Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bye, Bye Balmie

I love my neighbors, I really do. They are super kind and incredibly helpful folks. If ever I needed anything, they would be right there for me, I know it. In the past they have helped me move furniture, taken me to a laboring momma on shabbat, trimmed my hedges,etc., I could not have asked for kinder neighbors. But when it comes to plants and Earth Care, let's just say their considerations fall short.

I went out to cut my lemon balm to perhaps make some tinctures. I had thought maybe they might not be good for medicine because they are close to the road but since my street is not terribly busy and I thinking about personal or family use, I thought it might be okay. When I went to cut them I noticed a terribly noxious smell, like gas type fumes. My neighbors daughter was on her porch and greeted me. I said hello and asked her if she knew what that smell was. She replied with "What smell?" and came off the porch to chat with me. As she got closer she noticed the smell and asked if that was the one I meant, to which I answered yes it was.

My beautiful lemon balm this past spring.

Wait for it...

"Oh, my dad just sprayed the whole front here for weeds!"

OH NO!!!!

My plants, my lemon balm has fallen the way of chemical weed spray. I am so sad right now, you can only imagine. I feel angry, not really at them, but at what has happened. I cannot use my lemon balm or any of my lovely herbs. ARGH!!! I am so frustrated!!! What is the use of growing plants in an urban area is they are going to be totally toxified!!! I really want to make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here! I can't believe this!!!


Are any of you folks urban dwellers? Do you use any of your herbs for medicines? How do you keep them pure?? Can you??

Livid over Lemon Balm

Farewell beloved lemon balm, I shall miss you...


  1. Oh that's terrible! I can fully sympathize because I just finished reading Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, which is basically about the harm of pesticides, insecticides, chemicals, and even herbicides, and writing an essay in favor of it. I hope you can somehow grow un-sprayed herbs!

  2. Wow. I grieve with you about your herbs ... that is truly terrible.

    We live in the suburbs on a busy road, so I don't harvest what's in front for medicine, though I do regularly pluck roadside herbs and sniff them and rub them on my skin. Am I subjecting petro-chemicals to my body this way? I guess, but I'm so hungry to connect with these plants, and they perhaps may be hungry to connect with humans in this way.

    I would be heartbroken too and fiercely angry if someone decided to do me a 'favor' and weed-and-feed my plants!

    When I knew we were moving back here I requested to our renters to stop using chemicals in our yard. I think when we return this place to rental we'll just have it in the agreement: no chemicals! I guess we have to (politely, when we can) spell it out to people. These are my plants. I use them for food and medicine. I know you mean to help, but ... please leave them to me.

    As far as using these medicines oneself (if the spraying had never happened), I probably would have done so if it were me. I just feel that the intimate connection with a plant by nurturing it, living with it, can more than balance some of the exposure to other things, assuming that your road -- as you said -- isn't terribly busy (and folks aren't "helpfully" spraying them! sigh ...).

    We want to live sustainably, close to the earth, to be an expression of that wherever we are--especially in suburban and urban areas. So frustrating and discouraging when we face the harshness of poisonous presence in almost every direction ....


Thanks so much for you comment! I look forward to reading it! Blessings!