On Weeds

“If I seem to have wandered far afield of my topic, consider what weeding is: the process by which we make informed choices in nature, discriminate between good and bad, apply our intelligence and sweat to the earth. To weed is to apply culture to nature—which is why we say, when we are weeding, that we are cultivating the soil. Weeding, in this sense, is not a nuisance that follows from gardening, but its very essence.

We cannot live in the world without changing nature irrevocably; having done so, we’re obliged to tend to the consequences, which is to say, to weed. “Weeding” is what can save places like Yellowstone, but only if we recognize that weeding is not just something we do to the land—only if we recognize the need to cultivate our own nature, too. For though we may be the earth’s gardeners, we are also its weeds. And we won’t get anywhere until we come to terms with this ambiguity—that we are at once the problem and its only possible solution.”https://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/weeds-are-us/ Michael Pollan, Weeds Are Us, New York Times 1989

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