Thursday, August 07, 2008


I don't have a green thumb; in fact, I'm pretty sure plants shudder inwardly when they discover I'm tending to them (if they were capable of it, that is). Throughout the past six years, I've waged a losing war against the weeds in my yard, and I don't want to talk about the trees.

However, this changed a bit last year when Darcy convinced me to plant several cherry tomato plants. I watched them grow all summer, and enjoyed fresh tomatoes all summer.

Shortly after we returned from Jamaica, we decided to expand the garden. I tilled out the old garden area and dug out more yard for it, and we planted away. Now we're starting to see some produce, and I was getting excited.

Tomato sauce, sandwiches, tomato soup - they all danced around my head as I checked on the garden every day. I eagerly watched the biggest, juiciest tomato start to ripen the other day, and I was ready to get to the picking.

Until yesterday.

I walked out and checked on the garden, only to see that the big tomato was gone. I found it a few feet away, about a third of it chewed off. Apparently, we have critters.

Actually, I'm not worried about squirrels - they largely left the garden alone last year. I'm more concerned about opossums or raccoons, and I'm not really sure what to do with them. Back in the day, I could have left my -ahem- trusty watchdog to protect my produce, but that's not an option. Poison? Not around the fruit, thanks. Traps? What the hell would I do if we actually caught one? Sitting outside all night with an air rifle and a flashlight? Intriguing, but I might get bored and start shooting at the neighborhood kids while they ride their bikes in the alley, and apparently people frown on that. Plus, Darcy didn't like the idea of me sitting outside all night with a rifle - something about that disturbed her.

That leaves us with one other option - fencing off the garden and seeing if the critters stay out. Hopefully it'll work; otherwise, I'm going to have to start laying mines in the backyard - making lawn mowing that much more difficult.

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