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