Palmer Buzz

It’s Palmer’s Weeding Days—They’re up and mighty. They’re dominant. They’re persistent, pernicious and perpetual. They are the Palmer Weeds!

Zen of Weeding in Palmer—This is the time —when lack of time— is no excuse. You can weed mid-morning. You can weed after work. You can weed late evening. You can weed at midnight. The later is really the best because it adds a sense of mystical aura to our typical weeding world. Weeding in the midnight sun is poetic but it may also be wise to go heavy on the bug repellant. It is deliciously quiet at this time of night so you really get to hear the Palmer Silence. Serenity is an easy achievement when you weed at midnight. Try it. A few birds will still be up and bats are especially active. Moose too are wandering around, well fed and may try to become your friend.

What is good about Palmer Weeds?—Some think they are pretty. And bees like them. Invasive weeds like vetch, dandelions, and chickweed are dominant over local species—so they will take over fireweed and grasses. But nonetheless, weeds are organic and can be used for consumption, feed and habitat. Weeds provide fiber and soil stability. And they can be a wild, complicated metaphor of a tangled, free-spirited life. They are known as “the unloved flower,” and according to J.L.W. Brooks, “Weeds are Nature’s graffiti.” Weeds refuse to grow in rows and are very afraid of weed whackers. Frankly a weed sanctuary is better than a concrete pad anytime, as we’ve recently seen with the Colony Cloudburst and Palmer flash flooding.

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Mindset for Palmer Weeding—Let’s say you have determined to weed for one hour a day. That can be your mindful time. After about an hour, it becomes more than dull. You have listened to the birds. You have meditated on the leaves. You have appreciated life in the organic earth. You have listened to the birds, again. But now you are dreadfully bored. How do people weed for hours and days? They listen to radio shows, music, podcasts and audible books. It is stunning how well-read one can become in the summer, if you are a weeder, gardener or farmer.

Palmer Weeding Playlist—Checking in at our wonderful local bookstore, Fireside, on Main Street, are wise booksellers with excellent suggestions for books to entertain and educate you whilst weeding. And before you click on Audible and order, consider instead shopping online local!! Here is how: go to and select your book; before checking out designate Fireside Books, your local Indi bookstore, as the royalty recipient. This means that our local bookstore receives a bit of money, as opposed to monsters Amazon/Audible.

Our local library has books on tape and so does the bookstore. Bishop’s Attic too has lots of books on CD’s. Plug a book into your ears and go weed an acre. No problem.

The Well-Read Weeder & Reader—Here are some “Kate the Bookseller” suggestions for Palmer Weeding: “Educated,” “Circe,” “The Fireman,” “Where the Crawdads Sing,” “Glass Castle,” “Red Rising,” and “Carry On.”

Weed Clarification—We are talking about Palmer Weeds……not Palmer weed. One is organically prolific in Palmer and the other is not. Or perhaps both are, but we are speaking about the garden variety here of “weeds” which are defined as green, undesirable and unintentional plants invading, without great virtue. Clear?

This week and weekend: Once you have done your weeding, maybe you can go play! Here are some options: Arctic Outlaws are at Klondike Mikes. The Tuckers are playing at the Palmer Downtown Deli on Saturday afternoon. There is a “felted slipper” and “needle felted bear” classes at the Art Cafe. Ales for Tails adoption party is at the Palmer Alehouse on Saturday afternoon. There is a worship in the Mat River Park on Sunday and Yoga on the Butte on Saturday. Skydiving happens this weekend at the airport. Boochasana (yoga plus kombuchu) happens at the 203 Kombuchery on Saturday. There is golf all weekend at the golf course plus a big soccer game on Friday. Also on Friday is Enrichment day at the Musk Ox Farm—it is a summer activity which blends activity, learning and care of animals, every Friday. There is racing out at the raceway park by the Butte and an Eska Falls day-cation hike on Friday. On Sunday there is the Manna Cookie Launch at the Depot and Illustrated Art Journaling at Level Seven. There is always tuned up music at Vagabonds on Sunday afternoons and there are markets and garage sales everywhere you look. Have fun. Be safe. Weed your share!

Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff on the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group. Contact at

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