among humans and weeds within the adolescence of western Canada. This ebook files the coming of weeds with seed from England within the 16th century, how those international seeds survived and thrived at the plains of North the US for hundreds of years to come back, and governmental perceptions and legislation opposed to weeds. Highlighting issues equivalent to weed biology and ecology, noxious weed laws and “weed science,” Evans considers the fragile connections among human tradition and the wildlife. lively and obtainable, The warfare on Weeds within the Prairie West is the 1st full-blown environmental background of weeds in western Canada.

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Weed experts have long been cognizant of this point but they have had little success in reconciling the dual nature of weeds in their attempts to define 16 WEEDS AND CULTURE the term. Since at least the 1890s, authorities on the subject have increasingly emphasized the term’s objective side at the expense of its subjective, anthropocentric element. The end result is that weed scientists are in danger of forgetting the intimate link between weed problems and the human cultures that spawn them. A way of reconciling the split personality of weeds as well as for making them a valid subject of study by historians is to define them as cultural artifacts.

Unwanted plants are constantly mounting new sorties, arriving openly by seed blown from a neighbour’s field or stealthily in the hay imported to feed livestock over the winter. Sometimes even the best farmers can see years of hard work undone in a single season because tillage was delayed by an unusually wet spring or through the accidental use of dirty seed. The weed flora of adjacent farms can differ markedly depending on the skill, energy, and resources available to different farmers and it can change dramatically on a single farm over the course of a few years with changes in ownership or tenancy.

Filling a void in historical scholarship represents one goal of this chapter; establishing the breadth and scope of traditional weed lore represents another. ” A third goal is to establish the different kinds of weed control options available to farmers in a land with a rapidly maturing capitalist economy and yet one where agricultural markets were diverse, labour was plentiful, and weed populations were essentially part of the native flora. Because much of this knowledge was transported across the Atlantic along with British farmers, their European weeds, and a capitalist approach to agriculture, this chapter can be read as a preface to the development of a distinct relationship between people and weeds in North America.

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