Thursday, July 15, 2010


It's amazing to me that within the span of a week, we went from having very few vegetables to having so many that we are scrambling to use them. Of course, this is why I love summer in Kansas. The bounty of this season really makes up for the grey doldrums of the fall and winter months. (Yes, I hate fall as much as winter, maybe more. It's such a tease with its sporadic mix of warm and cold days, the bright colors just before everything dies, the crisp air signifying that I'll probably have to scrape my windshield soon. Blech.) But I digress...

I had my first few tomatoes towards the end of last week and they were beautiful! I had two enormous Black Krims, which are heirlooms that upon ripening turn a purpley, stripey, black red. They are juicy and delicious and I love them!!! On Friday night, I noticed that a few of my tomatoes had bites out of them, but didn't think that much about it. I tossed an eaten one aside so the garden creatures (i.e, cotton rats, bunnies, and birds) could scavenge the remains. After all, I want to be neighborly. I left my two precious Krims on the vine so they could ripen to the perfect sweetness. I returned the next day to this:

Some varmint whaled on these tomatoes and it's happened every day since then. During my undergrad research days, my advisor of Native American descent always taught me that if you respect animals/nature and share with them, they will respect you. Well guess what? I'm not getting any respect! Using some chicken wire that appeared in the garden pile, I set up a ramshackle fence to keep the little monsters at bay:

It's sort of working. There's definitely less carnage at least. It's not great, but I was hoping it would act as a deterrent, and it has. Unfortunately for my plot neighbors Kara and Amelia, it has deterred my critters right into their plot and decimated their tomatoes. Their plot has been serving as a baby bunny buffet where the bunnies dine with impugnity. In fact, Kara only got one green bean out of their entire crop and was plunged into a legume-less depression, reduced to listening to REM's "Everybody Hurts." Now I have driven the tomato-slaying mystery creature right into their plot. I feel bad, but a delicious, juicy garden tomato is a delicious, juicy garden tomato, and I guess all's fair in love and gardening. :/

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