Oklahoma farmer believes someone sprayed weed killer on his blackberry crops

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EDMOND, Okla. - An Edmond farmer is upset. Almost all of his organic blackberry crop is dead.

He believes someone sprayed round-up on the fence line, killing the plants.

Right before Providence Farms's first farm-to-table meal last week, they found out the blackberry jam they were looking forward to making couldn't happen - all because someone killed their harvest.

“You can see the entire fence row is completely dead,” said Chris Webster, owner of Providence Farms.

It's been a rough spring and start of summer for Webster and his family. They started Providence Farms eight years ago to bring the community together, not hurt one another.

“When I went out to harvest, I noticed probably 80 percent of the blackberries were gone,” Webster said. “It was hard, you know. You just look at it, and we've had one loss after another this year, so that was just the topping on the cake there.”

He believes someone sprayed a chemical on the fence line that got in the roots and killed the plants.

“Heartbroken,” Webster said. “Nothing better than blackberry jam.”

He said, whether it was intentional or not, he just wants people to be educated on how it affects him and his family.

“It's like completely taking away one of those incomes for the year because we start selling our markets on May 1st. Well, we haven't sold any produce in our markets yet, and we're into July now,” Webster said. “So, there's three months of income that's just completely taken away.”

Webster doesn't want to speculate about how it happened. He just hopes his neighbors will communicate with each other before something like it happens again.

“Would I have a problem trimming those blackberries back?” Webster said. “No, absolutely. I would go in there by hand, no chemicals because we grow organically. I would go in there, and cut those blackberries out of the fence row and save them on my side of the fence row.”

Webster said they hope to have some blackberries ready by their next farm-to-table dinner.

For more information, check out their Facebook page, Providence Farms.


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