We had a fantastic day yesterday battling the broom on my friend’s property! Broom is an invasive (read: evil) weed and VERY hard to get rid of. My friend’s are unlucky to have 13 acres of Broom which has had the last 15 years to take over. My friend’s own and borrowed two more Extractigators to help remove the vile weed. You have to try this tool to believe how amazing it is. It was almost easy to remove the broom. Well it was easy but there was just so darn much of it. We widened the driveway and cleared the house and large garden site (in total about 400-500 square metres) in about six hours. It’s going to take a few more Broom busting parties and years of ongoing work to rid the land of it completely.

Working the fire to burn the Broom. This pile was only the tip of the iceberg:

Broom Busting

Eating some delicious lunch and the Broom smoking away (it was a tad wet):

Broom Busting

Broom Busting

We found a ton of worms in the churned up dirt and even some larval beetles hibernating (?). After a thorough examination we buried them carefully back in the dirt.

Playing under a monstrous malevolent Broom. Yes, that’s a real saw in Leif’s hands. He didn’t seem to understand our telling him that you pull Broom in the winter and cut it when it blooms. Ah well, he had good intentions.

Broom Busting

This is the baby deer skeleton that I talked about the last time we were at the property. The girls had moved and played with the bones both times but when we first found it the skeleton looked perfectly intact and laying as if the little deer lay down and died without ever being disturbed by anything bigger than bugs.

Broom Busting

The ribs and vertebra are still in place in the top right of the picture below but covered a bit by leaves and dirt. I wish I got a better picture.

Broom Busting

We had to get a picture of all of us at the end of the day when we were all sweaty, filthy and generally dishevelled. Boy, did we sleep good that night! It was such a rewarding day.

Broom Busting

Afterwards we headed back to our friend’s for an exceedingly welcome roasted veggie and quinoa supper and to warm up in front of the fire.

Broom Busting

Broom Busting

The company and conversation made the night.

Broom Busting

If YOU would like to take part in the next Broom busting don’t hesitate to say so! Ha! Lunch and supper’s on me!

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12 Responses to Broom Busting

  1. Sophia Sunshine says:

    A broom busting party. That sounds like way more fun than the type of broom pulling we did last time we were on Pender. I definitely think we should check out that tool.

    We’ve laughed a few times about what a person would have to do to remove all the gorse that’s on this huge lot that’s for sale on Pender. I wonder if the tool and a crew of friends to help would be able to make a big enough dint to make that property worthwhile…. hmmmm…

    Glad you had fun and good food. I hope we have a chance to live in the same neck of the woods again for similar gatherings of friends and food. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. hen says:

    It’s so strange to hear Broom described as a weed! We have no problems with it over here. In fact it is a very useful shrub to me.

    I’ve been planning on planting lots of broom at our land as it is such a resource and perfect for land regeneration, (as it’s a legume which feeds the ground), making it a great seedbed for the next generation of plants (trees!).

    I am so jealous that your friends have mature broom, with decent sized branches! I’ve never seen that in the UK! The wood from Broom is among the most beautiful.

    Broom makes great dyes as well, which I want for dying wool with. It is also great to use in basketry and for making, erm, well, brooms. There’s often flowers year round, so for keeping nectar loving insects happy, it’s great.

    Suffice to say, I love Broom. I’m really sorry it’s so invasive over there, but don’t let that put you off the plant in terms of it’s potential for resources.

    Perhaps, while your friends are clearing the land, they could try to make some cash out of their bumper crop? Especially with the mature wood. They could, maybe, make a load of brooms out of what they rip out and sell the mature wood to craftspeople.

    A wonderful post by the way! Communal, hard, outdoor work with a common aim and great food after is unbeatable!


  3. Mon says:

    What a lovely ‘tribal’ undertaking.

    But please, don’t think of invasive weeds as ‘evil’, :( They’re simply tough, determined, and survivors! lol

    13 acres of it though, yikes!

  4. Annie says:

    What a wonderful different perspective on Broom! Thank you, Hen! It’s all anyone can do to stop it from taking over and choking out our natural species. When we moved here I thought it was so beautiful and then I started helping get rid of it! Oh boy, is it hard to get rid of. A fierce adversary in the task, to say the least.

    We marvelled at the size of some of them growing on the property. The mature broom will not be going until the spring so I’ll see if I can figure out how to do something with it. Perhaps obvious, but I hadn’t thought of it’s usefulness, becoming brooms for example.

    Thank you so much for the comments and the different perspective on Broom!

    Oh and S, if you’re here the next time you must come with!

  5. hen says:


    we have the same problem over here with lots of species that the victorians brought over for their posh gardens. My fierce adversary is Rhododendron. I would wipe the entire species out, in this country, if I had magic powers!



  6. Kate says:

    Looks like fun! I wonder if your friends could bring in some goats to help clear it?

  7. Annie says:

    I have to laugh, Hen because rhododendrons are so beautiful and I’ve thought of planting them in my own yard! I would never have considered them a weed. One day I’ll find myself in your neck of the woods and I’ll bring an extractigator to help rid your land of the vile plant! Ha.

    We were talking about goats. I think they’ll be getting some in the future but I’m not sure goats would want to or be able to eat the broom. ? Hmmm… maybe I should look into that. We could always “borrow” goats for the task. Ha.

    I love goats. I just thought I should add that.

  8. Annie says:

    Oh hey, Hen… I can’t comment on your blog anymore because I can’t read the little word verification thingy? :(

  9. Justine says:

    Heyyy Anne! That was a great day wasn’t it? Huge thanks to you and Cam for all the help. Who knew you can find friends crazy enough to work like mules on your land all day and then thank you for it!

    The other comments have got me thinking other ways about the broom. Great suggestions.

    Next broom-busting party in a couple of weeks. Yay! Everyone welcome! Next time we’ll go easy on the chocolate almonds…..nah!

  10. Annie says:

    Moi? Eat too many dark chocolate covered almonds? To the point of my stomach feeling queasy and the only thing that will ease it is regular food? Never!

    Looking forward to the next party!

  11. Penelope says:

    Looks like a great time! I’ve never heard of broom before. We have problems with Ragweed and Goldenrod out east.

    The baby deer skeleton is a neat find. In a sad kinda way.

  12. Annie says:

    Oooooh… goldenrod is pretty. I guess we all have these non indigenous plants we have to deal with.

    That’s exactly it Penelope, interesting to examine the skeleton by kinda sad at the same time. :(

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