Wednesday, September 03, 2008


You missed something today. Debra became livid. Livid!

No, not at Tom... not this time....heh.

No, at our neighbor, the one whose property line is only around ten feet away from my garden. Why was I so mad? Because today he had his lawn sprayed with chemicals. Pesticides. Without warning us. And only feet away from my garden!

I am an organic gardener. I'm trying to run an organic farm.

Oh, I was so mad. I saw that lawn care truck pull into their driveway ("Fifty percent less pesticides" was painted on the truck. Bah! Give me a break.), and I ran out the door, telling Tom to come and help me. I grabbed a bucket then ran to the garden and hurriedly picked some tomatoes, squash and broccoli. Then, as the kid on the Motorized Contraption of Death zoomed around, I got tarps out of the barn and had Tom help me spread them over my garden plants. Over some of them. There weren't enough tarps for the whole thing.

I was just so mad... mad at our neighbor (who helps me mow our lawn--which made me feel guilty)... mad at this whole stupid, clueless world which doesn't realize how pesticides are destroying our planet --and the human race. Mad at their right to do so. And just mad at the lies we've been told... and sad.... sad that these pesticides could possibly be part of the reason our neighbor's wife just last month had a tumor removed from her heart.

I so understood why some people want, like, twenty or more acres to live on.... They want to be as far away as possible from what they cannot control. I so wanted to move to the center of twenty acres at that moment.

We did have to have the Bee Guy come weeks ago and spray two nests of yellow jackets/hornets under our siding. We hated to. But otherwise, they would have tunneled into the house. The Bee Guy shared a horrible story with us... (Dog lovers might want to skip to the next paragraph.) His neighbors had their lawn sprayed and his (Bee Guy's) German Shepherd (who went everywhere with him...the family dog) was barking so the lawn guys sprayed him. The dog got sick almost immediately ... and slowly died. I am still recovering from that horrid true story.)

Tom said, "There's one more tarp, do you want to spread it over this section?", but I was crying by then and told him, no... He said compassionately, "Oh, don't cry. It will be all right." But I just shook my head and stomped into the house.

Fortunately our neighbor was no where to be found. I would have bitten his head off.

But alas, I sat down on the couch and flipped on the tv and guess what Dr. Phil was about? Feuding neighbors (very childish, foolish ones). How it just doesn't pay... and can escalate into endless wars.

I calmed down. I told myself, "Think! There must be an answer...something besides moving away next year. (I could just see myself explaining to prospective buyers, "We're moving because our neighbors spray their lawn with Death.") Too, staying angry can be even more unhealthy than the pestisides, themselves, since held-onto anger is like poison.

Then I came up with a plan, one which Tom says would be extremely hard, but in my current wild mood, I didn't care:

Next year I will move my garden way out to the meadow. It's the farthest place I know of from spray-happy morons who are--cluelessly, ok!--killing us all, including the rabbits and birds and toads which frolic here. If I must lug tons of soil and water out there alone, so be it.

When we moved here, I so wanted to create an Earth-friendly eco-system on our 4 acres. Today I felt helpless to do that... hence my frustration, tears, and feelings of doom for our planet.

"Let not the sun go down on your anger..."

Please, please do not leave me comments saying, "Pesticides are as safe as fluffy white marshmallows. Relax."

Please don't go there...


Anonymous said...

I would have been so upset as well Debra!!!! But you have the right plan - to move your garden far away from the property line next year! How totally frustrating!!

Hilmarose said...

"Please, please do not leave me comments saying, "Pesticides are as safe as fluffy white marshmallows. Relax."

Please don't go there..."

I wouldn't dare go there!!!! I say after you calm down go over and ask him to give you plenty of warning next time so that you can get your plants covered... maybe that will open up dialog about how dangerous they are and how you have chosen to go chemical free. You JUST MIGHT be a tool in Yahwey's hands to set this neighbor free in this area... ya just never know

Ann said...

Hope you're feeling better! My boss was just telling something today that is very similar. Their neighbors remodeled their whole house and while it was being done they moved out. For 6 months. Well my boss and his wife had to put up with all the construction for 6 months. Dust, dirt, smoke, all kinds of stuff. When the neighbor came back and asked my boss how things had gone my boss started to tell him and the neighbor got mad at my boss. They aren't speaking. My bosses health isn't the best and at no time did the neighbor even look in to see how things were going. And this is in Scotland. You're not alone! Hope you have a better day tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I wonder how you can keep the pesticides from poisoning your well water? We live within a block of the edge of a golf course...and friends who are vets say that dogs and cats who live near a golf course have 10 times the amount of cancer. I have not heard from anyplace as to how that might translate to people. We do not drink from our well...yes, we bathe in it, but trouble is, without a very good filter, how can we know what that might be doing to our bodies? Our daughter's doctor is totally frustrated as to what is causing all her bad health issues. And this doc is a natural doc who uses mostly vitamins, minerals and herbs. I do think you have a most valid concern. PRAY hard to learn what the FATHER wants you to do.

It is hard to give up a dream...or a dream for a certain place...but the FATHER is able to see us through absolutely anything.

Maybe if you offered to split your crop with the neighbor provided he not spray anymore....just a thought...

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I think you have two good ideas here. One yours, one a commenters. Move your garden next year and meanwhile ask your neighbor to warn you so you can cover your plants......I was a garden writer for 23 years and flooded with information from companies that manufacture pest and herbicides about how safe they are. But I remember how the people from the Iris Society told me that they had been very excited about roundup when it first came out -Monsanto says it disintegrates in two weeks into harmless substances. But people told me that after a few years of using it they began to get deformed irises....
A happy thought is perhaps the next generation will do better. I laughed a lot this weekend babysitting for my grandson (who is three) who uses the word "organic" to mean something important and good. All his superheroes are "organic". A snake he made with magnetic building toys was "organic Red Cross Knight Daddy snake". Debra, I am so glad that you are organic!

"Anna" said...

He hates dandelions. We could easily tell where the property line was in the spring because our lawn would be bright with dandelions, but their cheerful little faces would then abruptly disappear at the line. Which, if it's any comfort at all, meant that the broad-leaf herbicides didn't travel beyond where they were sprayed.

I agree with hilmarose that you should let him know that you need a day's warning (at least) before the next time he has the Chem-Lawn guys show up, so you can cover the garden.

Terrible about the dog... charges should have been pressed in that case....

Marie-Louise said...

Even if you move your garden farther away, the wind carries particules of those pesticides. I have only half an acre here and I have a small organic garden and I would be quite upset to be in a situation like yours.


Anonymous said...

that pooor pooor dog

do you have a privacy fence?
would that help?

Anonymous said...

I can certainly understand your fears and concerns and your sadness and disappointment, as well. I hope you can come to some solution for next year's garden.

Laurie S.

Nan said...

I'm just so upset for you. I thought it was a law that you had to inform neighbors if you do stuff like that. When states spray along the roadside (why??) they have notices in the paper of the day and time. I'm so sorry your bit of paradise has been tainted in this way, both physically, and emotionally, for you. The comment about dogs and cancer and golf courses is something I've believed for a long time. Apparently the golfers aren't affected, since we see many older people, but those who live nearby and get the 'drift.' There must be an organically minded person in your area that you could talk to about this; who could maybe give you some direction on this issue.

Kay said...

Debra - I can totally understand why you are upset!! My landlord did the same thing when we lived in the country. I was trying to be organic and he would come with RoundUp and spray for weeds! He and I had a "talk" about his spraying. We had problems with spiders and I got ecologically friendly people to come out and spray. They used pyrethrum. We also had organic lawn care. Maybe your neighbor could do that.