When we moved near Santa Cruz, California some years ago I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with my now old friend, Scotch Broom. Apparently the plant was was brought into the United States “from Europe in the mid-1800’s” to add to gardens and for soil stabilization.* The stuff doesn’t look too horrible and is quite pretty when it flowers, producing lots of bright, yellow blooms.
It does come with some problems though, not the least of which is once broom establishes a foothold, it is very hard to get rid of and keeps coming back.** It reminds me of bamboo, which is the same. The plants develop a lot of seeds “that are naturally spring loaded,” so that the pods can scatter away from the parent “with the force of a tiny explosion.” That is probably why the stuff is all over the place in our area.
Anyway, this is a picture of one patch of the stuff near one side of my house before I yanked it all on Monday. Keep in mind that I’ve been pulling this stuff some years now.
Mon, December 14th
Morning Walk for 2.58 miles and late afternoon walk for 3.62 miles for a total of 6.2 miles for the day. Also spent a couple of hours today pulling broom in our yard.
Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
- (Set 1): Right = Closed x 2 reps + 3, Left = 12mm x 6 reps
- (Set 2): Right = 2mm x 3 reps +2, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
- (Set 3): Right = 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
- (Set 4): Right = 4mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
- (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 5 + 1, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
Calories: 1976 Protein: 129 g.
Tues, December 15th
Morning Walk for 3.73 miles and late afternoon walk for 3.58 miles for a total of 7.31 miles for the day.
Calories: 2022, Protein: 137 g.
Wed, December 16th
Morning Walk: 3.18 miles. Calories: 2559, Protein 144 g.
I haven’t let the broom in my yard get too out of hand, but the stuff can get quite big and thick if you let it. Below is a picture I took the other day when we were out hiking. I included my five foot walking stick in the foreground for scale. I’d say the plants in the stand were up to 8 or 9 feet high in places.
Thur, December 17th
Afternoon Walk: 3.31 miles.
Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
- (Set 1): Right = Closed x 1 + 4 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
- (Set 2): Right = 2mm x 6 reps, Left = 10mm x 4 + 1 reps
- (Set 3): Right = 2mm x 6 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 + 1 reps
- (Set 4): Right = 2mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 4 + 1 reps
- (Set 5): Right = 2mm x 2 + 3, Left = 8mm x 1 + 4 reps
- Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 10 reps
- DB Bench Press: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
- DB Lateral Raises: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
- (Super Set)
- Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
- DB Front Raises: 10 lbs. x 12 reps, 10 lbs. x 6 reps + 8 lbs. x 6 reps, 8 lbs. x 15 reps, 10 lbs. x 12 reps
- Heavy Spring Bar: 8-P, 8-S
- Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 45 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps
Calories: 2883, Protein: 138 g. (We got some take out from a local Mexican restaurant so the numbers today are an estimate. To be safe the estimate is probably a bit on the high side.)
Scotch broom leaves grow in little groups of three like in the picture above. If we had this stuff in Maine when I was kid I could definitely see myself having done something like using an X-Acto knife to cobble together my own four leaf clover and try to trick people into believing I’d found the real thing. I went through my childhood wishing I could find a four leaf clover and keeping my eyes open for one because I wanted one like the real one my grandmother kept in a bible.
Fri, December 18th
Morning Walk: 3.28 miles, and a 4.73 mile afternoon walk for a total of 8.01 miles. During the afternoon walk when we were making a pit stop I did 100 squats and toward the end of the walk I did a little uphill jogging.
- Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 65 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 15 reps, 70 lbs. x 2 sets x 10 reps
- Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 15 reps, 55 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
- Fitness Bag Bicep Curls: 2 sets x 13 reps, 2 sets x 12 reps
- DB Bicep Curls: 25 lbs. x 8 reps
- Exercise Complex (FOUR SETS)
- Fitness Bag Cleans: 8 reps
- DB Shrugs: 30 lbs. x 15 reps, 35 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
- DB Hammer Curls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
- Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 12 reps
- Alternating Sets of Hindu and Full Squats: 10 reps
- Internal and External Shoulder Rotation through frontal plane (orange band, one arm) x 12 reps
- Stretched for about 20 minutes later when I was watching our ovens to make sure dinner didn’t burn.
Calories: 2408, Protein: 125 g.
Scotch Broom is one of those plants with a very long root and it will readily grow back if you just break off the top of the plant and leave the root. That is one reason why I generally pull it after a good rain like I did this time. The larger plants anchor themselves very firmly in dry ground and the root will often break off, even in wet ground. So I sometimes have to loosen the dirt around the larger plants, like the one below, with a trowel.
It took a bit of work, but I managed to fill the yard waste bin pictured above (mostly) with Scotch Broom and most of a second one too. So I’m probably good on the Scotch broom front for a few more months. This will allow me to turn my attentions now to the blackberry thorns, that had engulfed much of our back yard and even wrapped themselves around some of our smaller trees. Much like the broom, constant vigilance is required to keep them sorted.
Sat, December 19th
Calories: 2192, Protein: 132 g. (I lost 0.8 pounds this week, so my total loss is 18 lbs. so far.)
* The quoted material is from this article:
Warnert, Jeannette, E. “Beautiful but ecologically harmful shrubs get a foothold in California forests.” Green Blog, 14 June 2013. Accessed 17 December 2020.
** I learned, when I was reading about Scotch Broom, that there are many other types of broom, which were brought into the U.S. including French and Spanish Broom. I had no idea though I’m not surprised. The stuff all looks pretty similar but everyone around here calls the stuff we have “Scotch Broom” so that is what I’ll go with.