Monday, March 8, 2010

Neighbors...You Gotta Love Them


A person tells this interesting story...
My sister has a small 60 acre family farm that was annexed into the city about 15 years ago. While she still maintains it as a horse farm most of the adjoining property around her has since been sold for residential development. For the most part she gets along fine with her neighbors but she has one neighbor who took it upon himself to cut a barbed wire fence, fill in a perimeter drainage ditch and extend his lawn another two acres into her field. The property has twice been officially surveyed and the neighbor was served with a written notice for encroaching on her land. On top of that she has twice taken him to court for property damages for cutting the fencing, yet he continues to extend his lawn more and more. One day in early spring, I was at the farm and sis was at wits end as to how to deal with this character. I said, "No problem sis, I will get his attention today"

I went and got the trusty, old John Deere farm tractor out and gave the horse barn a thorough spring cleaning, removing about 4 tons of manure, which I loaded on the manure spreader. I, then, hauled it to the back of the property where the neighbor was happily puttering along on his little Craftsman riding mower. I went right up close to the property line and dropped the manure spreader in gear, then I ran parallel to the fence making sure that nothing was being thrown over the fence but making a good ground cover at the state mandated maximum rate of two tons per acre. I made one pass and when I turned around to come back on the parallel track the neighbor walks out in the fields and asks "What on earth do you think your doing?" I said, "Simple buddy, I am just spreading all the manure you’ve been passing on to us?"

The neighbor then pulled out a cell phone and called the police. An officer came and asked me what I was doing? I said, “I am spreading horse manure in preparation for plowing this field, it’s technically called ‘organic farming’…you don’t have a problem with that, do you?" I then got off the tractor and walked the officer over to the property line and showed him the survey stakes and where the neighbor had actually cut the fence. The officer then went over to the neighbor…who was livid…shouting all kinds of stuff about health regulations, and other things. The officer then pulled out his pad and asked the neighbor for his ID. The neighbor thought the officer wanted his information to file a complaint against me, so he immediately handed his license to the officer, all the while still pointing at me and shouting obscenities and nonsense about health laws and such. Imagine the neighbor’s surprise when the officer handed him a citation for cutting the fence, filling a drainage ditch and trespassing, then telling him that what I was doing was perfectly legal and normal functions for a working farm. The officer then waved at me and hollered "have a good day, and by the way, if this guy gives you any more problems call me, next time I come out here, I'm gonna haul him in."

I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you? :-) More about neighbors later...


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