The Fieldman’s Files – When you have lemons, you make lemonade

Normand Boulet
CCA, Ag Fieldman
M.D. of Smoky River No. 130

If you have Chamomile, do you make tea?

Not too many people are able to view a Scentless Chamomile infestation as a good thing. It is a horrible, nasty weed. Aggressive, tenacious and so far as weeds go in the M.D. of Smoky River, it is Public Enemy No. 1. I may have mentioned that already in a previous article, or 50 of them.

So how do you take a loser of a situation and turn it into a win-win situation (or a win, win, win, win…)? I mean, everybody loves a win-win situation don’t they?

Except maybe Trump, it seems to me for him it has to be the US wins and everyone else loses, then he’s happy… but anyway off the soapbox I go, got an article to write, weeds to deal with. A loser of a situation gets turned into a Win-Win when you have a landowner with a weed issue who doesn’t have time to deal with it, but is willing to make a donation to have a youth group in need of funding do the picking.

So WIN, for the youth group who get some funding for a much-needed event or program. In this case some members of the Georges P. Vanier Travel Club raised funds for their upcoming Germany trip.

WIN, for the landowner who was looking at days of weed picking to deal with this blooming chamomile. And I mean blooming in the “it has flowers and is setting seed”, not in the British expletive way (OK never mind, works both ways).

WIN (and I’m a little partial to this one) a group of people get an education on noxious weeds which they will take with them for the rest of their lives. I guarantee that if you spend four or five hours sweating, battling mosquitoes, digging out and picking weeds you will never look at those “pretty flowers” the same way again.

Next time they drive into Edmonton or Grande Prairie, they’ll ask the same questions so many of us do, “why aren’t they doing anything about this”? And they may do the same thing we do, ask the store manager how come they’re letting a noxious weed thrive on their property.

And finally, the winner is everyone in the municipality because these noxious weeds have been dealt with, they didn’t go to seed, they didn’t spread on to anyone else’s property and now no one else has to deal with them.

That’s a huge part of early detection and rapid response (EDRR), deal with that small problem so it doesn’t become a big problem. The “Early Detection” part of EDRR just took a major step forward as well because we now have a new group of weed warriors out and about who hate these plants and will report them when they see them.

I should mention I was told the kids were winners in this in a different way (although they may not agree they won anything). They won because their siblings were voluntold to help and so they learned the value of hard work and that families help each other.

They learned that many hands make light work as they could see that nine people made the task bearable, whereas one person by themselves could have found this to be overwhelming.

So how did this WinX4 or more situation even happen? The landowner admitted he needed help and was willing to pay for a group to do this work. We posted the need for a Youth Group on the M.D.’s Facebook page and had 3 groups jump at the chance within 2 hours (yay, Social Media does good!).

There are people willing to work for the causes and events important to them. If you need a youth group, give me a call, I’ll pass along the contact info for those I have. And if you represent a group looking for fundraising work, let me know, we get possibilities like this one every so often

Contact Normand Boulet, CCA Agricultural Fieldman, at (780) 837-0043 (cell), or on Twitter @MDfieldman.


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