I’m pretty good at Being Green.
But I think I may have undone all my good karma with a single, terrible transgression…
My lovely wife and I live in north-central California: a land of dry hot summers. In keeping with Being Green, we decided that our water-guzzling lawn, the surrounding thirsty-shrub landscaping, and the attendant sprinkler system had to go!
We first needed to obtain city approval to do this (killing your lawn is a sacrilege in suburban America). We wrote letters, made phone calls, and ultimately got permission to proceed. How could the city planners resist? After all, we were Doing The Right Thing.
With the lawn gone, we selected replacement trees and shrubs that were both drought-tolerant and sources of fruit and nectar for bird and bee life. It sounds like we made our yard a sanctuary, and our Green ethos was exalted and sanctified, no?
Ah, but all was not peaceful in our garden of earthly delights, for I had committed a vile eco-sin….
I…I, an invasive species specialist…knowingly planted an invasive species!
Oh sure, I know that a few of our potted plants have invasive proclivities. For example, we have Tibouchina urvilleana, but that plant is naughty only in moister climates like Hawai’i.
What I’m in a lather about is something different — I had planted the dread Ficus carica (edible fig), which is a real pain to eradicate from wildlands right here in California.
Oh, the shame!
Why did I do it? It’s the fruit. Even though I’m not a huge fan of fig fruit, this specific cultivar has a flavor that is so fine it almost smacks of durian! Yum-yum!
In my own defense, I note that in California this plant does not propagate by seed, so as long as I compost any branches I’ll be OK.
But in my heart I know that I’m still encouraging others to grow this plant. There’s no real way around it — this time I’m contributing to the problem instead of fixing it.
Donate to The Nature Conservancy and give back to nature.