Surprise Visitor!!

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.

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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2 Responses to Surprise Visitor!!

  1. Don and Joyce Larrabee says:

    You two amaze us, the work that you do. Good luck to Norman with his bad tooth. They are no fun. I’m going thru skin cancers again. Didn’t think I’d have any more, but they popped up. Going to a dermatologist in Wolfeboro, next Fri. Hope they can just be sprayed and not cut. Good luck on your gardens from now on. Skunks are pretty, but not nice to have around. We have some robins here now, even though there is still snow on the ground. It is now 38, but the sun is out. Take care. So nice to hear from you. Think of you often. You are wonderful friends. ♥

    • Hi Joyce, So sorry to hear about your skin cancer. My brother in law has skin cancer and has been going in two to three times a year to have his removed. His has never gotten as bad as yours was and very seldom on his face, mostly on his arms, legs and body. He has gotten so when he thinks he can take it he goes in and says ” you decide which ones you want to take, I’ll stay here one hour and then I’m gone.” So the doctor cuts out the worst ones and he goes home to recover. It is not a pleasant thing so I hope yours are small enough to be sprayed. We finally licked the deer problem for now. Today I weeded and Norman panted some more beans and spinach. We have a very large garden now and promise each other we will not enlarge it any more, however we have already enlarged to vine garden where we plant the squash. Vines take up so much of the garden two years ago we made a special bed for them so they could travel as far out as they wish and it seems to work well. I do have some sweet potato plants started on a big old sweet potato and I guess those will have to be in the large garden. Maybe I’ll plant them behind the rhubarb and train them to grow out into the area outside of the garden and just give them a little protection from the deer with netting. Take care of yourself and enjoy the summer, it has to come soon. Love you both Carol

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