Time to update you on the state of the gardens. As you remember we set out 45 seedlings we got at the farm store and within two days the deer got into the garden and ate most of them. We have a 3.5 foot barbed wire fence around the garden but there were only two strands and in some spots the first round was rather high off the ground. Norman was sure the deer that got in went under in one of these spots so he strung another round. I was sure they had not been scared off by the fence this year as they had in other years so I took the lace and wove it through the three rounds of wire to make the fence look more solid. We then covered the old tracks and watched. Neither of our plans did any good as the next day there were fresh tracks in the garden even though the only thing in the garden to eat was one patch Norman had not tilled and the weeds were nice and green there. So I got onto the computer and asked if deer can jump a fence. I found the answer. Before the fence we had put up kept the deer out because it enclosed a long narrow garden. As we enlarged the garden the space between the outside fences got larger and larger and when it got large enough for the deer to see a safe landing spot, they just jumped the fence and ate everything in sight. That is what happened to my green beans last fall. They told me a deer can jump at least a 7 foot fence and one that is at least 3feet wide but if there is no clear safe place to land they will not jump any fence. It does not have to be a solid roof on the garden, any lines across would do so we took the lace and twine we had and strung it from side to side across the garden. Norman put up 5 poles in the garden and we made like May poles from these to the outside fence so there was no clear space free for the deer to land. If does make it a little harder to work in the garden as we are constantly ducking under a line or lifting it up but that is a small price to pay to keep the deer out. The next morning I looked out and there were four does down at my garden area and not one of them was in the garden. All were grazing on the yellow violets in the area around and for the last three days no sign of any deer in the garden itself. So yesterday we got 21 more seedlings and put those in with the 11 that had come back and were still alive and doing well. But there was something else walking around in the garden. They were digging at the two old stumps in the garden and making small round holes here and there. Norman set out a have a heart trap to catch what ever it was. We got nothing the first two days then Norman was out of commission for two days with his abscised tooth and when we went down Wednesday afternoon to check on the garden we found what had been in the garden. There in the trap was a skunk. What to do was a problem. He didn’t want to shoot it as the spray would be so long before it would leave the air and we could not just open the door to let it out as you could not get near the cage without her raising her tail. Finally Norman got a tarp and covered the cage. After a few minutes he tip toed in and released the back door of the cage and left it open and we got out of there. The next morning I went down and removed the tarp and the skunk was gone. She made a couple more holes looking for worms and was gone. I looked up on the web and found that was exactly what we should have done. The tarp or blanket calms the animal down long enough to let you open the door or move the trap, or so the article said and sure enough it worked.
This morning the big storms moved across TN so we crossed our fingers again. Some places got hail the size of soft balls and there were many little tornados that were imbedded in the line of storms but again Baker Mountain protected us. We got a little wind and a good rain shower as the storm rushed through, just what the garden needed but no damage. So maybe this planting will be safe and thrive. Norman’s tooth is better and the swelling is gone down so he should be ready to have the tooth pulled on Monday so I guess we are back on track. We are getting too old to face one problem after another I guess it is time for us to give up farming and move on to a duller life style. Know anyone who would like to buy a nice quiet farm in the country? Have a great day.