The way we beat the "money" is with grass roots democracy. That's what the Green Party is all about. The next supervisor race in the Fifth ... is going to be a barn burner! I can make that promise because I am a Green and we are all about waking up the sleeping giant.
While we are not hay farmers, we do understand maximizing profit. Those who might wish to treat the Fischer Ranch with herbicides do not assume the risks associated with maximizing profit; they do not live here. We do.
There is no such thing as a safe poison. When using poisons, risks are weighed against benefits. In this case, the benefits accrue to the farmers, while the risks are assumed by the community. Thus, we have conflict.
If the Fischer Ranch were East of Nowhere, few would know or care what happened to the weeds, but this property is in the middle of a residential neighborhood, bordered by bike paths on two sides, a hiking trail on the other, day care, store, an anadromous fish bearing river, and more than one Agent Orange Vet. Perhaps not the best place to be applying weed killers on a large scale?
If the request to spray were couched in terms of “making a competitive product”, our Fischer Ranch offers several advantages: The lease for the land is minimal. Irrigation and fertilizer is provided for free. Plenty of acreage, free water, and free fertilizer would seem to be a major advantage in the market place.
Many farmers believe they MUST till, but there is another way. The search term we used: “Seed Drills.” These can be rented or purchased. Seed drills have been used for centuries. They boast precise application depth and the ability to uniquely feed the seed, thus tremendously increasing yields. Plus, the huge advantage of not tilling and bringing weed seeds to the surface.
We live here. There must be a better way to farm the Ranch than to expose all of us to the risks associated with commercial, large scale applications of poison. We have asked for all alternatives to be investigated before putting ourselves, the environment, and our children… across the fence. Herbicides do not respect fence lines.
In our home, we have filters to take out almost anything we might find in our water supply. As for open space and growth ... they can co exist if we allow higher population densities in some areas ... other areas can remain for parks. For example, in my neighborhood, if every home sat on a 1/2 acre ... Hiller Park would not exist; it would be a sea of single family dwellings. Some people like living in town, they like knowing the folks in their building, like walking to services, like not needing a car to go to the pharmacy or the grocery store. Tree lined streets are nice too. Not mowing a lawn appeals to many of us, especially when we get into our 70's and 80's. Personally, having been ranch raised and living for many years in a variety of environments, I am happy pretty much anywhere I find myself. No such thing as one size fits all.
We could simply go to http://the-folks-in-the-folding-chairs.org/wordpress1/why-the-mcsd-board/ and read for ourselves what is being asked of the District by many of our local citizens, including me.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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