08 June 2010

Don't Feed The Deer!

Under a crystal clear sky with temps hovering near 85 I cut down the old Apple tree. About half of it was alive last year, and even though it produced no fruit I prayed it would recover this year. When Sara Jean looks out her kitchen window it occupies a large fraction of her view, and she was tired of looking at a leafless, 30-foot tall tree blocking her view of the pond. She had been nagging me to cut it down since Spring. It had two trunks joined down close to the ground, so I cut each of them individually, holding the saw waist-high to do it, then cut most of the smaller branches to move them to the burn pile.
There was another smaller "weed" tree behind my shed that was also on Sara Jean's list...
It was down in less than a minute.
I called a friend who smokes meat as gifts at Christmas and he was delighted to hear I had Apple wood for him. He'll help me clean up the mess that is laying on the ground there.

I re-tilled the portion of my garden that I hadn't planted and sowed another row of beans and corn there. I then took the saw back into the tree line at the rear of our property and cut several (relatively) straight, tall, small scrub trees back there. I then cut them to a length of 6-8 feet. I grabbed the post-hole digger out of the shed and dug ten holes around the garden, placed my new "stakes" in the holes and packed dirt around them. I then strung 8-pound test fishing line at the top and middle of the stakes, then cut lots of strips of white cloth and tied them to the fishing line. To further stabilize the stakes I hauled ten loads of wet soil from the pond and piled that at the base of the stakes. That soil will harden as it dries and provide a pretty stable base for the stakes.
The fence is a "scarecrow". It will not stop a deer if it is intent on eating my crops, but it is imposing looking, and the strips are tied at a height that will keep them from jumping over it.
So far, it has worked.
I'll take pics of it and publish them later.

So the total was:
Two trees, down and cut into smaller pieces.
Two more rows of crops, tilled, planted, and fertilized.
Ten scrub trees cut to length and trimmed as stakes.
Ten holes dug with a post hole digger to a depth of about 14 inches.
Ten half-wheelbarrow loads of wet soil transported (uphill) about 100 feet and applied to the base of my stakes.
Fishing line strung on the stakes, and white strips of cloth tied to the line.

A good day's work.
I'm gonna be miffed if Bambi and friends get into my plot this year...
Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Linnnn said...

That Bambi sure looks guilty! You gave me some good ideas. Thanks!

cary said...

That would have been considered a good amount of work for a man half your age.

My prayer is that I am in half as good a shape as you are when I get to be your age.

Looking forward to your photos!

emily said...

Hmmm.....your battle from the south. My battle from the north. Hopefully the deer can't handle wars on two fronts!

Greybeard said...

That photo is a grab from the web, Linnnn, but certainly could have been taken in my garden LAST year!

It's easy to understand why most farmers live long lives, Cary. Even part-time farm work taxes and lubricates the human machinery. As I've said before, I love being soaked with sweat and get SUCH a feeling of satisfaction after working the soil... even if the deer do stop off at the "Greybeard Cafe" I'll still be glad for the time spent in my plot.

Em, my Dept. of Natural Resources guys tell me there are probably over 150 deer per sq. mile in this area, so any idea of us winning this war is hopeless. All we can do is defend ourselves so efficiently that they choose other targets.
(But we'll be glad to have 'em around when the chaos starts, ya know? Bambi is TASTY!)

the golden horse said...

I am guessing this year's score will read something like Bambi 12 and GB 6. Keep us posted.