Decado
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I now feel your pain OL. Last night an ancient power line in our backyard that should have been replaced 20 years ago finally snapped so the power company (Excel Energy) came by to fix it (and they only patched it instead of replacing :roll:). For some inexplicable reason they went and trimmed the right half of my elm which isn't even touching the wire (leaving the left half intact :?:) and then stuck us with the job of sawing down and then hauling away a gigantic pile of branches even though we don't have a truck or a trailer to haul it in. They even did a really terrible trimming job and I'm going to have to finish the job they started now. :evil: We call the power company who said that we had to haul it away and no one would let us talk with a supervisor. The power company just has too much...well, power.

Edit: Oh and they also trampled my snap peas because they had to walk through the garden. I even told them to watch out for stuff but do they give half a crap? No. :evil:

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Ozark Lady
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I am sorry, Decado. If they had cut, instead of spraying, I would have the mess left here too. But, for me, that would not be a problem, I have tree tops all over the place from the loggers anyhow.... firewood!

They did tell me that a silver maple and these stinking black locust are their most dreaded enemy, because they are fast growing, and they are hard to kill with herbicides.

They did tell me that dogwood, redbud, and other ornamental trees, they try not to remove, but to just keep them pruned back. But, their idea of pruning and ours probably doesn't match. They see it as get it away from the lines, we see it as, keep it trimmed evenly!

Check with your city if you are inside a city limits, or county folks if not, and see if they have a tree pick up schedule. Or you might even post an ad on a bulletin board somewhere, folks who cook out, just might come get it all for cooking out. After storms and high winds around here, the cities all have tree pick up schedules! Of course I am 17 miles away, but, I still see the brush piled at the curb when I go to town. The local cities chip the wood and compost all lawn leftovers, and they make free mulch/compost available to folks. Call your city mayor's office etc.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

Decado
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Unfortunately the only option we have for brush removal (which we've looked into before) is to haul it ourselves to a county drop off. I'd let it dry and burn it if I actually had the space to do so but unfortunately I don't. :(

The Helpful Gardener
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Wow Dec, sorry to hear; sounds even worse than the crews around here...

OL, glad to hear there is some respite... this is the sort of nightmare I dread and I would likely not be as well adjusted as you about this. I would have been beating the jungle drums already with anyone who would listen...

HG
Scott Reil

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There was a situation here in Fall 2003 with the local postmaster. I didn't even bother with the mayor, my assembly representative, or anyone like that.

I went straight to my Congressional representative's constituent services staff. (By the way, public utilities derive their monopoly from legislative mandates, so going to a Public Utilities Commission, a legislator, or a Congressional representative isn't completely far-fetched.)

Anyway, I received excellent attention from the Congressional staff *and* a 100% satisfactory resolution of the original situation.

I don't know that there will be a 100% satisfactory resolution of the spraying & utility situation (I'm in the middle of a "Smart Meter" situation with my utility), but just bringing additional power on your own side FEELS good. It can also actually HELP.

If all else fails, find a consumer advocate in the media and make a lot of noise. Show Big Bad Uncaring Utility Stepping on Stalwart, Health-Conscious Gardener (even better if you have small kids; the media love kids).

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

The Helpful Gardener
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Cynthia is of the same mind as I on this topic. Getting another advocate could be a big help in troubles like this...

HG
Scott Reil

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Ozark Lady
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Oh, I blew my top when I first saw it. I was too angry to talk and still be a lady! So, I just pouted (very unladylike) for awhile. Then, I walked and looked, and part of it was my fault. I am not blameless here.

I knew that it was my responsibility to keep the plants under the power lines low growing. And I missed those locust and maples that got too tall and actually led to the spraying issue.

I am allowed to grow in the first 8 feet. If I had cut those taller trees and held them to 8 feet, by feeding them to my goats, then they would have had no cause to cut or spray! My fault and I share the guilt.

But two wrongs don't make a right. They still shouldn't have killed my elderberries in two patches, and my blackberries and raspberries.

And if I had gotten ugly with them, I would have gotten ugly right back at me. So, it was best to take it as... we all live in this world, and I know some folks do spray, your job is tough. But, you should have an opt in, not an opt out! If I had gone ballistic on them, I would have been treated as a fool, a heretic, or worse yet, a tree hugger! ha ha

To be taken seriously, we really must hold in our passion and be reasonable adults. As it is, I told him, every time I see that mess, I get angry all over again. And he said he understood. See, I made him see that I saw his job, and issues, but that he should see mine too.

Think about it: If I had just kept ranting and ranting, how credible would I have been? But, wanting information, asking their advice, and walking and talking, and taking responsibility for keeping the power line clear, that went alot further. I even told him, that I wanted to help educate folks on keeping the lines clear, what is helpful and what is not. And to keep them from spraying so close to houses, and the lake.

And I suggested vinegar as the best herbicide! ha ha
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

The Helpful Gardener
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Thanks for clarifying your thinking OL. It is rare in this day and age to hear people admitting guilt (even if I think you are being a little too magnanimous in this instance, but I appreciate your point nonetheless).

HG
Scott Reil

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Oh my gosh! I've found my people! :D I felt like I am the only person I know that doesn't spray chemicals for every little problem. I grew up organic, when it was not yet fashionable or common, but it's nice to see over the years how these ideas are becoming more mainstream. Obviously, though, not mainstream enough.
And this forum makes me rather glad I am one of the fruits and nuts out here in California. With our never-ending water shortage, and the price of water going higher and higher, xeriscaping and planting with natives is really taking off. Of course, this is less likely in new developments, where HOAs still want everyone to look the same. (Although I think I recently read that we have a CA bill that forbids HOAs from banning a landscape installed for low-water usage) But in some areas, it is awesome to see how great a yard can look, with not a blade of grass in sight!
Some people want to take the easy road and spray chemicals. But sometimes just a teeny part of what I say about organics and chemicals actually begins to sink in... :idea:
dirtgalonavalon

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applestar
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Welcome tunia :D I think you'll be comfortable here. :wink:

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gixxerific
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Yes, welcome tunia I think you might like the permaculture forum on here, well along with everything else of course.

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Ozark Lady
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Guess who was at my house today?
They worked about 5 hours.
They will be back, most likely tomorrow.

[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/100_2458_phixr.jpg[/img]

I took a hint from someone else and took the crew some banana popsicles to cool off with. They liked them!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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gixxerific
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Now you talking, banana Popsicle that is a great way to get them on your side. Who wants to piss off the Popsicle lady.

What are they doing there trimming up what they sprayed before?

Greenhorn
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Gixxerific; sorry that your yard and garden is being compromised/damaged by neighbors using herbicides and such.

I both defend and scorn the use of chemicals.

I thought I would respond to you in more detail in my rambling reminiscence reflections on what was and what is.

I feel a lawn should be a garden, not just a lawn.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=132217#132217

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Ozark Lady
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The electric company is clearing to the ground, everything they sprayed and all the over grown trees that didn't die from their spraying. I notice the May Apples are abundant under all the mess, and they are leaving them in peace, so it will soon look green again, with May Apples.

They are taking it all down, and running it into their chipper and removing the chipped mess from my property. It looks as clear as it was when they first ran the power lines.

They are back this morning with the chipper in high gear.

They were really hot and tired, yesterday, because that old dead mess is alot worse than clearing fresh green stuff! Well, it would have been me having to do it, without the gear they have to do it with! And I would have had to haul off all that mess!

If enough of us fight back, I think they will agree... that hour of cutting last year, would have saved 2 full days of work this year! The spraying was worse in costs than the cutting would have been!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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cherlynn
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WOW!!! I have been "away" from the forum for a bit...what a post to read as I return! It's good to see and hear that more people have concerns about the use of chemicals.

I am sorry to hear that you have lost so much vegetation, Ozark Lady. Hopefully, you have enlightened some of the people involved!! Although, I agree with Scott...
this is the sort of nightmare I dread and I would likely not be as well adjusted as you about this. I would have been beating the jungle drums already with anyone who would listen...


cherlynn

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Ozark Lady
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It is terrible with the chemical stuff.

I sincerely hope that if nothing else, I get everyone to read the junk mail, and watch, especially in the fall, when the sap is rising and falling in vegetation, that is when the sprayers hit with herbicides.

And I think with Gixx and Apple, we are seeing that a solid fence is absolutely necessary to protect your vegetation from careless folks. I am not sure how they can protect their air and children who play on neighbors grass etc.

But, one must be careful, do your homework!
The guy I talked to, had scorn for folks so concerned that one drop of the chemicals could kill the whole community etc. We must, know our enemy, and not get too loud with our war drums until we have absolute proof and not just a gut feeling that this can't be good.

And we need to find a way to reach folks, because there are varying viewpoints. Some folks spray and think nothing of it.

All we can do is protect our little piece of the world, do our best, and get educated, and educate others.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

The Helpful Gardener
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You mean like [url=https://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/opinion/06kristof.html]this[/url]?

The wheels are coming off the chemical train... the truth cannot be suppressed forever...

HG
Scott Reil

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Ozark Lady
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The electric company was back again on Monday.

The supervisor double checked what was done last week, and he sent them to cut down some trees that I had requested removed.

These trees were tall, and leaning towards the powerline, a problem waiting to happen, and they were within the 10 feet that is not safe for the home owner to cut. Electric lines are not covered at all, so even a branch touching them can be dangerous. I protested, that they sprayed, non-dangerous items, and left trees that were likely to take out the power lines. So, they are no longer endangering the power.

I do have a yard ful of branches, and leaves, but that is no problem for me, I dragged several to the goats, and they had a feast. Goats will even eat them after they dry, so they aren't wasted at all.

My goat pen is beginning to look like a brush pile though, so soon, I will have to get in there and cut it up, and get rid of it, a friend was going to sell their chipper to me, soon as they check it over. So, that will become mulch for the paths of my garden.

Those trees, will be goat food, firewood and then mulch from the small stuff, and manure from the goats recycling efforts. So, not really lost from the land. The wood ashes will also be returned to balance the acid oak. Did I mention that I am also getting 3-4 quarts of milk daily from the one goat who has kidded already? Her baby is only a week old. So the oak is also adding to the milk. I think that is full cycle, and not wasteful like herbicides!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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cherlynn
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Scott...good link!
cherlynn

Decado
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So some chemical spraying company came by my neighbors today spraying herbicides all over their yard and (imagine the gall) he sprayed through our fence and got weeds along our fence and later said he thought it would be alright with us. :x It was most definitely not alright, especially since my dog likes to eat grass sometimes and usually from alongside the fence. Good thing he didn't spray my lilacs or I'd probably be in jail now.

Dixana
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Regarding the NY Times link you posted HG, yes its true the chemical companies are being exposed, the truth is coming out about the dangers of the chemicals people use with no abandon, but what good does that REALLY do? Lobbyists that work for the companies that fund those politicians are never going to allow companies like monsanto to lose their moneytrain death products. We all know that's all that really matters in washington is "who's giving me the money and how can I cover their butt". Until the consumer (meaning us!) stand up and flat out say we're not buying your cancer causing, earth killing garbage I just don't see these products going away, and I don't know about you guys, but here there are 3 problems with this.
1: There are few to no alternatives. In the town I live in there are NO organic foods available at stores, so I have to drive over half an hour for produce that costs twice as much.
2: The vast majority are completely ignorant to what company makes what products and just think "hey the miracle grow makes my plants pretty, the weed and feed makes my lawn better than joe blows next door so it must be good" No concern for what it does/where it goes/who it hurts once their lawn is feed free and green.
3: The economy stinks and people are broke. I know a LOT of people who can barely afford to buy fresh fruits and veggies, much less organic ones. when you're trying to raise a family on little to no income that box of mac and cheese that only costs 69 cents is going to go a lot farther than some organic lettuce that, hey let's be honest, the kids aren't gonna eat anyway. But now I'm drifting into a whole different topic of why Americans are so obese.....
Anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is where's the next option?

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Ozark Lady
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Hey, not using chemicals is great exercise and great for the waistline.

When you go out to the garden, and you manually weed, you often get personal. Some weeds you just can't get with the hoe, so you have to bend over there and stretch back there to get it.

Then the bugs, if you don't use many chemicals, you do alot of hand picking, nothing like the human eye to spot them, and then the human hand (or Apples chop sticks) to get them. I have a large, cheap pair of forcep like things, or huge tweezers that I use to get them! But, I still have to get on my knees and reach, and lean this way and that to spot them! And then we start checking out the "nightlife" and going looking for slugs by flashlight!

Maybe we need some advertisement, and some spiffy outfits for weeding and bug chasing? It is public relations that is missing here! :lol:
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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applestar
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Speaking of... have you seen those baseball caps with LED lights built into the visor rim? I can't decide if the hands-free factor would be a convenience or if the lights will make every single night flier fly into your eyes. :shock: :lol:

Of course there are LED clip-onto-the-visor-lights and the pre-LED miner's headlamp style gizmos too. DH and BIL like to go night fishing, so I've seen every incarnation. :roll:

Dixana
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My hubby and I each have one of those clip on the brim led lights :lol::lol::lol: We use them for night fishing cats and they're awesome. dim, med, bright, 3-way flash, and 5-way flash :D makes it easy to see each other when we're down river too...
On another note entirely, the hubby has now demanded I save the slugs for fishing bait BLEH! :evil:

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Ozark Lady
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I have hands free elastic band, that holds a flashlight on my forehead.

Feels goofy, not overly bright, but it does get me around outside in the dark. Works fine for just seeing where you are going, when you are carrying things and have no free hands.

I wanna go fishing! (Off topic: Are ya catching anything?)
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Ozark Lady
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What the electric company right of way looks like today, after their clean up and a few days to green up again!

Hey, I found some young elderberries, just out of the range of their chemicals, and lots of youngsters in the remaining patch! Hooray!

[img]https://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww281/Ozark_Lady/000_0250_phixr.jpg[/img]
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Ozark Lady
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Well, now the right-of-way is about to become...

A bag garden! I can't use the soil there, but I am just out of room in the regular garden, and clearing the trees is just going too slow!

A dear friend sent me a link to a pdf of a bag garden. They just bought bags of soil, and made them into beds.

Okay, I need too many to go that route. So, today, I hauled home another truck load of topsoil. And I got a roll of contractor trash bags.

This weekend will be... fill, enrich, slash and plant.

https://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2008-06-01/No-Dig-Garden-Beds.aspx

A neighbor who was against spraying also dropped by, yesterday, and she offered me all the horse manure that I care to haul home. So, should I run out of goat, or poultry manure, I have another source!

There are a few weeds starting to grow in the right-of-way, nothing like it should look, but still some are growing. I am concerned that some roots will find their way out of the bags and into the soil there. Just a chance that I am going to have to take. These plants are already dead, if I can't get them planted...somewhere or other.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

Dixana
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OL we haven't caught much this year, weather's been too goofy. I caught one tiny perch and the hubby caught a big icky sheephead, but that's it!

I'm hoping this weekend we can catch a few cats. I LOVE grilled catfish :D

On another note, I'm now wondering what the hubby would say if he came home and the only side of our driveway with grass had suddenly become a bag garden......:lol:

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Ozark Lady
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I haven't gotten to go fishing. I hear tell the bass are running.

My grandkids keep going, and they always save their tiny fish for grandma's pond. Someday, they want to be able to fish in it!

So, my pond gained some bass and some perch. I notice lots of tadpoles and water insects are there, so maybe in time it will become a fish pond.

I still haven't come up with a good idea of something to plant on the banks or in the pond that would grow well, even with livestock grazing.

I am concerned that the black bags will overheat, so I will have to be prepared to mulch, mulch, mulch!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!



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