Now, I get it that supporting the beautiful Monarch butterfly is important (to some, right!). But when this video crossed my email and I actually clicked on the play arrow, I cringed -- because it actually shows the planting of milkweed, then watering and nurturing the "plants?"
Huh?! Is it only me that can see the last four letters of that so-called plant? W-E-E-D, it spells.
See, my milkWEEDophobia, (okay maybe it's anger, fear, whatever), began during my youth on our Iowa farm in the late 60s and early 70s. It was primetime bean-walking era.
NOTE: For the uneducated, or the Roundup babies, beanwalking is a scene where whole families (or just dads and workerbee kids, in our case) would walk back and forth on half-mile rows to pull/chop anything that didn't look like a soybean. And we did this for days/weeks on end, I swear.
Anyway, Dad made us try and pull those tall, gooey monsters out of the ground (a Herculean task due to a long tap root that went down to China, we figured). I remember pulling so hard that, on way too many occasions, the tree-trunk-like taproot would break, launching us backwards, flying clean over two rows... no, 10 rows I'm sure! He, and my brothers, howled when that happened. And this acrobatic stunt, complete with flying sticky milk and leaves, repeated itself because we couldn't take the easy way out and just hack them with a corn knife or cut 'em with a bean hook (at least not while he was looking), because those "weeds" would grow right back.
So, (cringing as I type this) if there are farmers out there who are planting milkWEEDS away from production fields (especially when some of us know that their seeds can fly far in the wind), I commend you for your service to the Monarch butterfly. I could not do it. Too many scars from my youth about those damn weeds that used to gum up harvest equipment, and skin boys arms, knees and pride.
But, plant them in the city? Sure, please do. Just stay out of my yard!