CSA week #6

Oh my, deer = Woof, Woof!

Chris said someone asked how we keep the deer out of the garden… Uh, we don’t always, we are often scaring deer out of the gardens early in the morning as we go out to harvest, but we do have some deer deterrents in place. 

            First, we have electrified fencing around most of our gardens; ideally all the gardens, but some fencing is being repaired.  We place a strand of wire low about a foot off the ground and then another 2-3 feet from the ground.  Other non-electrified orange string is placed further up the posts, a visual deterrent.  The idea is the deer hit the low line with their legs, their chest on the upper line and run the other way, though some are so tempted by the green grass on the other side the just jump over.  Second, we have Freddy our farm dog, while he is much more content chasing grasshoppers and butterflies, if he is encouraged he will run after and bark at a deer.  From time to time we put Freddy’s dog house by a garden that is getting too much attention from the deer; we chain him there overnight for a few nights, woof, woof.   Our last approach is not really thought out but it is helping, especially in our back garden.  We plant cover crops and we have found the deer often encounter the buckwheat and rye first and rarely make it to the vegetables.  We also are planting significantly more vegetables in hopes that if the deer do get in they can have a small share but will leave the rest for our CSA members.

            So far we haven’t had any major crop losses but we definitely find deer nibbles on plants and hoof marks in the soil from time to time.  Woof, woof.

This week in your box we are expecting chinese cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, bunched cooking greens (kale, collard or chard), herbs (one or more of cilantro, dill, basil – see veggie i.d.) and we may start digging up some storage onions.  And as you all have seen, there may be something I’m missing.  This is the part of the summer lettuce is difficult to grow, it doesn’t germinate or grow well in the heat.  The garlic scapes are getting woody so we’ll stop with those.  The green beans we expect to be ready for next week.

Last night I sliced up raw beets unpeeled (easiest for these little beets you’ll be getting), carrots, onion, garlic scapes into 2-3 inch pieces, potatoes, kohlrabi and tossed them with oil, dill, cilantro  and salt then roasted them all in the oven.  Oh my goodness, in my opinion eating doesn’t get much better than that!

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