This is exactly why you don't forage in ditches

LaurieLovesLearning
LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin
edited March 15 in Wild Edibles & Medicinals

This is what our municipality plans to spray in ditches, public lands & also elsewhere where noxious weeds are reported. It is most likely similar in other areas.

Remember that drift occurs and even the slightest breeze can carry particles quite far. If the ditches are bordering agricultural land (sometimes including pastures) you get whatever they are applying as well.

So, it isn't just vehicle exhaust that you need to be mindful of.

I often wonder what the consequences to our health & the health of wild and domestic animals are and will be. It is terrifying knowing I've had ag chemical droplets land on my skin & I & my family (and all our animals) have repeatedly breathed in many ag chemicals which are increasing & becoming more potent each year. Last year, a particular chemical even entered our house twice, causing migraines & other discomfort & concerns.

I have no problems admitting that I absolutely abhor/hate agricultural chemicals.

For this reason, winter is my favorite season.

Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Oh, my! That is quite the cocktail they are letting loose.

    Different regulations here in BC. They (Invasive Species Council) use glyphosate but only for spot treatments or specific area treatments. We don't see broadcast spreading for weeds in ditches, although the railways are allowed to broadcast all along their right of ways.

    Forestry has been broadcasting glyphosate in some forest regions to prevent "weed" tree growth so that the commercial timber species can dominate. Its a huge issue here for herbalists and foragers and there is a lot of push back against the government for this policy.

    Maybe if some of these chemicals were known by their old names, that might spark new protests against their use. I'm old enough to remember Agent Orange (and various other agent "colors") and what its toxicity level was (is). 2,4-D is a main ingredient along with 2,4,5-T. There are still claims ongoing to try to get compensation for service members who were at CFB Gagetown when Agent Orange was being tested in the 60's.


  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh my! What a terrible mess. I'm so glad they don't do anything like that near us. Not sure if they do it in the cities here, though I don't remember them doing it when I lived in Anchorage.

    I do remember in FL at my high school graduation they came around with a truck spraying for mosquitoes all the way around the football field where the graduation was being held. Everyone was coughing and choking on the spray. We were covered in it and couldn't wait for everything to be over to go get showers.

    How far away from roadways that are not sprayed and not very busy, but do have heavy equipment on it regularly. Maybe 3-4 times a day?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    The only way we can find out what they are planning to spray is by checking our municipality's website or FB page in spring. The latter is more current & faster to get information from.

    If you didn't go checking, you might only be aware they spray ditches, but you wouldn't know what it is they are spraying & you might not be aware of other areas they are applying chemicals.

    If you don't want them to spray your frontage (which in our case is very little and we suspect only one side of the road), you only have 15 days from when they first post it online.

  • tamiw23
    tamiw23 Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    That's pretty bad as there are foraging groups who would be affected if they choose to collect in ditches. I believe there are some wild asparagus that grow in some of the ditches around us.

    The water near where we live is contaminated with fertilizers from the cow farms I'm assuming or canola fields. We had lunch at someone's house in the area last year and their water was off-tasting even though that was from a new well that they drilled near the highway but they have a huge cow operation so I don't know. I think a reverse osmosis system might work in their situation but they claimed it wouldn't. We're located far enough that our water is good but it's still scary to think about.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @tamiw23 Water can taste bad for a variety of reasons. Often it is the minerals that are in the water.

    The only way you can fully know if chemicals have leached into the water is to get it tested.

    Reverse osmosis will leave minerals in the water, so that could be why that option wouldn't work in their case. Distilling would.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    That's disturbing. I feel like our country uses far too many pesticides and herbicides and much of them for nothing more than shallow aesthetic concerns. These have real dangers to human health and safety. Why they continue to push this is beyond me, after learning what these chemicals are capable of doing. It's foolhardy at best and in my opinion even malicious. In our society's absurd obsession with perfectly manicured lawns, we poison our plants, our water, and our children all for miles of endless, boring green. The area where I live now is a very difficult place to forage. There isn't much in the way of public places that allow it, the nearest national forest being almost an hour away. And there are so many people here, roads, new homes, powerlines, etc, I wouldn't trust much of what I do find. It's sad to me to see more parking lots than fields, and more shopping plazas than woods.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    What I was taught was a minimum of thirty feet away from roadsides, and that's very minimally used roadsides where they don't spray, etc. I personally would try to keep it more at 100 to be on the safe side, if you have that much room. Avoid foraging around railroad tracks, powerlines, and homes, particularly old homesteads where paint and other things may have had lead that leached into the soil and around floodplains where the rivers are known to be contaminated. It feels like there isn't too much left to forage, doesn't it? It seems like we are losing our wild spaces. ;,(

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭✭

    @ LaurieLovesLearning I admit--I only thought about vehicle exhaust. I will definitely be more aware of spraying ditches (especially frontage) and other areas! I will be checking online quite often! Thanks!!

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @karenjanicki For some reason I always thought it was 100 feet, so I guess I was doing good with it. We live in Alaska and they don't do much spraying here unless maybe in Anchorage and the close cities around it. Maybe on the military base just outside of Anchorage. Luckily I am around 70 miles from the nearest city. I live on the edge of a small village. Full time residents maybe 1000-1200 or so. It can get more in the summer when we have the summer workers for the tourist locations and the big lodge that is here. It is a little busier than when we first moved out here though. Back then in the winter 3 cars was a traffic jam. :)

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    It sounds lovely. I miss living in the country. I actually had considered moving to Alaska at one point.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @karenjanicki Sometimes the snow, cold and darkness in the winter can get to me. After a few months I really want to be warm, and see green and daylight more than a few hours a day. LOL But overall, it is worth it to live here. Even our cities are good compared to places I have lived or traveled in the lower 48.