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Monday, June 22, 2009

Backyard Farming Disasters 2009 - Garden Apocalypse

We are proud of our garden. It is productive and beautiful. We were bloated with spring crops – salads, cooking greens, onion, broccoli, cabbage, etc. Our summer crops reach for the sun promising tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, and squash. It all came crashing down last week. Much of it was eaten to the ground. Particularly distressing was the damage to the peas. We were just starting to harvest them. We only got a couple of bowls full from gleaning the remnants. We are thinking about changing the name of our backyard farm from Antietam Glen (after the creek that skirts our property) to Antietam Apocalypse.

The culprit this time? Deer. The herd that roams the neighborhood has never bothered us in years. We thought we were immune. We thought the deer were afraid of the horses in pastures that surround the garden. Not so. It’s more likely that our Labrador retriever that died last fall did her job and chased them off in previous years. She certainly went after groundhogs. The family is lobbying for a new dog but I am still mourning Cinder. Maybe I will give in when we come home from vacation in August. In the mean time we have baited and charged the garden fence. We painted a peanut butter/vegetable oil mixture at intervals on the polywire rope. When the deer go up to check it out, they get a 4,000 volt jolt in the nose or tongue. I get satisfaction just thinking about it.

The garden will rise from this apocalypse. I will wake up to my twenty minute breakfast. I will eat tomato salad and squash frittata. We will have a successful garden in 2009.

Peanut butter/vegetable oil deer attractant on polywire rope.
Notice the bare wires that carry a 4000 volt charge


mike said...

I'd like to see a video of the deer licking the wire. Ouch!

megan said...

Oh, how depressing! I sure hope that fence works for you!

pdxlisa said...

So sorry to hear about the deer problem. I'm glad to hear you are determined to grow again in the face of this setback. Loved the Days of Our Chives post.


Heather said...

After having deer cost us LOTS of money in landscaping, I would definitely agree with wht you said about getting satisfaction just thinking about them getting shocked! ME TOO! My garden is in the back yard which has a vinyl fence, so they stay out of there, but my poor trees/bushes in the front yard get snacked on every once in a while (we too are not the main yard they roam in). Good luck!