My Poison Ivy Crusade

A few days ago I posted pictures on my Cheshire Farm Facebook page (click here to see what I’m talking about!) about all of the poison ivy that I’ve found on the farm this year.

Now, I live in the country.

And I’m surrounded by the woods.

Poison ivy is not new to me.

We are old frenemies.

Poison ivy comes to greet me every year and every year I pull it out of the ground while laughing a sinister laugh.

There seems to be MORE poison ivy this year than I remember seeing in the past.

Kind of like the increase of black walnuts that fell from our trees last fall.

So.

Many.

Walnuts.

I dislike spraying poison in my yard.  I don’t spray nothin’ to kill the poison ivy.

And since there’s so much land to cover, I will not be pulling it out everywhere.

I do mow it down if I can get to it.

I focus on the areas that my kids play in and where the family hangs out.

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Come along for the journey.

The journey of THE DEATH OF THE POISON IVY PLANT IN MY YARD!

Step one…I put a plastic glove on my right hand (as I’m right handed and that’s my plant pulling hand) and then I put press and seal wrap on my arm.  I need a piece long enough to cover my wrist to my elbow.

Yes.

I AM a genius.

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I thought of this fancy idea last year and I executed many poison ivy removals with success.

How do I measure success?

If I don’t end up with poison ivy on my hand or arm…SUCCESS!

Okay, after I get my plastic gear on, I go out searching for the leaves of three.

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Poison ivy likes to climb.  It also likes to just hide down low.  It is easy to see when you know what you’re looking for.  Just remember this…Leave of Three-Let It Be.  Or in my case…get the plastic covered arm out.

Now this plant is climbing and it’s started down low, but it’s NOT poison ivy.  Poison ivy does turn red in the last summer/early fall, but this plant is not it.  NOT leaves of three.  It has four leaves.  Not sure exactly what it is.  I left it alone.  It is pretty, though, don’t you think?

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Like I said before, I try to focus on areas that the kids play in, like this area under the ladder to the zipline.

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Or on the side of the playhouse.

I see it…

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See the poison ivy climbing up the side here?
Leaves of three.
Pointed leaves with a thick line right down the middle of each leaf.
There’s some nestled in among the longer leaves of the lily of the valley plants on the ground.
See those?

I grab it as close to the ground as I can get my plastic covered fingers to…

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And pull it out, hoping to get the roots so the bastard won’t grow back!

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Once I have the retched plant in my plastic hand, I keep my right hand away from my bare left hand.  I walk around with my plastic arm outstretched to keep it away from my clothes.

Once I have a good handful…collected near the basketball hoop/the climbing rope/slide/swings/picnic table/pool steps/entrance to the secret path in the bushes…I head to the barnyard.

Now, you can’t burn poison ivy as the poison gets spread into the air as the smoke goes up.  And when poison ivy smoke gets in your eyes…you’re in trouble.

And I think it’s so silly to bag up plant life to sit in a landfill somewhere.  Weird.

So, I head to the barnyard with the poison ivy to let the goat eat it.

YES!

The goat!

Tulip LOVES to eat poison ivy.

And NO it does not make her tongue itchy.

It’s a goat thing.  I don’t know how it works.

All I know is that this happens when I take my load of poison ivy to her…

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*Tulip is not available for rental.  She’s old and it’s hard to get her in the minivan.
Get your own goat.

**Did you look close enough to the picture that is NOT poison ivy?  There are a few leaf combos on there that are threes, but since it’s physically sprouting from the main branch of four and five leaves, it’s still not poison ivy.  I believe it’s Virginia Creeper. And it can cause a rash in some people.  It’s a member of the grape family.

 

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