My boyfriend and I spent this weekend planting our vegetables and herbs in the limited space we have around the front entrance and the balcony of our condo. (We live in the Seattle area.) We were behind, but finally this weekend we filled our pots with organic soil and planted our first round of vegetables and herbs: tomatoes, chard, yellow squash, cucumbers, yellow beans, green beans, lettuce, thyme, basil, and oregano. Everything is in pots except for the squash and cucumbers, for which there is a tiny bit of land adjacent to the walkway that we were able to use. Turns out, we should have waited one more weekend.
When I checked the mail today I saw a bright yellow notice on the bulletin board next to the mailboxes: “Washington Tree Service will be spraying on 5/25.” You have got to be kidding me. I am furious. Neither Dave nor I checked mail on Monday and the notice wasn’t there on Saturday. This means the homeowner association gave us (our mailboxes, really) less than 24 hours notice. I knew spraying would be an issue, but I figured they would give at least a week’s notice. That would give me time to bring all the pots inside, and cover whatever I couldn’t move with plastic. Apparently I was dreaming.
To come home to find that while I was out, some “service” came and poisoned my soil and my vegetables feels intrusive. It feels like theft. The point of growing our own vegetables is so we have locally grown, fresh, great tasting vegetables NOT laced with pesticides. My homeowners association just took that away from us.
What do I do? The thoughts going through my mind right now are the following: 1) contact the homeowners association and inform them that 24 hour notice at the mailbox bulletin board is not enough, 2) question the association on why we are hiring companies to spray our land with poison, 3) call Washington Tree Service and find out a) what chemical(s) they sprayed and b) what their method was, and 4) begin a petition with my neighbors to ban the homeowners association from using herbicides, pesticides, fungicides on the property.
Any thoughts on this? Am I on the right path? Are there other things I can do or I’m not thinking of? Any help or thoughts are appreciated.
Sleepless in Seattle,
Update, 5/26: Has anyone ever heard of Ecotec TM (insecticide) or Sporatec TM (fungicide) from Brandt? According to my homeowners association, Washington Tree Service provided the “natural choice” service; meaning they used Ecotec and Sporatec. According the Washington Tree Service, these are made with “all-organic fish- and seaweed-based compounds, plus essential oils” and are certified organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Hmm. Perhaps this is safe for humans; this makes me feel a little better. My next question though, is it safe for bees? The Brandt website says the essential oils “block octopamine neuroreceptors in insects and mites, and also provide a temporary covering to the pest’s outer membrane leading to a smothering effect.” Does it smother the honey bees and native pollinators too?
Update, 7/02: I’ve received a lot of search terms for these pesticides. Here are the labels for Brandt Ecotec TM (insecticide) and Brandt Sporatec TM (fungicide) if you are looking for more information. (Thank you Kevin!) Feel free to comment, I’m interested in hearing about your questions and concerns!