Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Parting Is Such Sweet.....Ah The Hell With That

A couple of months back I wrote about the sale of over half of our family farm to the local County. As I mentioned at the time, a neighboring land owner sold their adjacent section to the County several years back. The County was quick to relocate the regional landfill/sewage lagoon/chemical refuse pond to this site. My family tried to fight this action, based on potential damage to the marsh-lake attached to both properties, as well as to our land.

Back then (the early 80's), ecological concerns were still primarily scoffed at so even if my farming family had possessed the time to go looking for local support, it is unlikely there would have been much to find. Those neighbors who were contacted had various reasons for not actively supporting the efforts, but I believe most just didn't see as it affected them so the ramifications did not really sink pun intended. As might be expected, these efforts were for naught and little but lip service was ever paid to the situation. It is my understanding that since then, my family continued to request that water and soil tests be done, as well as voicing concerns about the amount of plastic waste allowed to blow into the lake and onto our land. No tests were ever done.

Just this last winter I took part in a local town hall meeting hosted by the County. At this meeting I asked about any intention the County might have into looking at preventing waste from blowing out of the landfill. The response was too pathetic to be funny. I was told that ever since the province allowed them to build vertically (ie a big garbage and dirt mound) there was no longer anything they could really do to prevent some waste from blowing out. I was then assured that the County periodically sent cleaning crews out to tidy the immediate area. I had not intended to inspire laughter from the rest of the community members when I suggested that they might want to check if these crews ever actually showed up.

Does this look like a site that has been cleared?

But back to the original point of this I said, although requested several times, no soil or water table tests were ever done on our adjacent land nor, to my knowledge, water tests on the marsh-lake itself. Just yesterday however, less than 3 months after finalization of the sale of our land, guess what happens?

You got it, the County was out to do soil tests on our...oh right, I mean their land. We get to farm it for another 3 years so I guess I can be forgiven for still calling it ours.

I'm going to hold back from getting too confrontational about this. For one thing, my energy is better spent elsewhere. There may also be a chance to work with others in the community, and the County itself, to ensure that the land is as naturally used as possible. Perhaps there may even be the chance to continue to lease a portion of it should my hemp dreams become reality.

Given my nature though, I am sure going to have to work hard to hold my tongue.


linda said...

Very heartbreaking to hear. Whoever coined the term, "choose your battles" was very wise. On the other hand, a friend of mine said recently, "We can't all be chiefs" to my comment that I felt extremely overwhelmed at taking the lead in matters that affect our community. I guess I am saying, if it means a lot to you, explore the option of at least trying one last time. If it's still a no go, walk away. Your energy and intelligence will find another outlet in our day and age.

Theresa said...

Arg! Things like this just make me want to scream and pull my hair out!! But I know that won't help, really. Good for you for reflecting on it and taking some time to consider what would be the best thing to do in the long run. I am sending lots of good vibes your way!

SoapBoxTech said...

Thanks Linda. I just hate to walk away from such a well maintained and situated spot.

Thank you as well Theresa. I appreciate the support.

SoapBoxTech said...

It is just proof that communities cannot just trust that bureaucrats and politicians are going to do what is in their best interest, and then complain that they don't. We have to stay active and aware, at some level. I agree that not everyone can lead, but some people have to. Better they are the wise and the seekers of balance.

Amber said...

Wow, I'm sorry to hear that story of your family's land. It seems like another example of near-sighted, short term, bureaucratic thinking that benefits very few people now at the expense of many others now and in the future. Please keep us updated on what happens next.

MoonRaven said...

This is too bad and too sad. Yes, it does make sense to pick your battles, but I can still understand how horrid all this must make you feel.

My sympathy--and I hope that some good things start going your way soon to offset this (expletive deleted).

SoapBoxTech said...

Thanks Amber and Moonraven. It certainly does help to have such supportive comments.