A message from Joanne Sales re Broombuster Volunteers

May 3, 2020

Hello Broombusters and Friends!

SUN AHEAD!  I hope that this finds all of you well and that you have been getting outside and breathing in spring, in all its wet glory.  Thanks to all who have been cutting broom – in spite of our unique circumstances.  My guess is that many more of us will be picking up loppers with the sunny week ahead!  We are still busting broom this year – together but apart.

HOW IT WORKS:  If you want to cut broom for a couple hours or many hours, on your own or with a small group, contact me (Joanne).  We are observing social distancing in all that we do this year.  STILL, you may want to cut in your neighborhood or in an focus area open near you.  We can loan you a tool.  There are times when others will be cutting in specific areas – not exactly a traditional community cuts as we keep social distancing – but you might see other people!  Or, you may want to cut alone or with your friend, when you are available.  You can cut ANYTIME after signing a waiver and checking with Joanne for locations and instructions.

Cut this week:  Friday 9:30 in Parksville. On 19A – Island Hwy in Parksville.  Near Resort Drive.  Park in the pullouts by the signs for Oceanside and Riptide.  We’ll have tools.  Contact Janet15@telus.net for details.

YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD:  A few more communities have reached out recently asking – what do we need to do to get the broom off OUR road?  How do we organize that?  The answer is – it only takes 4 or more people.  Reach out to me, we’ll arrange tools, waivers, pick up.  We are even getting neighborhood signs printed next week!  It’s not too late to get your community out cutting broom.  Broombusting is contagious.  If you cut a pile, someone else will do the same.  They’ll walk or drive by and think – “Hmm, that’s a good idea.  I can do that.”  We just need to spread the word faster than the seeds!

Where have people been cutting:

Actually, there are too many places to list.  But wherever you live, someone is trying to cut the broom nearby and your help will be greatly appreciated!  Even two hours/ year. A few areas of focus: Swayne Road, Little Mountain, Allsbrook, Station Road.  Hwy 19 near Cooke Creek Road.  All over Qualicum Beach.  Hwy 19a & 19. 4 & 4a. Whiskey Creek. Meadowood Way. All Interchanges.

Q&A:  “Why cut in bloom?  Some resources say to cut during the drought months.”
We cut in bloom because:

  1. The energy of the plant is above the ground in the flowers.  The roots are weaker.
  2. There are no seeds yet.  If the plant has seeds, it is hard not to spread them!
  3. Drought is coming anyway.   Cut now, and the drought will finish off the plant.
  4. The plant is easier to find and identify.  The weather is also better than in summer.
  5. The cut plants are chipped and off the road before fire season.

ALL THIS MEANS, now is the time.  Come join us!

EDUCATION re other Invasive species: That little purple flower popping up everywhere and most likely in your yard right now…. it is called “Purple Dead Nettle” botanical name “Lamium Purpureum”.  It is an invasive species in North America and only native to Europe and Asia. It grows from seed in the fall and forms flowers in the spring (now.). Although it is quite invasive in the garden, it can be eaten. A member of the mint family – not actually a nettle.  I’m going to pull it all out of my garden – but dry it as a tea!  Look on the internet for info on this herb/ weed.  It is toxic to dogs causing mild to severe indigestion. It is on the BC invasive Species list.  PHOTOS attached.  I’m including this because Purple Dead nettle has showed up all over our property! Two photos attached.


CUT THE BLOOMIN’ BROOM!  Only 3 more weeks.



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