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Reply #9: I would like to invite anyone who wants to have markets free from [View All]

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:02 PM
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9. I would like to invite anyone who wants to have markets free from
any regulation other than market forces to come and see my backyard. Over the past ten years, I was working extremely long, hard hours and just let my backyard grow pretty freely. Oh, we cut things now and then, and I planted some flowers one year when my load was a wee bit less. So, this year, I had some time to regulate my garden a bit. And, guess what, I have a meadow of oxalis back there. Oxalis, it seems, is a very aggressive plant -- tough competition in the marketplace I suppose you would say. Look it up. I may never get rid of it. It is not only invasive, it seems to intentionally attack other plants by directing its tuberous roots directly for the roots of whatever non-oxalis plant is growing around it.

Here is a sample of the plentiful advice on the Internet about how to get rid of an oxalis infestation.

A: Picking off flowers won't help at all because Cape oxalis, a.k.a. Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae) doesn't produce seeds that can grow. Some years ago, Jake Sigg of the Invasive-Exotics Committee of the California Native Plant Society placed a $100 bet that no one could prove the plant grows from seeds in California. Last week, Jake said "some have tried, but nobody has found any seed."

So the good news is that the above gardeners are liberated from the task of chopping flowers. The bad news is that their plants have been merrily forming new bulblets all the time the flower gathering has been going on.

To make any difference, you have to at least break off the entire top of the plant, beneath the place where the leaf and flower stems attach to the main stem. If done repeatedly, it does reduce energy going to the bulbs, and is sometimes all you can do if Cape oxalis is growing among desirable plants, but to really knock it out, you need to dig out or kill the bulbs.

I have thousands of oxalis plants in my garden. I have to dig up the earth and pull and lift each individual plant with its root out of the garden. The other alternative is several treatments with herbicides which I really don't want to start using in a garden area in which I would like to grow food.

So forget about libertarianism and absolutely free markets. Every market has its oxalis. It is as much a part of nature as the sun and the moon. You would not believe the amount of work involved in re-establishing regulation in a market that has allowed to be completely taken over by aggressive, invasive participants in the market.
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