Lance Armstrong

When you are next battling weeds or some other difficult competitor in your farming system, think about tough competitors that may have nothing to do with farming.

To get an idea of what you are competing with, think of someone successful in a sporting field. They may not be much use hoeing out weeds in your cornfield, but they are totally efficient on the track or in the pool.

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Lance Armstrong is a classic example, it seems nothing could stop him: Cancer, road accidents, competitors and their drugs. He won the Tour de France seven times.

Yet he didn't want to be remembered for winning, but for being a cancer survivor.

Weeds are Survivors, Weedy, Resilient, Unbeatable. Like Lance Armstrong. Weedy is an odd word.

It's a word I was familiar with in my school years - I was thin, almost scrawny and not particularly athletic.

Strangely, most weeds are like that. They are pared to the bone to do the job they do, producing more weeds.

I can't say I was particularly good at whatever job I was supposed to do (what is a teenager supposed to do?), but weedy was a good description otherwise.

Weeds are like Lance - survivors, weedy, resilient, determined, single-focused, tough and seemingly unbeatable. But no matter how active Armstrong might have been, he would be flat out leaving behind the number of offspring one weed on your property might.

Most weeds have one characteristic that is really important: the ability to leave behind thousands of offspring. And to accomplish that they have one characteristic that is really different from humans: extreme fecundity.

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This page was updated on December 27, 2007