We live on 10 acres, mostly pasture with a small stand of evergreens and lined at the edges with wild blackberries. Our property is a perfect square, with our house smack dab in the middle. To the north of our farm is a small family run dairy farm. To the south is my mom’s acrage To the east is another 10 acre farm that raises beef and sheep. To the west…well to the west used to be over 50 acres of just open space with a creek and an old dilapidated saw mill.
Now it is a housing development with homes on lots from 1 to 2 acres. On our Western flank we have 3 neighbors. It is the #3 neighbor that I will be speaking about today.
As I was driving home the other day I noticed that the blackberries along the fence line bordering #3 neighbor were turning yellow. I stopped the car and got out to take a look. As I got nearer it became obvious they had been sprayed with some sort of herbicide (all of our roadways around our town are sprayed the same way so I knew immediately how it looks)
I got back into my car grumbling about the nerve of someone to spray the blackberries on my property.
The next day and the day after that I visited #3 to speak to her about spraying on property that wasn’t her’s. She was never home.
Meanwhile I have called the county to find out the rules about this. They were clear that no one had the legal right to spray on another’s property, even if it was blackberries (which if you lived in Western Washington you realize that they are considered a nuisance plant.)
Anyway on the 3rd try I stopped by her daughter’s house at the beginning of the housing developement and was going to leave a message to have her mom call me.
Of course the daughter was concerned about what I was wanting to contact her mom about (I would be to if a neighbor wanted to talk to my mom who lives on her own)
So I proceeded in the nicest way possible to tell her daughter that I was concerned that her mom was spraying my blackberries. I explained that not only did my kids pick and eat the blackberries all over our property but we also were beekeepers and that these berry bushes were an outstanding source of pollen for them.
I was clear that there no legal standing to do this.
The daughter although polite kept asking me “you mean you want blackberries?”
I explained to her about making jam and gardening organically and feeding bees.
She told me how she and her husband had spent months and months clearing their 2 acres of the native ‘weeds’ so they could put in their expansive lawn and borders. She certainly didn’t want my blackberries infesting her mother’s equally manicured lawn and she didn’t blame her mom from spraying. She frankly thought I had a screw loose…
It finally boiled down to yes I want those blackberries and they are on my property and could she please tell her mother to call me when she returned from vacation so I could speak to her.
Why do people want to move to the country and then clear out all vestiges of said country and plant lawns that look just like those in town?
Why would someone think that just because they want to keep their perfect lawns that it could possibly ok to use killer spray on someone else’s ‘weeds’?
Have we come so far from our roots that the manicured lawn is now the norm and I’m the oddball?
Kim can also be found at the inadvertent farmer where she raises organic fruits, veggies, critters, kids, and…a camel!
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