Tatiana Schreiber

The root of the problem

Due to an editing error, there is now a mistake in the letter I wrote about the “wild” parsnip. I had written, “In the Midwest, where the wild parsnip is abundant, land managers say that it is unlikely to 'invade' well established prairie - i.e. it is land disturbed by humans where the plant may become abundant.”

By taking out the words “it is,” and putting the rest of the phrase inside parentheses, the letter now implies that well established prairie is land disturbed by humans; the opposite is what I meant.

That is, parsnip is unlikely to invade well-established prairie; rather, it is land, such as former prairie land, that has been disturbed by humans that invites a plant like the parsnip to become dominant.

In well-established prairie, the diverse vegetation already present makes the parsnip less likely to become a dominant plant.

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Don’t denigrate the parsnip

Randolph T. Holhut describes the wild, or “poison,” parsnip as “a new invasive species for Vermonters to be worried about,” and also as a “genetic mutation of garden parsnip.” However, in reviewing the literature, I could not find evidence that this is true. A recent study published in the...

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Squash Festival raises funds for West West library

The first Westminster West Festival of Squashes, a fundraiser for the Westminster West Public Library, held Oct 16 in Westminster West village, was a great success. Festival-goers enjoyed a wide range of dishes at the squash café. The squash identification treasure hunt introduced children and adults to the diversity...

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Biodiversity: in defense of pests

Gardening season is upon us, and as I scrutinize my various garden maps, trying to decide where to plant what, I have been pondering the relationship between insects and gardeners. Most gardeners I know like bugs, to a degree. They like to see interesting spiders in the garden, for example, because they know spiders feast on a lot of the “pest” species that might otherwise ravage our crops. But gardeners can be a savage lot when it comes to many...

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