The latest incident was a purchase of hay from Willie Lesyk. He answered an ad I had in a local online site, looking for natural pasture hay with weeds. He told me that he had what I was looking for and offered to bring a bale to try. It was very nice indeed, so I said I would take 40 bales from him. He brought 5 bales and a bale of straw, and I paid him by cheque for those. It was the last week of September and the animals were still out to pasture so I only fed them a little of the hay to see how palatable it was for them. I did not open any other bales.
Willie brought 3 more loads of bale. His first visit was with his children, three delightful little ones. I gave them a tour of the farm and they seemed like well adjusted happy kids. I believe he did that to lure me in. The first bale was nothing like the other bales. He asked for sum of money, which was for the entire lot of bales he was to bring and I wrote a cheque for it. It was 800 dollars too much and when I opened the other bales I was horrified.
They were last year's straw, possibly last year's hay too, that had been picked up from the unharvested barley crop. The straw was dirty, mouldy and horrible. There was very little food for the animals in the hay, if it could even be called that. The cows do not even want to eat it. Willie refuses to come and see what he sold to me. He refuses to give back the overpayment either. And he has made no effort to bring the remainder of the bales, even though I have no use for them. At $60 per bale, that is the most expensive garbage I have ever bought , plus I inadvertently contributed to his charity fund, himself.
I had sent text messages and phoned him, I called his wife too. There is no response. Now they simply do not answer the phone. I posted my dilemma on Facebook on the local forum and many people came forward privately via messenger or phone to tell me that he has done the same thing to many people. He has lied and cheated his entire life and even been beaten up for it, and still did not pay his debt to the ones who beat him up.
I could take him to court and would definitely win, but there is no system for actually making him pay the money once it is awarded. So what is the point?
A few years ago, the man who was renting my pasture wanted my calf and took him and his mom, my beautiful Jersey cow that I had brought out from Pink Mountain, BC. She was from a long line of strictly grass fed dairy cows. The farmer was going to breed her for me, saying he had Jersey semen in his tank. I told him that she is not grain fed and must not have grain. I stressed that even. I called him in 2 weeks and he was nonchalant. I called him two weeks after that and he told me she died. He found her belly up in the barn with the other cows. He admitted he turned her out with his cows. She bloated from the grain and died. He would not do anything to replace her and he had 300 some cows . I asked for a heifer. Nothing. And then his son showed up and actually pushed me because I refused to let them rent my pasture after that. I told the young man to get off my property and never show his face again.
There have been countless incidents with the locals, small and large. I have been taken advantage of over and over. One would think a small rural area would have decent honest people, but it is anything but that here. Yes, the bad ones ruin it for the others. I am sure there are decent honest people, but I have come across more the opposite.
So, I am getting out of Dodge. It was a 10 year plan anyhow, but I was finally so content with all the hard work I had done to make this place into what I wanted, a beautiful permaculture farm, that I really would have stayed for the rest of my life. Then this final incident with the hay happened. I am done.
I am angry of course. That man, Willie Lesyk, needs to be strung up by his toenails. He owes money to everyone. I did not know that and he took advantage of my ignorance as his next victim. I do feel so sorry for those 3 little kids. How sad they have him as a role model. What possible future will they have? And the mother is in on the shenanigans as well. Gads!
There is gratitude in my heart for the many lessons learned here. I am still going to be a trusting naive person, because I want to believe that people are good. But here, too many are not. So here, I do not need to stay.
In January I will begin the liquidation of the bed and breakfast house furniture and contents and after that, everything else on the farm I am not taking with me, including my beloved animals. I do not want to part with some of my beautiful sheep and goats, nor Elsie my dairy cow. At this time I have no idea where I will end up, however; it is looking like the Gulf Islands in BC might be calling me. That is an organic community of small farmers and artists. Perfect! I should have paid attention to the type of interests people here had prior to moving, but it did not occur to me to do so.
I feel totally defeated, used, beaten and without the fortitude to continue here. Sad. So sad.