We introduce the idea of weeds, and touch on how the production agricultural model views weeds. As the first in the Merit or Myth series on weeds, we’d like to introduce an alternative way of viewing weeds namely, to understand their ecological role as the “scabs” or “ambulance workers” of the land. The natural job of a weed is to cover disturbed soils and through tillage and monocultures, we create ideal environments for weeds. With the ecological way of thinking of weeds and by using a systems approach to our farming systems we can, according to Dr. Dwayne Beck, outsmart them. Rather than wage a full-on chemical warfare with weeds (and do everything the same) we can use natural systems to perform a little ecological ju-jitsu on weeds and not only reduce their populations but save on herbicide costs. Take a peek at this 2 minute video that sets us up for a three part series with the ARS’s (Brookings, SD) Dr. Randy Anderson.