She Brings Me Water

An aeclectic look at the nearby world

Who was that Masked Man?

That was no man, that was a raccoon- or two, or three.  They caused the above damage, and much more too.  When we planted this Native American garden, the book we got the plan from said to plant enough to share with the wildlife that will surely be attracted to your lush, green and tasty plants.  Okay, we had plenty, enough to share.  But what the book didn’t say was that the wildlife wouldn’t just come in, take a few ears, thank us and leave, they’d come in, tear open unripened ears looking for the ripe ones, tear down stalks looking for more ripe ones, and destroy the stalks that the beans need for their support- no wonder they wear masks.

Our neighbor, the one that has done a large garden for seven years now, put out a radio to scare the raccoons (and deer) away, and he said it worked as long as the batteries didn’t run out.  So we put out a radio, which seemed to work except for the areas of the garden far away from the radio, so we put out another radio, so that more of the area of the garden is blanketed with a barrier of sound.  Nocturnal animals use sound as a powerful guidance system (that’s why a lot of them have such big ears); they also use scent, to guide them and warn them of dangers, so to take advantage of that, we are collecting our urine and pouring it around the garden at night.  Both methods seem to be working and we are glad to have found ways to discourage the animals without harming them.

And we are picking, as the ears are ripening very fast now, especially the Ruby Queen.   Here’s me and our cat Junior and some of the harvest:

Junior helps by rolling in the dirt, he says it keeps down the weeds.

The package of Ruby Queen seeds showed a completely red ear of corn, all the kernels, not just some like the Indian corn you see in grocery stores around Thanksgiving.  Ours were not all red, but having silver and yellow corn growing near it, it probably cross-pollinated with the others.  So we have red kernels mixed with silver, some all silver, some all yellow, and some mixed yellow and silver.  We had some last night for dinner, steamed for about 10 minutes, then eaten with butter, salt and pepper.  It was very good.

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7 Comments»

  She Wolf wrote @

That corn sound luscious. Yum. Good luck with the four legged bandits. My folks once had a problem with a cherry tomato plant on their back porch. The ripe tomatoes kept disappearing overnight and my mom was getting frustrated – intil dad caught the thief in the act one night – it was a possum!

  marimann wrote @

Thanks, She Wolf, for the good luck wishes. We have our share of possums too, and were told by a friend that they love strawberries, which helps explain where our strawberries went to…also one evening I saw a fox going to each of our neighbor’s strawberry plants, eating every ripe strawberry she/he could find!

  Heather wrote @

The work you are doing on this blog is simply wonderful Mari. I am going to link you to the Global Teacher, Places of the Heart blog so that more people arrive from Australia to see your backyard and your part of the world. Just gorgeous.

  traveller2006 wrote @

I love reading about your horticultural experiments and am sorry to read about the nocturnal depredations by the racoons but am glad to read that you have found alternative methods of keeping the little bandits at bay

  marimann wrote @

Thank you, Heather & Traveller. I’m glad you are enjoying the reading; I’m enjoying the writing (and the eating!)

  Dausta wrote @

Thanks for the info… we have racoons that we cannot keep off of our patio at night… I’m going to try the radio and hope to get the same results that you got. The sunflowers are great!

  imogen88 wrote @

Such an interesting work in motion. We have urban possums and the only thing that seems to keep them quiet and fed is citrus left on the compost pit. Perhaps they are looking for vitamin C? Either way, whatever citrus we leave out there, it’s clean eaten in the morning. Go figure.


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