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  • I've always thought that bird vetch (Vicia Cracca), aka Alaskan kudzu, with it's curling tendrils, violet flowers, and verdant pinnate lusciousness was rather pretty, especially decorating the roadside. Harper and I even used it as a textural element on our wedding photo, despite it's invasive status. I'm not quite sure what that says about us as a couple but it doesn't seem to have had any lasting ill effect.

    Vetch was introduced to Alaska in the early 1900s as a forage crop and it has done particularly well here. Unfortunately, the cows didn't like it. Some people are quite upset about this prolific plant and I know more than a few who religiously try their best to exterminate it from the landscape. I've always secretly thought of them as 'the vetch killers'. I confess I've always been somewhat amused by this behavior as it seems so futile.

    Yesterday I was tidying up around the house in preparation for winter when I realized that an eager vetch vine had managed to get a strangle hold on our lone lilac tree. The next thing I knew I had my arms full of the dratted plant and was spotting it all over the place on our property. I spent the next half-hour pulling vines and, despite my admiration for it's tenacity, came to the conclusion that I had just been indoctrinated into the herbacidic society and that I too am a vetch killer, at least in the privacy of my own yard.

    It also makes me wonder if goats are fond of vetch - if so, it could be a viable excuse to keep one around next summer.
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