Today we put up the fence around the garden.  Now Norman is setting the have a heart trap because something got into the garden last night and bit off one pea and my rubarb.  I have tried for years to grow some rubarb here and every time something goes wrong.  I got a new root and it was beginning to grow, there were two shoots up and leafed out and some crazy critter bit both of them off and spit them out about a foot away from where they were growing.  I have no idea what but hopefully we can catch what ever it is.  Going back to the story of starting this farm I will tell you the story of the problems of having a farm in the middle of the woods.  The first year we decided we would make a compost bed.  Norman dug a ditch and we would put our wet garbage in it and cover it with dirt.  When the ditch was full we would plant something on top and let it grow as the wet garbage decomposed under the soil.  We got a small one started and put some sweet potato shoots in and went out the next day to find some thing had dug up the whole pile.  We replanted and had the same thing happen and soon found out who it was –  a grey fox.  We bought a composter and decided not to put any meat in that as we didn’t want the raccoons getting into it.  I began feeding any meat items to the fox and she got so tame she came near the house every day after dinner to see what I had for her and she brought her three pups with her.  She had a bad foot and could not put any weight on it so I got canned cat and dog food on sale and made sure I had something for her to eat each day.  I was told to stay away from the foxes around here because they carried rabbies but she got so tame that when I would go out to bring her dinner she would sit and look at the front door, she was across the road at the edge of the woods where I would put her food.  I would go out on the porch and say ” Go up behind the big tree and wait while I came to bring the food.”  I did this in words and sign language and sure enough she would go up behind the largest tree and peek around it.  When she got there I would talke the food out to her and leave and by the time I was back on the porch she was headed down with her three babies to eat.  I could sit on the porch and watch them and she never minded.  By the late summer her foot was well and her babies started to leave on their own and find other places to eat.  By the time we were ready to go to Florida to visit Patty for Christmas, the mother fox was not coming to eat any more and all three babies had gone off.  They never did come back again and they never bothered our gardens again.  The deer were not as easy to discourage.  They loved out blueberry patch in the spring.  There was a herd of four does that had our place on their daily route.  They came to eat the leaves on the azaleas, grapes, blueberries and hosta.  We had to go out every day and chase them off.  One doe even brought her young to eat the nice blueberries.  Finally the secondd year I read that you can make a fence out of rope with strips of sheets hanging on it and the deer will not come near.  I thought that was worth a try because we had tried putting up a fence down below in the woods to keep them out of the small garden we had there and that worked but to fence in the whole yard was just too much.  Any ways we tried it and have nevcr had a problem with the deer since.  They never come near where ever we  put up this fence.  When I lived in GA I made doll clothes to sell on ebay and my sister had given me three big boxes of lace to use.  I could never have used  that much on doll clothes if I lived to be 200 so thought maybe instead of ripping up sheets I could tie lace on the line and sure enough that worked also.  Norman says the fence looks like a whore house clothes line but it does the job.  We even use the lace for the rope now and tie up all our plants, such a tomatoes with lace instead of buying twist ties.  The lace is much better for ties as it never hurts the plants.   Each year we cleared more land and brought in more sun so our gardens grew.  Now we have a very large garden about 40 by 50 feet, I’ll measure it later and tell you the right size.  Anyways the only way to have a garden down there was to put up the lace fence all around it.  The first year we planted there the deer loved it.  The last three years we have had no problem with them.  However we are in the middle of the woods and last year we had something eat all our mellons and some of our winter squash.  It turned out to be a woodchuck.  We shot him, that is the only solution we could find for him.  The raccoons don’t bother the garden cause we never plant corn and the opossums only dig for grubs.  When I pick off the Japanesse bettles I leave them in a cup of water with a little cooking oil in it and the opossums come each night and eat them.  Now we have something else bothering us and hopefull we can find out what it is.  The wild cat that we feed each day seems to keep the field mice and voles at bay so we don’t get too much damage from them but we can’t leave any dry food out for him at night or the raccoons and opossums fight over it, they clean out every house in the area when they leave out food for their cats.   This is all part of living in the woods and we take it along with the beauty of living on a mountain in the middle of the woods.  Have a great day.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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1 Response to

  1. Don and Joyce Larrabee says:

    Hi folks, We so enjoy reading your letters every day. Sure wish we had your ambition. Neither one of us are able to do anything. Don doesn’t drive much any more. Our daughter Diane takes us to Dr. appts., shopping, etc. She lives in Wolfeboro. Works at the nursing home there. Loves it. Our Grand-daughter Nichole is a teacher, and now works at the Children’s Daycare in Wolfeboro. She taught in Conway, at Kennett Middle School, for 3 years, and lived out here in one of our apartments. I have to go with a walker, cause I have Spinal Stenosis. Hope you find what animal is eating your garden, and can get rid of it. Stay healthy. Love, Don and Joyce.

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