A former landlady told the story of when she was a little girl, she rescued a big bug from a spider’s web in her bedroom window. As the winter progressed, she realized she had deprived a nest of baby spiders their only food.

So, earlier this spring, I noticed this scary weed. Like other things that unsettle the stability of my Medieval mind, it set off either a diminished or augmented chord in my imagination. I can’t remember which, because I was too afraid. It was brown. It looked primitive. It was all over. It had to be invasive, and you know us hippies cannot accept change in the natural world. As the days progressed, it spread, like the Red Weed from Mars. So frightening this became, I emailed RiverLink to see if anybody there had answers.

Today, I was vindicated for a few seconds when I saw a sign encouraging people to help get rid of knot weed. My glory trip ended when I remembered I’m always wrong, and so I could only have spurred the destruction of something destined to save the planet. I wondered if it might release so much greenhouse gases we might never have to endure another winter in WNC. Imagine the CO-equivalents we’d save not heating our houses and being warm enough to walk/bike to work every day! This stuff grows unaided like gangbusters.

Thinking of the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council, I actually tried to obey the sign and kill one of the plants, but it was stronger than me. I only snapped off the top, and then sampled a bit of the stalk. It was crisp, milky, lemony, with a hint of aromatic spice. I found it soothing to my stomach and thought liberals could make a mint off this if they didn’t hate money so much. If, after an FDA level of testing, this proved to have anti-ulcer benefits, libs could sell it to reporters before Asheville City Council meetings.

Then, I had a better thought. These things had mighty roots. If the FDA deems them edible, we could build cottage industries grinding the roots to make porridge for all the food secure children, who at last count comprise half the school population while the other half has to receive free or reduced lunch. Schools could give it out for universal dinner!

But then I thought about Big Corn and Big Sugar. They would demand more subsidy, forcing more families into the food-insecure soup lines. Wheat farmers might even require federal life support should knot weed roots become a new, gluten-free staple. And what if the leaves made a wonderful caffeine-free tea?

Oh, bother, Pooh.