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The Return of the Enclosed Garden

The interesting and entertaining reactions to my recent post about destructive wildlife in the garden encouraged me to ponder the situation more closely. Pondering things closely always leads me to weird ideas. I am thinking about the possible return of the walled gardens of Victorian times. How do you know they didn’t become popular in the first place to keep out wild animals including humans? And tame animals too for that matter because, in those days, livestock were allowed to wander about as freely as we allow deer to do today. As long as most people are not involved in food production or avid gardening, I think it will be a long time before we are going to get the kind of social solidarity needed to enact measures to control runaway wildlife populations. It is easy enough to convince the gentle folk among us to get rid of mice and rats in the house but oh my, not those precious deer and raccoons in the garden. If there were deer that developed a taste for car tires, you can bet that society would rise up in wrath and settle that problem in a hurry. A watchdog is good protection against raccoons and deer, but not dependable enough. Electric fencing works but is not totally dependable either. In the extremely dry weather we have been experiencing, we learned that raccoons can brush against electric fence and not be grounded enough to get shocked. It seems to me that garden farmers are just going to have to bite the bullet and spend the money on really foolproof enclosures or quit raising food. I have settled for something a whole lot cheaper than garden walls but also a whole lot uglier… Read on over at Gene’s main blog to find out what his solution to the critter problem involves.

sanctuaryoftrees Gene Logsdon is the author of, most recently, A Sanctuary of Trees: Beech Nuts, Birdsongs, Baseball Bats, and Benedictions


A Small Thing But Maybe Not

All summer I raved and ranted at the squirrels that were eating the corn in my crib. I was particularly concerned because the drought seemed to be making sure this year’s crop was going to be a bust. I did not look forward to buying corn at drought-inflated prices just to keep squirrels fat eating […] Read More..

Fires In the Fields

If you want to see the landscape of hell painted prettily on a farmland horizon, watch a field of corn on fire. It is hellish enough, in my view, to see corn fields stretching away in every direction from sea to shining sea with no houses, barns, trees, fences, grazing animals or any other sign […] Read More..

Weeds That Like A Sip of Roundup Now and Then

First the glorious days of advanced farming brought us corn stalks that eat tractor tires. Now there’s a weed that likes to drink weed killers, especially Roundup. Recently Palmer amaranth “completely overran” most of the soybean test plots at Bayer CropScience’s test plots in Illinois, in the words of DTN/Progressive Farmer editor, Pam Smith, despite […] Read More..

The Weather May Not Be the Problem

There are so many stark contrasts in the world today. These are times out of which great epics of literature ought to be written but aren’t. Society is too engrossed in drivel like whether badminton players in the Olympics were cheating or not. This summer, the driest in 50 years in parts of the Midwest, […] Read More..

Tire-Eating Cornstalks

I fantasize about genetically-engineering deer that would love the taste of raccoons or that would eat car tires so society would do something about surging wildlife populations. But now a true occurrence is taking place in Foolish Farming Today that not even a genius like Mark Twain could reduce to a more absurd conclusion. Agribusiness […] Read More..