• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Jay Angler
stewards:
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
master gardeners:
  • Timothy Norton
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Tina Wolf
  • Matt McSpadden
  • Jeremy VanGelder

Problem with neighbours

 
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey guys,

I grew up in rural Crete, Greece
We have an olive grove there, and we always had problems with neighbours stealing various things from our land. Young Trees, fence etc...

We have fenced the area twice, one time somebody stole the fence, another time someone with a tractor trampled over the fence, and then people stole it haha!
I have been away for 10+ years and not giving much attention to the land, but now I consider going back. I live about 40 km away.

We also have a shepherd, who after many warnings, still will occasionally allow his ship in my land.

First of all I would like to fence the area, but fencing is really expensive, and I dont want to waste my money again.
I was thinking of doing plants. Plants that are easy to propagate.  Ideally hardy plants. Bonus points for things that the sheep wont like to eat.
What plants would you recommend ?

Also how can I prevent thieves, cameras perhaps ? The land is off grid, no electricity, internet.

Any advice is welcome. I dont want to sell the land.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1588
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
489
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you don't want cactus, I'd suggest fast-growing thorny bushes like sea buckthorn and goji berry. I haven't seen whether our sheep will try and eat these, because I planted them on the boundary of the main garden along a low fence that some neighbours climbed over years ago. I know goats will eat blackberry, but sheep usually don't bother unless they're really short on food.
 
master steward
Posts: 14664
Location: USDA Zone 8a
4060
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rosemary is another plant that sheep probably would not like to eat and it is a good hedge plant.

Where I live the deer hate it.  I use limbs off the rosemary bush to keep the deer off the roses that they love.

Game cameras can provide evidence of who has been on the property to show the local authorities.
 
Posts: 21
Location: Zone 3/4 North America
5
hunting chicken food preservation
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The eternal problem!

I moved last year and two of the mature fruit trees (apple and pear) are now almost over the road because it was apparently expanded some years back. So that means everyone and their dog thinks my apples and pears belong to them! I learned I have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn before work to grab the new ripe fruit because if I wait until after work there will be none left for me!

Last fall I was mowing and a man literally tried to wait me out next to my own tree. I was thinking, "dude, I live here! I can stay here longer than you!" He stood near my house for almost an hour as I mowed and did weeding nearby, inching his way closer to the tree. If he had just asked for a pear I might've given him one, but trying to steal one right in front of me gets you none.
 
Posts: 57
Location: Naranjito, PR
25
forest garden plumbing
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
a while back, I was talking with someone who wanted to keep neighbors off his land, but he did not want to fence it and we came up with the idea of putting some bee boxes near the property line. He did not actually have any bees in the boxes, but it still seemed to work. A lot of people will not get close enough to a hive box to check if it is occupied. On the other hand, bee hives are probably a good addition to any olive grove.
 
master gardener
Posts: 2557
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
941
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wonder if laying a hedge could be appropriate for you to at least deter both sheep and trespasser. I'm not familiar with what grows in Greece but something that would produce a good amount of biomass but would be manageable.

I wonder if having an air horn on hand would help at least rid yourself of sheep if you see them nearby. They spook easy enough at loud noises.
 
giorgos Papadakis
Posts: 5
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cade Johnson wrote:a while back, I was talking with someone who wanted to keep neighbors off his land, but he did not want to fence it and we came up with the idea of putting some bee boxes near the property line. He did not actually have any bees in the boxes, but it still seemed to work. A lot of people will not get close enough to a hive box to check if it is occupied. On the other hand, bee hives are probably a good addition to any olive grove.



I am fairly certain they will steal the boxes. This is rural Crete
 
Posts: 415
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, 350 m, USDA 8b, sunset zone 7
77
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Giorgos,

You could try oleanders. They are native to Mediterranean basin. They will create dense bushes and are toxic to ruminants. It grows around 50 cm/year, so it would take a few good years to develop a barrier, but it would be cheaper than any fence. Hopefully nobody will steal it ;)
 
gardener
Posts: 4942
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
934
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are solar powered electric fence chargers available there?
An electric fence uses a lot less material than conventional fencing.
Barbed wire and concertina wire, are options as well.

Wireless game cameras are available, but unless they are actively transmitting,  they can be stolen as well.

Setting up a camera to watch a second camera or other tempting items, that are air tagged so they can be tracked, might be a way of catching thieves.

Plant wise , the most unpleasant thorns I've encountered are on my hardy orange tree.
Poncirus trifoliata is slow growing here, but it might do better in warmer places.
Stinging nettle could be an effective barrier, though that might as bad for you as it is for them.


 
Phil Stevens
master pollinator
Posts: 1588
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
489
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you do want to try nettles, see if you can source some ongaonga, Urtica ferox. This is a perennial "tree nettle" native to the warmer parts of NZ that would probably thrive on Crete, and it is vicious. No one, human or animal, would willingly go through a hedge of this stuff. It can grow 3m tall and forms a densely branched thicket.

Ongaonga seed for sale
 
gardener
Posts: 636
Location: Poland
317
forest garden tiny house books cooking fiber arts ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You could also dig a trench, wide enough so the sheep can't jump it. Might help with water catchment too.
 
master steward
Posts: 10984
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6024
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My in-laws had a country place in a poor area, and yes, *anything* of any value would be stolen. They had a propane fridge and every time they left for more than a day, they'd have to remove the door and bring it with them! In other words, if people are desperate, or they simply figure they can get away with it, there's going to be a risk of theft. The danger of a fence is that it will simply convince them that there's something inside the fence they want.

I would take a multi-pronged approach:
1. I'm not one for promoting lying, but signs saying "bio-hazard - enter at own risk" *might* keep people out (although it didn't work around Chernobyl.)
2. I'd plant a polyculture of toxic and spiny plants in several close rows, but covering at least 4 ft so that animals (including humans) have the opportunity to decide this is a bad idea.
3. I'd consider at the 2 ft mark, having fencing - so a plant/fencing/plant sandwich. I agree the downside is cost.
4. I hear you that you don't want to sell the property, but think hard about what you *do* want to do with it. Thievery can come out of boredom, laziness to do alternatives, greed, or genuine poverty and it can be a prevailing attitude or just a few bad apples. If you don't want to spend the rest of your life defending your space, you need to consider what might facilitate alternatives. Things like starting a huge pile of cuttings of useful plants that are more than you can plant yourself. Then give a bunch of them to neighbours to plant, so they feel like you want to be part of the community.
 
Cade Johnson
Posts: 57
Location: Naranjito, PR
25
forest garden plumbing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
to extend the beehive idea just a bit, there is a hive design called a "topbar" hive, which is potentially much cheaper to construct, and because it is not conventional it might not be as attractive to steal. You could make top-bar hives in various weird containers like abandoned appliances, barrels, or crudely made crates. Occupied hives might not be so readily managed for honey, but that might not be the main purpose anyway.
 
Mother Tree
Posts: 12110
Location: Portugal
2959
dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Prickly pears!



They'll take a while to reach true 'fence' status, but if you can find a supply of pads they are super easy to grow, need pretty much zero care, plus you can eat the fruit and pads. If you are careful...
 
Cade Johnson
Posts: 57
Location: Naranjito, PR
25
forest garden plumbing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Prickly pears, while apparently widespread on Crete, are not endemic to Crete. On the other hand, there is "Greek Spiny Spurge" and "Mediterranean Spurge" which are both strong defense plants. I'm not saying an introduced species doesn't have its uses - we all prize non-indigenous fruit trees and garden crops - but I also think whenever there is an endemic species that can fill the need, it is ecologically beneficial to preserve the original ecosystem component. fwiw.
 
Jay Angler
master steward
Posts: 10984
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6024
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Burra Maluca wrote:Prickly pears!

I've started one I got from a friend under the overhang in front of my house. I'm *really* hoping it will be happy there and deer don't decide they're OK with prickly. It's one of those very difficult spots to find happy plants for, as it needs to be low enough that the windows aren't blocked, has to be tough enough to handle relatively harsh conditions of wind and dryness, and I want it fire resistant.

Burra, do you have any idea how resistant to fire Prickly Pears are?
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 12110
Location: Portugal
2959
dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Angler wrote:Burra, do you have any idea how resistant to fire Prickly Pears are?



Resistant, but not totally fireproof.

We had a big fire here in August. This beautiful specimen which is on a virtually abandoned terrace very close to our house did get a dose of water during the fire but survived unscathed, despite rather a lot of blackened bits all around (please don't ask about the roof sheets which were stacked behind the house ready to go up the next morning - they are a very sore point, as is the tractor...).



Then right behind the house we had a few young prickly pears growing. This poor thing had already had an unfortunate encounter with a scythe in about June because the grass had grown long and I hadn't put marker posts in place. And then the rather intense fire behind the house took out the young pads that had grown over the last couple of years. We noticed a couple of weeks ago though that despite all the insults, the dear little creature is bursting back into life again.



 
pollinator
Posts: 115
Location: Illinois
24
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I doubt there is much you can do while living at a distance. But if you live there you can.

Regarding the sheep, I suggest just sending the shepherd a bill. Charge him money for the grazing. There are standard, traditional costs for grazing rights in all countries where sheep and goats are kept. He has been cheating you, and he knows it very well.

First thing you do is go to the local government agricultural office and find out what the standard cost for grazing is. Then, document with photos and preferably video that this man's sheep are grazing your land. It should be easy for you to see where the sheep enter your land. Carefully mark the property line and have a camera take pics of the sheep entering. Sadly, cameras will probably be stolen as well, so it will have to be carefully hidden, or you will have to take the pictures manually. Are the sheep damaging the olive trees? If so, document that with pictures as well.

I doubt you can bill him for past grazing, but you should be able to make him pay for any current and future grazing. Make it too expensive and he will keep the sheep away.

Regarding the fencing, what is the local traditional fence? I guess stone walls. That's best, but huge labor. Most stone walls around fields have been built up over hundreds of years! Not possible for one man in one lifetime. Next best would be hedges, whatever spiny bush or tree is native there and commonly used by your neighbors. How do your neighbors fence their property?
 
Posts: 12
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They make battery powered cameras you could use—and they download images, too. I knew someone who used them. But if your trespasser knows or sees that the camera is there, he or she can cover his or her face. That, and cameras only "document"—they don't "prevent."  If people are prone to take an entire fence, then they'll probably just take the camera or cameras, too.
  As for fencing... Well, of course the heavier, higher and stronger the barrier, the more expensive. So, if you want to go with an alternative, hedges that are bushes with big thorns will slow people down. Hedges of  the type I'm referencing will grow very high—to house-height or more—and can be VERY thick and robust with sharp foliage and/or thorns. But they won't necessarily stop a very determined trespasser—nothing will do that but walls and you being there with a penalty for trespassing.
  But be it a fence or a hedge, it has to go full-circuit, without a break (which means YOU too cannot easily get in or out). Now, if you are on site then you can have a "one-way-in and out" break that can serve as your "kill zone." In other words, a fence or hedge that forces a trespasser into only one narrowly defined entry/exit is a trap that exposes him or her to whatever method of justice you mete out.
  Short of these suggestions, you can't do much unless you are there and are willing to stand your ground.

—Tᴏʟʟᴇsᴏɴ
 http://www.DLTolleson.com
 
pollinator
Posts: 451
Location: WV
123
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The issue with game cameras and solar fence chargers here is that they often get stolen.  We had a neighbor brag about his new expensive game camera he put up to deter theft only to have that camera stolen within two days.  

I've heard of fencing being cut to allow access but never stolen.  Gates on the other hand have been known to disappear.  My first husband's uncle resorted to using heavy metal pipe for gate posts and welding the hinges in place to deter theft.
 
How do they get the deer to cross at the signs? Or to read this tiny ad?
Our perennial nursery has sprouted!
https://permies.com/t/174246
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic