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Garden Pest E-rabbit-cation

mr macgregor

Err… I mean garden pest eradication.  My focus in the garden has transitioned from weeding to pest eradication.  Yes, there are still weeds, but when I walked through the garden several mornings ago and found pea vines snipped from their roots, a major pruning of our aronia bushes, AND the my first sighting of cucumber and Japanese beetles, I realized my priorities needed to change quickly!

Read this post to see some great pictures and get practical tips to eradicate our most common garden pests organically.

This post puts a nice twist on garden mysteries and will help you avoid garden pest disasters.  We realized this week that baby bunnies could fit through the holes in our garden fence.  Uh oh!  We’re now lining the bottom section of our fence with chicken wire, which has smaller holes.  Meanwhile, I’ve been channeling my inner Mr. McGregor and literally running through the rows chasing baby bunnies out of the garden with my rake!

garden-rabbit-removal

Speaking of channeling book characters, I’ve also been working on my Captain Hook impersonation.  Armed with long sleeves, pants, and a sharp machete, I’ve been busy axing down mature parsnip plants.  A machete is much better than a weed whacker which will spray plant juices everywhere.  The juices of the parsnip make your skin highly sensitive to the sun, leaving burns that take months to go away.  It is important to fell these irritating plants now before their seeds mature and create thousands of baby parsnips.

machete-parsnips

Despite my recent focus on death and destruction, I’m now feeling much more happy and calm when I wander through the garden each morning.  I no longer have to worry about finding plants mysteriously felled or infested now that our pest populations are being kept at bay and our neighborhood rabbits are locked out.  They’ll have to look elsewhere for their next yummy meal of peas, beet greens, and lettuce.

mid-july-garden

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Home Gardens Musings Personal Sustainability: How-To

November in the Garden and Kitchen

Though we did have some cold windy weather and deep frosts, our first two November weekends have been clear and sunny.  Perfect for wrapping things up in the garden!  At our new house, we had part of our field tilled, hoed rows, and spread straw on top of everything.  We’re hoping that the garden will be in good shape for a first planting in the spring.  No doubt we’ll have lots of grass weeding ahead of us, but we’re off to a good start!

Ready to chop cabbage on a beautiful cutting board made by a friend
Ready to chop cabbage on a beautiful cutting board made by a friend
Moving up in the world: My dad made me a sauerkraut tamper with his lathe!
Moving up in the world: My dad made me a sauerkraut tamper with his lathe!

This past weekend I finally had time to turn our end-of-season harvests of kohlrabi, cabbage, and carrots into pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi.  I was excited to be able to use Vermont-grown ginger for the first time in my kimchi!  Maybe I’ll have to add it to our crop list next year.  I happily pounded away at the sliced cabbage with my new tamper and smasher: happy results of my dad’s recent experimentation on his new lathe.  Finally, in a team effort, we erected a fence around our new garden to deter the rabbits and herds of deer that pass through our land on their way from Mt. Philo to Lewis Creek.  It feels good to have all of our outdoor chores crossed off the list.  Bring on the snow – I’m ready for sledding season to start on our sunny slope of Mt. Philo!

Want to make Sauerkraut?  I lay out all the steps in this blog post.

Have other veggies from your last harvest that you’d like to ferment or pickle?  Check out this blog post.

Kimchi from all Vermont-grown veggies ready for the fridge and chopped cabbage on its way to becoming sauerkraut.
Kimchi from all Vermont-grown veggies ready for the fridge and chopped cabbage on its way to becoming sauerkraut.
Our new garden and garden fence!
Our new garden and garden fence!