If you've been walking in the Celery Farm and noticing people pulling and bagging plants with white flowers on top, that's because an invasive plant called Garlic Mustard is running rampant.
That's why several volunteers, including Liam Conroy, Patty Finn, Gaby Schmitt and I, have been gently removing the plant by its roots and then disposing of it in plastic bags so it cannot germinate. (Sorry if I left out anyone.)
We are concentration on the area around the deer exclosure so native plants have a better chance to thrive. (Above, before and after along the outside of the enclosure.)
As Gaby has pointed out:
An herbaceous member of the mustard family, Garlic Mustard arrived in the USduring the mid-1800s with European settlers.
It was valued both as food and medicine and proved useful in reducing soil erosion. Since then, the plant has rapidly spread throughout the U.S., highly invasive and crowding out other plants.
You can readily observe the plant’s biennial life cycle throughout The Celery Farm. There is a “BASAL” or starter year and a “BOLT,” or reproductive year.
Garlic Mustard's vigorous reproduction ability has enabled it to spread from coast to coast.
It blankets habitats with moist, rich soils, in sunlight or shade. It reseeds quickly and easily in the spring, crowding out all other plants and is especially detrimental to our native plant species.
Not only does Garlic Mustard reseed quickly, it’s allelopathic. It can cause an adverse chemical reaction in other plants, bacteria, fungi, and various kinds of soil life, effectively poisoning the area for any other plants and organisms.
Feel free to help us remove the Garlic Mustard -- just be sure to remove it by gently pulling it up by the roots and bagging it.
Pulling the Garlic Mustard without bagging it spreads the seeds around the preserve, making the situation worse.