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pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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I have just learned that the entire 1/4 (- a house and pond) to the SE of our property has been sprayed with an herbicide. They are going to TILE and drain the area, removed all the rocks and are going to plant it to monocrops of corn in the spring..WAH !!!

At this time the entire area drains into OUR field..when there is heavy rain (right now we are in a drought thank God !!).

There are ditches and culverts that carry all the water from the east of our house for a mile to OUR property..and this will be a nearly 1 mile by nearly 1/2 mile area that has been sprayed and will be planted to the corn.. I am thankful we have a deep well..but probably will be sampling the water a few times over the next year..this water has been so pure that a bottling company has wanted to buy it.

And I may as well forget about growing OP corn again..here.

those of you dealing with this situation, what should I watch for?? We have been organic here for nearly 42 years..thankfully we are upwind from this area with only a rare wind coming from that direciton (an occasional noreaster)..generally in the late fall and winter. Today the winds are out of the south, but not the southeast...but the spraying was done yesterday I think..or over the weekend.











 
Posts: 3366
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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READ YOUR LAWS!!!

State law will tell you what you can or can't do. Most are really picky about runoff so you can see what you can or can't make stick. I know of people that have been forced to pull out tile or build runoff ponds to prevent it from leaving the property. I also know of people that lost everything to roundup runoff with no recourse.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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Thanks, where would I find these laws to read them? Probably would be county ordinances and we do not have any zoning or anything like that in our county. DNR officer (possibly retired) lives right across the street from this mess..
 
Posts: 47
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There has to be some legal action to prevent this. It could be considered trespass. I know there were some suits against monsanto for GMO seeds crossing with organics.

Are you certified organic now?

Do you know what the reason is for the herbicide? Maybe you could speak with them and offer organic alternatives?

I would check with a local or even national attorney who deals with land use issues like this.

Even the threat of legal action might be enough to get them to reconsider.
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Brenda,

I have successfully installed a hugelkultur on my south property line that gets significant run-off from the neighboring property. So far, I don't have the same issue with commercial farming on that side but, I can tell you my hugelkulture soaks up at around 95-99% of the water that makes it's way to it ( and we usually get a LOT of water). In the EXTREME wet seasons, I do get some water that makes it's way through the pile. It is my hope, during those times, that the carbon fibers in the hugel are able to provide some filter/trapping mechanism for any volitile subsances that reach it. Also, I hope that the amazing array of flora and fauna in the structure can help to remediate any contaminantes.

From the legal perspective, I would look at MDA's Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs) for managing agricultural runoff/residuals. They should be available on the MI.gov through MDA. Also, you could contact your MSU Extension agent and see if they can help you find your way through the mess.

Good Luck.

Susanna
 
pollinator
Posts: 10109
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I don't have anything to offer right now but just want to say my thoughts are with you.

 
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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Just want to say I too, am very sorry you have this to deal with... I see how often you post, and how hard you have worked for years creating a beautiful spot...... Feel badly for you.....
Don't know a lot of solutions, legally or remedially to the land, but how about you set up some sort of mushroom cultured straw barriers to intercept any water that escapes the hugel?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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ok more info:

13 years ago the county re did the ditches and drainage in this area and they put a culver under the roads to our east..one north to south on the east west road and one east west on the north south road either side of the corner on the SE side of our properties, we own the NE corner of two roads intersecting, with culverts under both..which leads ALL the runoff from both direcctions ONTO our property.

the following spring the run off flooded our property a few feet deep, I photographed it and called the county who came out and were shocked at what they had done to us..they were really nice to send out a crew to put in a NS ditch to drain the excess water from our property back into our woods to help until they could fix the situation..this was supposed to be temporary..13 years ago.

well,our son has maintained that ditch keeping the "clean" water flowing back into the woods, and around our pond and wells, for the last 10 years.

they never did come and fix the drainage so all the two 1/4's east of us N and S drain onto our land every spring and when there is excessive rain.

none of these areas use excessive chemicals on their property.

now they have rented their land to these companies..for $50 an acre per year, to plant corn..THe company laid tile in this week, last night the end of the tile was laid 200 ' from our property ..our property is down hill..so all that land that will be chemically farmed will draine directly into those culverts and onto our land..and they sprayed it all weekend with herbicides.

they will also use pesticides and chemical fertilizers on their gmo corn.

I also found out that it isn't just east of us but that they also rented land west of us as well about a mile down the road.

SOOOOO I called the county yesterday and they agreed that something has to be done, they were supposed to come out yesterday..

haven't seen them.

what they suggested over the phone was to put in culverts under our 3 driveways to the south road, which they said they could route the water along the county ditch along the south road, to a creek to the west of us (great a creek !!) ..and that would only affect our ditch area..

I can't see this as the best solution but I can see it as a solution..we will still have the toxic stuff crossing along the road down our property..and there will have to be a lot of work done to get that to drain west to the creek rather than north toward the river across my property...they will have to block off some lowlands to keep the property from flooding and i'm not thrilled with it going down the front ditch, but better than sitting on our woods.

they asked permission to put in the culverts which we gave, but i sure wish there was a better answer.

we have lived happily for 42 years out here with no sprays on any of the properties within 1 mile in every direction from us..so things change..not happy..but they have a right to poison their property, just not ours.

i hope the county will come today and discuss it with us..the manager of the road commission lives west of us, next door to the land that is being done west of us that I found out about yesterday.

he is in the same situation as us, but the water doesn't flow onto his property, so he is aware but not as concerned over his as we are of ours.

at least there is some compassion there I hope.

hope to hear from him soon, it has been 24 hours since he called me yesterday and said he would ocme over that day..so we hope..

you do what you can..

as far as the laws..the tiles have already been installed (last night)..so not sure what recourse we have at this point..other than change the flow of the runoff to not stay on our property
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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also I guess I failed to mention that we have in the past had bottling companies offer to buy our spring water here as it is considered some of the most pure in the country..now..

also forgot to mention, I do have hedgerows planted and wildflowers along that ditch, but NO food crops..so at least that wouldn't affect any food crops, there are oak trees so the acorns probably wouil be affected which would affect the wildlife, but no other edibles..in that area..I nearly planted elderberries and some other things there last year..glad I didn't..

wonder IF I could get them to completely TILE the area so the toxic stuff can't rain INTO our soil?? that would be interesting ..they would only have to tile about 1000 feet to get the water OFF of our property..maybe I'll push for that.
 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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Good luck!
IF you can engage the county folk to work for your cause it COULD help a lot....
Also if you get ANY recorded documentation that your land is likely to get the toxic run-off, SAVE IT....You never know when it may be useful further down the road....But sounds like you are totally on top of all this and already doing everything you can
 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
Posts: 143
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I would review the GAAMPS I mentioned. Also, if you had offers to purchase your spring water from bottlers, contact them and see if you can get an updated offer in-writing (do not mention the farming issue at this time) just establish the paper trail. If they will give you a written offer you can use it to establish the commodity value of your water source. The water has now become a valuable commodity that will be rendered useless. Meaning the farmer would have to PAY significant damages if it becomes contaminated (that isn't worth the cost of farming that land!). After you've established your claim, alert your neighbor and the outfit farming the land about the potential impact of their run-off and it's affect potential affect on the commodity value of your water and that you will hold them liable for damages. If you have water samples previously taken, awesome (they are your baseline) if not... get them as soon as you can... to establish run-off and baseline.

Also, you need to decide if you will allow limited bottling on your property. Once people become aware of your waters interest to bottlers, they may start looking for a piece of the pie... you may choose to lock the bottlers into a contract to avoid the problem. Up to you.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FOLD!!

 
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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Susanna de Villareal-Quintela wrote:Also, if you had offers to purchase your spring water from bottlers, contact them and see if you can get an updated offer in-writing (do not mention the farming issue at this time) just establish the paper trail. If they will give you a written offer you can use it to establish the commodity value of your water source. The water has now become a valuable commodity that will be rendered useless. Meaning the farmer would have to PAY significant damages if it becomes contaminated (that isn't worth the cost of farming that land!). After you've established your claim, alert your neighbor and the outfit farming the land about the potential impact of their run-off and it's affect potential affect on the commodity value of your water and that you will hold them liable for damages. If you have water samples previously taken, awesome (they are your baseline) if not... get them as soon as you can... to establish run-off and baseline.

Also, you need to decide if you will allow limited bottling on your property. Once people become aware of your waters interest to bottlers, they may start looking for a piece of the pie... you may choose to lock the bottlers into a contract to avoid the problem. Up to you.



Susanna is spot on. In a way it's bad that you didn't allow the water to be bottled, because if you had, you would not only have the water company's legal assets on your side but could show actual financial harm. Potential financial harm is tougher, but there is probably a case for diminution of value.

You may want to consider talking to a lawyer, even if legal action never becomes required. (And I don't suggest siccing a lawyer on anyone just yet.) But knowing your legal rights will help you in your negotiations.
 
Posts: 273
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My thoughts on your situation: 1) huge (10, 20, 30 ft?) berm facing their property planted with tall pioneer species and fungi for myco-remidiation. 2) Get them to pay for it. 3) If they don't want to pay for it plant running bamboo on their side of the berm... just kidding, or am I...
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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James you are evil !!! no I didn't mean to suggest anyone was less than perfect, but I love your line of thinking there.

I believe we may be working everything out with the county. Unfortunately this left me afraid to post on another forum as I was attacked on that forum for using the word "organic"..so this entire deal opened my eyes to how safe we are here on this forum with our humble ?? dictator keeping everyone in line..this may be the only forum I post on in the future...sure do love like minded people who understand how I feel cause they feel the same way.

We do have a "hedge" of evergreens, alders, some deciduous trees and such that will remediate the area when the new ditching and culverts are put in to protect our property..our currant drainage will be closed off before they plant the corn next year, so, we shouldn't get the runoff farther than the ditch on the property, and I might toss in some jerusalem artichokes as a barrier along the ditch after they build it..to help filter out any baddies that might attempt to cross it..but I love that running bamboo comment..although my parents taught me to do unto others as I would have them do unto me..which means..I don't want running bamboo taking over my property.

so probably won't use it..but do have some knotweed available on my property..no no..I didn't say that
 
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
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Brenda Groth wrote: so probably won't use it..but do have some knotweed available on my property..no no..I didn't say that



new thread title= Send me your spray-resistant weeds!

I have idiots planting crops everywhere that are probably GMO and certainly sprayed. Please send me your spray-resistant weed seeds for me to plant during the rains. I will pay for stamps.
 
Posts: 528
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Hope all goes as best it can, Brenda. A couple thoughts (that you may have already covered):

1) Assuming county help (in principle) their timely schedule (lack thereof) may turn out to be your big problem. Thus...

2) It might help to confirm any oral agreements, conversations, decisions, plans, promises, etc. in writing with a gentle confirmation letter including names, dates, topics, specific decisions and their details, etc. Ie. paper document trail for the future and a present reminder to those you're talking with that this matters to you and you're depending (sorta speak) on them to save you and make you whole. Copies to interested parties, of course.

> new water bottling bid

If contacting the company about their interest now, it might be best to be specific that you only want a non-binding ball park of their current level of interest BASED ON PRIOR EXISTING INFO from their last bid (or other communication) to save time and aid your own immediate planning efforts. With a brief confirmation letter... Any actual bids would be based on new information TBD at the appropriate time in the future if there is sufficient interest. IOW, you don't want want it to be said you mislead anybody.

Best luck.

Rufus
 
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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Wow Brenda, this certainly is a challenge. And to have such a disaster unfolding on such a signifigant date. The irony is that the disaster is coming in the form of water, the single most important resource considered in permaculture design.

If you could somehow successfully clean and manage the water, it could be a benefit to your property instead of a threat. I can't offer much help in how since I don't really understand the lay of the land, but it could be done with swales, wetlands, retention ponds and the right community of plants. After the dry summer we had, I know I am not thumbing my nose at any water that could potentially be stored.

Definitely pursue the legal advice and options for building your leverage against the offending company, but keep your mind open to turning this problem into a solution as well.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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some of the people that rented their land out (at $50 per year per acre) are now wishing they hadn't..but they signed the leases.

The animals have left the land that were there..my friend that leased out his land went hunting this week, he went into the woods south of his land to hunt deer and got one, but then couldn't figure out how to get it home..as the fields are all plowed and muddy and a mess and even his tractor and 4 wh dr truck couldn't go to where the deer was..he did find a neighbor with a quadrunner that dragged it out for him..but man was he disappointed he couldn't get it himself..

the deer will no longer cross the property, there is a place where they can still cross where there is a pond and a few trees, but even that isn't working well for the animals..

immediately the bluebirds and bobolinks dissappeared, the sandhill cranes are no longer using the field and the rabbits are gone..

they are sorry but it is now too late
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 10109
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Some things are even more important than money.
 
There’s no place like 127.0.0.1. But I'll always remember this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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