• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Talking to your neighbors about their use of RoundUp

 
James Miller
Posts: 9
Location: SW Virginia
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Permies: Long time lurker, first time poster here.

Sunday afternoon, I looked up my hill and saw my neighbor spraying with a canister into her bare, hardpanned section of soil that is about 10 feet from my vegetable garden. I approached her, offered the cordial "How's it going?" and then asked her what she was spraying. RoundUp. I had to stifle a rant, and basically said, "That's the worst thing you could put on your lawn." I then soft-pedaled a bit and told her that I was concerned because my veggie garden is close. She gave the usual ignorant response of, "well, it's not going to rain today, so you're good." I told her about bioaccumulation (roundup found in breast milk) and how it doesn't disappear, and also told her there are greener ways of handling weeds. She said she'd consider that in the future.

How do permie folks deal with civilians who think RoundUp is kosher? I was thinking of printing a short article about white vinegar is as effective as RoundUp and being very polite and giving it to her the next time I see her.

Your thoughts?
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2351
77
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used to think there were maybe a couple of uses for Roundup. With my chemistry background, I try to understand that each molecule can have its particular uses where all others fail. With Roundup, I used to think that it was good for taking out poison ivy -- just a couple squirts in the springtime, and no more worries about rashes. But even for this, I've discovered a better technique. See, Roundup kills the green part of the poison ivy. Above the ground. There is still a long, viny root snaking its way underground, ready to pop up in another place. I find that if I wear gloves and use linesman's pliers to carefully pull up the poison ivy plant, I can get ALL of it and there won't be any root to pop up from. So even here, Roundup is an inferior method.

About the only use I can think of for Roundup now is for post-apocalypse movies, where you want the background to be brown dead plants that give the set that look that all hope is lost, it's just a matter of time before everything dies.
 
Robert James
Posts: 44
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have read some articles about the health dangers of using it, you could always print out one of them for her to read with some links.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is so tricky. I feel really passionate about avoiding chemicals like roundup and yet neighborly feelings are so integral to a community. It all depends on the people. You may be able to build a relationship with the neighbor such that she will take your information and learn from it, you may have to plant a buffer zone between her property and your own.

One tactic that is helpful with some people is to ask questions and listen to them for a while before offering any opinions or ideas. You can ask her why she sprays, what her experiences of gardening are, if her family is a farming family going back, etc etc. Get her talking about herself and listen to her answers. It may help you understand where she's coming from. If she relaxes and trusts you you might be able to tell her what you do and why. In my experience, when people are on the defensive they don't have much receptive capacity.

I have a lot of compassion for you. My journey with a callous chemical wielding neighbor is detailed in this thread. The field I write about was just plowed under yesterday and I am almost holding my breath in wait to see what the farmer is going to plant, which will give a clue as to if/what he plans to spray. Wish me luck, and good luck to you!
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3774
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
142
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been thinking of printing up some of this information and hanging the pages on my neighbors doors!

http://www.chem-tox.com/pesticides/

It is amazing to me that the folks with little kids and pets will hire companies to spray their yards every year. The companies stick little warning flags along the driveways and sidewalks that say that this stuff will harm your kids and pets. All for a green, weed free lawn!!??
 
Topher Belknap
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

"Howdy, neighbor. Do you want some honey from my bees, that are right over there?"
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
Posts: 127
Location: Orgyen, zone 8
12
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My organic farm is next door to recently-clearcut land owned by a timber company. I've found that by having a polite, friendly dialog with them while being armed with the facts about the chemicals they're using is the way to go. I managed to get the timber company to set aside a no-spray buffer zone on their property that was adjacent to my farm. They also let me pull out the Scotch broom and thistle by hand in the no-spray buffer zone area to prevent any possibility of chemical trespass onto my land. They also agreed not to spray from a helicopter or use atrazine. So far, the plan has worked out fairly well for both of us. Maybe you could politely explain to your neighbor that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, causes non-hodgkins lymphoma and that using it is extremely dangerous. Or maybe you could offer to manually control the weeds on her property in the area near your garden, in order to prevent drift onto your food supply. Most people that use Roundup do not know that they are poisoning themselves, their families or their neighbors, so it is always best to have compassion for them, instead of anger. Below is a link to an article about the dangers of Roundup:

http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/glyphosate

By the way, the second annual March Against Monsanto is scheduled for this Saturday, May 24th. There will be peaceful. non-violent protests in hundreds of cities around the world. Join us!
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5613
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
283
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We don't have close neighbors spraying their fields but have gone round and round with the power company's "vegetation manager(s)". We have two stretches of power line crossing our property and have used no spray signs and repeated calls to the power company, letters to the editor and a kind of 'neighborhood watch' call line for when anyone sees them in the area. Our problem was finding the right person to tell...even when we think all is well and we maintain the right of way ourselves, they sometimes send out a crew with backpack sprayers to hit every locust sprout very near our posted official signs. once they told us that our phone number needed to be on the sign...no one ever called. The herbicide that is sprayed here is Krenite by Dupont.
There are 'official' well worded letters suggested by any of the Organic Certifiers in the country. HERE is a list from a search for 'neighbor notification letters'. I think something written would add a bit more importance to the request....even if you are not 'certified' growing organically is understood, if not supported by most now.
There are many toxic chemicals used in addition to the Roundup brand....maybe it would be good to have a term to describe them that covers more ground.
If you are on the electric grid you might want to check into how they maintain their right of ways.....and locally, there has been more road side spraying recently.

I do think some people might be more convinced by something official looking rather than the fear of toxins doing themselves and their family damage....go figure......

and M.k. we are going to the local march in our little town and expecting a great turnout....it happens to be our anniversary weekend also....
sign 004.jpg
[Thumbnail for sign 004.jpg]
our sign on power line
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2351
77
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How many people here are aware of the natural alternative to Roundup? Black walnut leaves. That's right, you can make up a pretty effective herbicide by stewing up black walnut leaves and spraying that solution on the offending weeds. But it is also nasty in its own regard, and you don't want to be ingesting that either.

If your neighbors are spraying Roundup to keep the weeds from popping up under their black walnut trees, you can let them know that Monsanto appreciates them wasting their money.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 562
Location: Soutwest Ohio
92
books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Elliott wrote:With my chemistry background, I try to understand that each molecule can have its particular uses where all others fail. With Roundup, I used to think that it was good for taking out poison ivy ... [but]... I find that if I wear gloves and use linesman's pliers to carefully pull up the poison ivy plant, I can get ALL of it and there won't be any root to pop up from.

and
John Elliott wrote:That's right, you can make up a pretty effective herbicide by stewing up black walnut leaves and spraying that solution on the offending weeds. But it is also nasty in its own regard, and you don't want to be ingesting that either.


Both of these caught my attention. I would love to see you write up an article about all of the common issues and the healthier alternatives along with the chemist perspective. Something people could be pointed to when a situation like this comes up that lists all of the common herbicide uses and why the alternative is both healthier and just as effective. An article that also included mention of your background and experience where people could send the doubting folks and have a clear answer that comes from a chemist rather than anecdotal evidence. After all, most people need something from an 'expert' to believe something even if they could just as readily see it with their own two eyes.
 
Michael Vormwald
Posts: 154
Location: Central New York - Finger Lakes - Zone 5
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I empathize and hope you impressed her with your calm statement of the facts. If I was you, I'd get her a gallon of white vinegar.

[rant warning]
This is just another example of Monsanto mind control through a zillion dollar advertising campaign. What sickens me even more are the genetically modified 'Roundup ready' seed (corn, soy, rape seed) Monsanto is producing that will tolerate even greater volumes of the poison! They tell us it's safe...but that's what they said about DDT, PCB's and Agent Orange! How we let greedy chemical companies get their grubby paws in our food system is beyond my simple thinking. Even worse is their complete lack of moral ethics in forcing farmers to buy their seed or face lawsuits for patent infringement. Monsanto documentary
And then there's our fine government that turns a blind eye to the revolving door between Monsanto and FDA executives.
[end rant]

I'm NOT a 'doomsday prepper' but with concern over the nutritional value of conventional farming produce and fear of a potential food crisis, I'm now compelled to grow as much of our food that I can ... along with learning and developing permaculture techniques.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2351
77
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
D. Logan wrote: I would love to see you write up an article about all of the common issues and the healthier alternatives along with the chemist perspective. Something people could be pointed to when a situation like this comes up that lists all of the common herbicide uses and why the alternative is both healthier and just as effective.


I'll take that under advisement and see what I can come up with. Our modern consumer culture, and the advertising that supports it, runs counter to doing things for yourself. Why Heloise alone is responsible for millions in lost profits at Proctor&Gamble with her constant carping about using baking soda, vinegar, and club soda to clean things.
 
James Miller
Posts: 9
Location: SW Virginia
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About a month ago they laid down some mulch. Hallelujah!

I'm doing due diligence by pulling any weeds near the fence, so they don't have any germination on their side. I also laid down some wood chips along the fence.
 
Riccardo Ricky
Posts: 18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brilliant topic ! I currently have a problem with my father spraying roundup all over our paving outside from his utter hate of weeds, ended up having a huge fight which caused us not to speak for months, i am looking for an alternative which would do a similar job in eradicating the weeds on the pavement, i myself understand that those weeds arent evil although im in desperate need to get him off the hands of Monsanto which is the evil one ! Any help will be kindly appreciated : )
 
gary reif
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On a different forum I am on there is a roundup disscussion and I surprising how many think roundup and 2-4-d are completely safe. One person challenged me to a drink off where he drinks shots of roundup and I vineger and he will stop when I am dead from vinegar. Wow I can't believe how bad they are Buffaloed
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1983
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
152
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ricky Riccardo wrote:Brilliant topic ! I currently have a problem with my father spraying roundup all over our paving outside from his utter hate of weeds, ended up having a huge fight which caused us not to speak for months, i am looking for an alternative which would do a similar job in eradicating the weeds on the pavement, i myself understand that those weeds arent evil although im in desperate need to get him off the hands of Monsanto which is the evil one ! Any help will be kindly appreciated : )


The use of a weed burner is very effective. It is also satisfying in a "kill em, Yeah kill em!" sort of way. It also doesn't pollute anything.

I always bring up the "if you have to use Roundup, put it on the tender new growth leaves with a paint brush" method, this normally raises questions and I get to inform the Roundup wielding party of just how non-safe it is. There are plenty of far safer things to use if you don't want to buy propane and a weed burner.

Laziness is usually the real culprit, since most societies are now instant gratification oriented. If you can manage to inform people in a manner that they perceive that they have discovered the issues and not had them thrown in their face or beaten with the facts, they respond very positively.

In a discussion of dangerous chemicals that are touted to be beneficial to mankind, I bring up the effects of good old Agent Orange and how it still has areas sterile and they will be for at least 100 years, not to mention all the health problems it still causes for those who served in Vietnam and were subjected to it.

Once people read for themselves, the dangers of the "Big Brother" mentality that Monsanto uses to cover up the real facts, the people start to become informed and outraged without you becoming the "Tree Hugging so and so".
 
Mountain Krauss
Posts: 130
Location: Northern California
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If your neighbor is working with a small space, I think the best approach is to ask what they're hoping to accomplish, and if you can do it for them. I think a couple other people have mentioned offering to take of her weeds for her. It's a very helpful approach, rather than a confrontational one, and if she likes the work you do, she'll be more receptive to information in the future. Also, you could end up with some extra space to farm in exchange for giving her a bit of the harvest.

Dealing with a commercial farm or power company is a much more daunting task-- a lot harder to work out a neighborly agreement.
 
James Miller
Posts: 9
Location: SW Virginia
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
UPDATE: So, my other neighbor who I gently lectured about spraying round-up (not the neighbor I referenced in the OP) saw that his neighbor was moving out of his house. He said to me, "Man, I hope we get someone who likes gardening and doesn't spray round up near the perimeter of my fence."

This is the same guy that was spraying round up in his own yard about 9 months ago, about 10 feet away from my yard. He's been watching me garden and has started sheet mulching just like me. He's also wild about wood chips after talking to me.

So, overall I've made a lot of progress.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 562
Location: Soutwest Ohio
92
books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
James Miller wrote:UPDATE: So, my other neighbor who I gently lectured about spraying round-up (not the neighbor I referenced in the OP) saw that his neighbor was moving out of his house. He said to me, "Man, I hope we get someone who likes gardening and doesn't spray round up near the perimeter of my fence."

This is the same guy that was spraying round up in his own yard about 9 months ago, about 10 feet away from my yard. He's been watching me garden and has started sheet mulching just like me. He's also wild about wood chips after talking to me.

So, overall I've made a lot of progress.


Woo Hoo! Glad you have been making progress. Maybe the neighbor you converted will end up converting whoever moves in. Assuming they aren't already avoiding the nasty sprays.
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!