Redneck Review

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Redneck Blackberry-field Wars

This time of year I get annoyed with our neighbors. We have
some blackberries on our land that they feel are theirs. And
I don't want to share, even though I have no immediate plans
for the berries. It's the principal of the matter.

When we bought our 10 acres 16 years ago, we did not have
blackberries. The land next to ours did. The people who own
it live in Illinois, and never come down here. Oh, the first couple
of years they camped in a tent down by the creek once a year.
We have not seen them in at least 8 years. Since they were
never here during blackberry season, everyone who lived out
here stopped for a few berries if they wanted them. That was
fine, people stood on the gravel road and picked them.

Then the years passed, and the blackberries spread down the
fence row (or where the fence row would have been if there was
a fence. But there's not a fence, just orange paint on metal spikes
marking the property line). And since people do not like to get
all chewed up by the thorns, they don't wade into the blackberry
patch to pick, they walk down our nicely-mowed field. And even
that would not have bothered me (much) if they had just asked,
"Mind if we walk down your field and pick blackberries?"

The real issue now is that after 16 years, these blackberries
have grown over onto our side of the property line by about
4-5 feet. These really are our blackberries now. Neighbors,
you are welcome to wade into the weedy, thorny, snakey,
adjoining property and pick to your heart's content, but do
not traipse onto our property and pick the easy blackberries
that are rightfully ours.

I know, you all are thinking, "You are so petty, Hillbilly Mom!
Let the people have their blackberries!" But I can't help being
bitter when I see down-the-road neighbor's grandpa with a
big bucket walking in my field. He doesn't even live in this
town. He lives about 20 miles away. And then another day
I see across-the-road's daughter with a bucket, her 4-wheeler
parked in our field. And during turkey season, there went
across-the-road's son down the middle of our field with a

I haven't said anything, because I don't want to start a Hatfield
and McCoy hillbilly feud. I guess we could put up a fence, or
hop their fences to ride their horses when the mood strikes us.
Maybe that would get their attention. But I won't do anything
except stew silently and become Bitter Hillbilly Mom for a few
weeks. I jokingly told #1 son that he could patrol the area in
his $300 car like the guards patrol the boundaries of the state
prison a few miles from our house. He can rig up a speaker
for his walkie-talkie and announce: "Step away from the
blackberries! You are now on private property!" He is willing,
but I don't really want to bring him into my private battle.

So what would you do? I figure I'll just let them pick as usual.
They probably don't even know this is an issue for me. They
just assume, "Hey, free blackberries on somebody's abandoned
land. I'm gettin' me some."


  • At 10:18 PM, Blogger Andrew said…

    The guy over our back fence happily jumped it regularly to raid our lemon tree (with our permission) while all the while poisoning a beautiful Ash tree he didn't like to look at (without our permission).

    Now the tree is gone and he has no lemons. I'm with you on the blackberry thing.

  • At 12:14 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    I say you tell them to get lost, they are your blackberries, and you should enjoy them. Maybe a couple of randomly placed bear traps will do the trick, or a few signs saying "Poisoned, DO NOT EAT" will help.


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