RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
As someone who lives adjacent to a farm in Hood River valley, I can tell you that farm and homes make terrible neighbors.
As I write this, spraying is going on. We regularly experience spray planes and helicopters flying close overhead starting before dawn; people who live by farms have to scrub their cars and swingsets. They spray 7 days a week, and despite traditional farmers' and industry claims, pesticides are not safe. My car has been doused with my children inside by my neighbor spraying from a tractor. He, of course, had protective clothing. Spray runs into the street and our mailbox has been coated. When I asked our neighbor to let me know when they are going to spray, he agreed, and then did so exactly twice. When I asked again, he angrily told me that he could not oblige.
Farmers use burning as a way to get rid of old trees and limbs and who knows what else; in the spring and the fall, the valley is frequently thick with smoke. Smudge pots are still used here as well. Did I mention the firing of air cannons, 24 hours a day, to keep birds off the cherries? Or that nonfarm residents are not allowed to have fruit trees unless they will spray, so as to protect nearby agriculture?
If anyone dares suggest that things should change -- eliminate smudge pots, disallow spraying around schools when school is in session, ask farmers to trim back trees that block motorists' view -- one is accused of killing the American Farmer, he who puts food on your table while barely getting by himself. Come take a look at Hood River. Really talk to people. Read our newspaper! It is far from Kumbaya.
posted 3 years, 7 months ago
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