Monday, February 14, 2011

Groundhog Protection

This is the cage we built to keep groundhogs out of our raised bed. I call it Botsford's Incarcitorium For Wayward Produce. It's made of PVC and chicken wire, and was both more expensive and more complicated to make than I anticipated. I don't remember exactly but I think it might have been around $50, and it took all day Sunday pretty much to put it together. I had planned to do it myself but wound up involving the husband because it was so tedious and time consuming. Thanks Wyatt! I consider your help and patience a fine Valentine's Day present.

When we were thinking about moving here we drove by frequently to see what was going on, and one thing we always saw was groundhogs hauling ass out of the backyard when we pulled up. Our neighbor on the lot behind us said he's trapped and released all but one, but when that one wakes up this spring it's going to be looking to reproduce. In my experience, battling groundhogs is like playing Whack-A-Mole. As soon as you beat one down another one arrives to take its place.

They're cute though. I'm hoping this cage will take the contention out of my future relationships with the neighborhood groundhogs. And squirrels. And cats. Our yard is full of cat shit. The neighborhood's also got a robust population of roaming, fertile cats. I wonder how much good fencing in the entire yard would do to reduce the catshit problem. And it is a problem. Gets all intimate with the treads in your shoes. Or just lies there hidden, but putrid, in the grass making you paranoid that you've picked up a shoefull of it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Getting started at last

I started this blog because I wanted to write about Permaculture and self-reliance projects. At the time I'd taken a Permaculture course but lived in a 3rd floor walkup in a condo building where the board was hostile to gardening activities on the grounds. After much drama, suspense, and a lot longer than we originally anticipated, we have at last acquired a yard - and it's not in a historic district. Yay! We moved in November. My perma-forming effots have been hampered by my inability to find somebody with a truck willing to pick up mulch and compost from the landfill for me, but I'm still moving along. The photos are of my cold frame (for chickory, chickweed, and creasy greens) and my first square foot bed. Nothing in that yet, though I'll probably put out stinging nettle seeds today.