This is the first in what I am sure will be an ongoing series.
I like to garden. I like the connection with the earth and seeing the results of tending my meagre crops. I like to eat what we grow and the teaching opportunities that come with watching plants grow and produce food for our table. Mostly I like to play in the dirt.
Unfortunately there are a couple of groundhogs that live in our neighbour’s yard, not to mention the rabbits, skunk, occasional raccoon and squirrels that live in and pass through our yard. It turns out that all of them like the plants and food that we try to grow just as much as we do. Last year I think the only plants that survived the competition between me and the rodents were the tomatoes and I don’t even like tomatoes. Laura is the only one in the house who does. I had enclosed the two gardens with chicken wire. I used metal wire last year because the year before I had used the plastic stuff which was not an effective barrier. As I have discovered the plastic stuff breaks down and becomes brittle in the sun. It also doesn’t stand up well to weed whacker cords that spin a little too close. The metal wire didn’t solve the problem last year, the animals were apparently on a vegetable hunt and since they couldn’t go through it, just went over or under it.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been building (with a bit of a rain delay) wood frame and chicken wire enclosures and the planting, while a little later than I prefer, will commence this weekend.
I did see one of the groundhogs inspecting my handiwork the other day. I think it was a scout for the upcoming assault on my defences. I expect they are now hard at work building siege engines.
Last year I joked that I would have to hook up a car battery to the chicken wire to keep the groundhogs out. A statement that was promptly repeated by the kids to any other adults they talked to. This year if my fortifications aren’t successful I will be looking at that car battery option pretty seriously…