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There are flames coming out of my eyes, I am spitting nails Argh. Poison.  RSS feed

 
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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John, your barking has had a direct effect on my research, experiments, and peace of mind! We have mushrooms popping up all over. And a slime mold...
 
Posts: 218
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Matu,
I would take this man a copy of an article saying that the main cause of prostate gland cancer in men is suspected of being psticides.
When I was a journalist covering tobacco growing country, I met a farmer who lost both sons to brain cancer. Then he got cancer. He became head of the local farm bureau office. He suspected that tobacco spraying chemicals ("sucker control") caused the cancers. His sons were using these chemicals, which were maleic hydrazine.
The pestices and chemicals we use routinely in America are sometimes banned in foreign countries -- tobacco sprays were. The people who make them just change a molecule ever time a chemical gets banned. Then they give it a new name and start using it again.
I would be terribly anxious for my infant too. I don't know what to say. I would just plead with the man to come over and look at your damaged plants.
What goes around, comes around.....he is liable to wind up with cancer. He just never thought about this. Make him conscious of it!
 
Posts: 100
Location: Chimacum, WA Sunset Zone 5, USDA Zone 8B
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If this asshole was using fungicides, would one even be able to get mushrooms going to do Mycoremediation?
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I wonder about the effect of the fungicide. This is two years in a row now. I do have mushrooms popping up here and there, but it's been a great mushroom season so far. Who knows how good it would have been without the poison There are a lot more in the woods but there always are, of course.

This is the first year I've seen the dog vomit slime mold. It was exciting to watch but I'm suspicious of it, because it can eat living tissue and I saw it climb up the trunk of a blueberry bush and up the stem of a veggie plant on a hugelbeet. Do you think a slime mold might be more resilient against a fungicide because it's not a true fungus?
 
pollinator
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Brian Ham wrote:If this asshole was using fungicides, would one even be able to get mushrooms going to do Mycoremediation?



Short answer, yes. Fungi have quite a few more tricks to defeat fungicides than bacterial have to defeat antibiotics.

Matu, if you've got Fuligo septica making a visit, then things are going well for you. I've only ever noticed it in the spring, and then only on very well composted material that had lots of prior fungal activity. I'm thinking that in the succession of fungal decomposers, it is one of the last to arrive. Don't be worried about it climbing around your plants, it's as harmless as sowbugs. It showed up on some of my tomato plants this spring, only for a few days or so, and then it went away and the tomatoes have been doing fine since.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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In recent news, the farmer seems to have planted a cover crop. I'd like to think it's just neighborliness. I wonder if he is so bold as to start up farming this plot next year again. That would be weird, but he's got a reputation for being...dominant.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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The neighbor field has just been plowed. I have this sinking feeling that the farmer is going to spray again.
 
John Elliott
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Matu Collins wrote: the farmer is going to spray again.



Take him to the vet? I understand they have ways of fixing that behavior in tomcats.
 
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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I might set up a video camera pointing directly at the field, in a very obvious place. In fact, I might point it at him a few times while he's working. That doesn't mean I'd necessarily even turn it on. But let him know that his behavior is being monitored. Really only helpful if he thinks you can nail him on overspray regs. He may be more obstinate than dirt, but you have been extraordinarily accommodating to this point. If I had any damage this year, I'd be losing patience and looking for ways to make his life sad. Very sad. Herbicides blow both ways.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
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Hi Matu,

Is this guy out of his mind? Aren't you and the chief friends... I think it might be time to take a visit with the chief to bring a homemade pie (or whatever the hell he likes) and have a chat about this stubborn mutual problem. But seriously I feel like you have good grounds to at least force him off that patch of land, such blatant disrespect and arrogance shouldn't be tolerated and I am sure your buddy the police chief would feel the same way.

The other thing you could do (although I do not know if this is beyond your capability currently) would be to while talking to the chief about this neighbor, offer to take over management of that land.

This would solve the chief's problem and your problem although it would very likely make the stubborn farmer even more angry and vindictive, hopefully he is different than his father...

I hope for a sound resolution to your situation and that you can avoid dealing with these icky poisons this year.

Daniel

 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
78
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I've been working on building a good relationship with the neighbor who is the landowner. He really is charming and kind. He is thrilled to bits that I have agreed to take the copious droppings of his cryptomeria trees.

The chief has assured me that he made it clear to the farmer that spraying is unacceptable. I just haven't had cause to think that the farmer will listen to him. I feel like he could be watching us and waiting for us to leave. Next year I am going to ask if I can rent the field myself. It's tricky because it has to look nice for the chief's wife who is a city girl and likes things neat looking. I'm thinking wildflowers and daikon and I'll mow it a couple of times.

This farmer has so many fields to use, I wish he'd leave this one alone! I wish I could figure out how to post a picture of the google map so you can see what it looks like. How do I do that? Is sketchup the program to use?
 
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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Look up "screen shot" for whatever device you're using (Windows 7, Android Ice Cream, etc.) and follow those instructions to save the picture to your computer. Then upload the pic like you would anything else.
 
              
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Location: Choiceland, Saskatchewan
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Or if you find the land on google maps you can right click and pick "What's Here?" from the pop up menu and get the geographical coordinates that way....and then just post those here.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Greta Fields wrote:Matu,
I would take this man a copy of an article saying that the main cause of prostate gland cancer in men is suspected of being psticides.
When I was a journalist covering tobacco growing country, I met a farmer who lost both sons to brain cancer. Then he got cancer. He became head of the local farm bureau office. He suspected that tobacco spraying chemicals ("sucker control") caused the cancers. His sons were using these chemicals, which were maleic hydrazine.
The pestices and chemicals we use routinely in America are sometimes banned in foreign countries -- tobacco sprays were. The people who make them just change a molecule ever time a chemical gets banned. Then they give it a new name and start using it again.
I would be terribly anxious for my infant too. I don't know what to say. I would just plead with the man to come over and look at your damaged plants.
What goes around, comes around.....he is liable to wind up with cancer. He just never thought about this. Make him conscious of it!



His father, who had similar cavalier ideas of poison and neighborliness, died of cancer at a relatively young age. I have tried for years to get an audience with him and he ignores me. He has spoken to my husband, gender roles are very specific and reinforced in his family from what I know of his kids. He doesn't use the required safety equipment, nor does he require it of his employees (his own sons and his brother!) I wish I could talk to him, human to human.

I am attaching an image of our place. The google map is a bit old, so you can't see quite what my farm looks like now but you can get an idea. To the left of the red line is the field the farmer sprayed. To the right is our property. It's really all one field. The blue arrows show the prevailing wind patterns. Last year, on the eighth day of my baby's life I was sitting at the open window right at the break in the trees when I smelled the spray.

I'm on edge now waiting to see what he's going to do. If he rolls up in that tractor with a sprayer attached I will run with the wind at my heels and a video camera in my hand. Perhaps I will finally get a word with this man.
mapwinddirection.png
[Thumbnail for mapwinddirection.png]
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh man I knew it. I went out today and when I came back there were tractor tracks in the field and the horrible smell of burning plastic was wafting out of the soil.

Ew ew ew.
 
Posts: 6841
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Matu Collins wrote:Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh man I knew it. I went out today and when I came back there were tractor tracks in the field and the horrible smell of burning plastic was wafting out of the soil.

Ew ew ew.



....so sorry....I hope you can just rent the field next year like you mentioned and maybe even get a lease on it.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Well, good news. The kind neighbor says he will give me the use of the field next year! I'm delighted. I'm trying to take the long view and see that neighborly relations are a very valuable resource.

I wish there was some way to connect with the farmer in some meaningful way. I don't expect to change his mind on chemicals, but perhaps there is a way to get him to see me as a person.
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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Light at the end of the tunnel. Nice to hear there is something good coming from this.
 
steward
Posts: 1390
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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Matu, that is a crazy situation. I'm glad that it looks like things are being resolved to your favor. I can't believe the guy would act that way towards your family's or the neighbor's land - after being specifically asked. Assholes like that need their heads handed to them hard, it seems systemic to the family from what you are saying. And that the stuff leads to some shitty cancers for men on top of it all. Maybe he needs your husband to talk to him "man to man", which may seem ridiculous, but with the example of his father and your husband's grandfather I don't think the courtesy thing will work - but the cancer thing might. Then again, that "science stuff" may not be for him either.

As a mild aside, I have piece of land that has a heavy knapweed infestation, and the only recourse I was told was to use broadleaf herbicide to knock the stuff back. The guy next to us has an organic certified garlic plot, and when we were talking about the knapweed problem he simply asked me not to spray when it was windy or too close to the fence line ("his" fence is actually on our property, and he hasn't moved it despite repeated requests - different rant) and I easily complied with that, because I didn't like putting the gunk on there either. A little courtesy goes a long way, and I'll get the fence line moved one way or the other.

Anyway, this thread got me thinking that there has to be some "organic" method to control this crap - guess where my google-fu pointed me to for an answer? Apparently there's a thread on here that dates back to 2010 (about three years after I last applied anything, and we still have that crap weed) started by Paul. Now I have a better direction to go, thankfully. So thanks for having this discussion and getting me thinking about something I've been worrying about for a while. I really do enjoy this place.
 
Posts: 268
Location: Colo
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Was wondering if anymore happened with this?

I used to 'spray' a lot when I was a homeowner, but I was spraying things like compost tea, EM, milk, ferments, teas, etc.....
One of my neighbor, who shopped exclusively at Mart-Wal, refused any of my vegetables because "I spray too much". Even though, on numerous occasions, I explained what I was doing and spraying.

Not saying that is what is happening here, but people do get nervous, rightly so, when the ole sprayer comes out.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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He has spread some pelleted fertilizer. I'm on tenterhooks.
 
Posts: 15
Location: Zone 7b, Georgia.
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I am dealing with this issue currently and I can tell you that if you care to you can contact your state's pesticide division and they will possibly conduct an investigation. Basically they will send somebody out who will look for evidence of "drift" (key word here) and maybe take foliage samples which they *might* test for herbicides. They will then talk to the farmer and see what he recorded about spraying and so forth (date/time/wind/humidity). BTW these are great things for you to record when you see him spray - also pictures. If they find evidence of drift then you will get a report that says so and you can take him to court and sue for damages. He will get a slap on the wrist from the agency if he is at fault. This will all vary by state - here in GA we are a label-law state so if he fails to follow the label when applying the pesticide he will be ?more? liable.

You can see the common theme is that drift really isn't something the state (at least here) cares much about. It will likely be on you to hold the guy's feet to the legal fire and to see that your rights are respected. Anyway if the guy is spraying as part of a commercial operation he should be carrying some liability insurance for just this occasion.

If you want to get the state involved I would start with a call to your local extension agent who can tell you who to contact at the state. If you have a commercial organic (certified or not) operation than be sure to mention that.

It is also important to find out what he is spraying and then google it and find the label so you can see just what of your plants it will kill.

Good luck dealing with this, I know how draining it is to deal with people who don't respect your property.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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To recap:

I can't understand why The Chief let him use the field again last year! The farmer was adamant that he was using "safe" chemicals (Roundup and Strategy!) and that he was following all the laws. Last year, it turns out the farmer purchased a new high tech spraying tractor. He did come back and spray the field, but at least he was safer inside this bizarre helicopter-looking thing and it wasn't a windy day so the damage to my property was way way way less. Also, the baby wasn't eight days old sitting by the open window as poison drifted in.

Again he planted squash and again the field was hit badly by drought and overrun by weeds. Many of the squash were nibbled by woodchucks and I am pretty sure it was not worth it to him. The amount of squash he left in the field and plowed right under with a huge volume of weed seeds was amazing to me. Many squash were nibbled a bit but certainly good enough for cattle feed and he does raise beef cattle! I can't imagine the wasteful mindset. And I wonder fi he plowed all those seeds under to spite me or if he even thought about it. Am I being paranoid, I wonder?

This bodes well for me. I spoke to his son when he came to harvest what perfect squash there were and he told me that the farmer "doesn't hold a grudge" and will let me farm the field next year (which is now this year) I have a niggling worry that he will plow right over anything I plant, but that's not going to stop me.

I am daunted by the prospect of working this field. I don't own a working tractor and I don't relish the idea of putting a lot of money into the tractor we own (it's a fun climbing toy for the kids now). I am planning to plant sunflowers at least all along the edge of the field facing the Chief's house (there is a thick hedgerow between) because I think his wife will like that. I want to plant buckwheat and daikon for soil building, weed shading and hardpan-busting, but am wondering if it will be any use without a tractor plowing. It changes my permaculture design quite a bit because the field is pretty far away from my house and garden. It "should" be at least a zone three or four but I wonder if I can do anything with it by hand without spending a lot of time and energy. I've put so much effort into building soil and fertility in my garden and this field is so beat up and dead and full of weed seeds.

Has anyone out there farmed whole fields with cover crops by hand? Does anyone have suggestions for how to do this effectively and efficiently?
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
78
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I've been happy with no-till for my little garden but this field is a conundrum for me. It has to look ok for Mrs. Chief and the neighbors and it's been poorly treated for years now.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
78
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I thought of a neighbor I may be able to borrow a tractor from! I wonder how little disturbance I can get away with...
 
Posts: 251
Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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Matu, How about a few of rows of sunflowers ( or Jerusalem artichokes, or Tithonia diversifolia) as a barrier between both properties? It might work as a barrier to whatever he spreads around.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I agree JD, sunflowers all along the Chief's side are the plan. I was planning on black oil sunflowers because the birds like them so and because I can easily buy 50 pounds of seed for $25. Also because sunflowers look pretty and accumulate toxins.

I, of course, have PLENTY of sunchoke/jerusalem artichoke tubers, and perhaps that would discourage the farmer from ever being interested in the field again!
 
steward
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Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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Do you have access to big cardboard boxes? When I lived in Wisconsin I would make a rather large pumpkin/squash bed by covering the soil with cardboard and planting the vines in little cut-outs, then mulching the whole area with straw. I made a whole bunch of wire staples to hold the cardboard down, also used boards and rocks and things. It looked ugly until I put the straw over it, and then the vines would go nuts and the whole thing looked great for months, yielding lots of big hubbard, butternut, acorn, long island cheese, etc. If you can get the cardboard, I'd recommend that. It's a day's labor and then it's pretty easy to control the weeds with chop and drop when they find the holes in the cardboard. In Wisconsin I would leave the cardboard on the ground and it would just decompose by the next year. I would have to gather up any tape that had been on the boxes.

So, obviously not a HUSP style project, but it worked for me. I did that for years, the cardboard and straw just composted in place and I didn't have trouble with pests other than squash bugs some years.

Field peas grow fast and might compete with the weeds. Buckwheat grows very fast and should compete well.
 
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