The sun has started to shine! That might sound a bit peculiar, but since you are all from this area, you know what I mean. It’s been a glorious few days and the plants are really going to town. We had a bit of hail last Saturday night, and you will see some damage on your veggies this week. I recommend shelling your peas as soon as you get them, to avoid any issues caused by the damaged pods.
Speaking of peas, I knew that the deer had been having a bit of a stag party out in the Garden, but until I started to pick the peas in earnest, I didn’t realize just how wild of a time they were having! There are very few plants in my 200’ row that haven’t been ‘sampled.’
In regards to the deer (This is beginning to sound like the story about the woman who swallowed a fly, then swallowed a spider to get rid of the fly…) I have heard reports that a doe and fawn have been spotted in the Garden, but I have only been fortunate enough to spy three young bucks.
One evening I was closing the greenhouse doors, when I looked over to my sour cherry trees and saw a two point buck munching away, quite content with his lot in the world. I admit that I saw red, as this was also the same day I'd witnessed the decimation of my romaine lettuce row due to these same culprits.
With a bunch of incoherent shouting, I took off at a full sprint towards the deer. Imagine my surprise when he suddenly split into three different deer and started bounding away. I’m always game for a challenge, so I followed them over the barbed wire fence and through the pasture. I'd forgotten that with all the rain we’ve had that the small pond by the road, in that pasture, was still full of water. It's too bad I remembered the water when I was in the middle of said pond, still at a full sprint. My incoherent shouting took on a slight different tone at this point in time.
I looked up from my anchor in the pond, feet swiftly feeling the effects of being submerged in the cool water, to see the three bucks standing right in my pea patch. All of them were grinning at my plight. Once I saw that, off I went, after them again. Through the rest of the pasture, over another barbed wire fence, and down the length of my garden I ran. I could see the deer now, safely ensconced (or so they thought) in our canola field. Throughout the summer, you can quite often see deer in the middle of the blooming canola because nothing would ever dare to try and chase them through such tall, thick foliage. Nothing that is, except an irritated, winded, and soaking wet farmer, bent on giving those four footed cretins a really good scare. They saw me coming and realized that this time, they’d mocked me two times too many.
Up went their heads, and, in that stately and efficient manner solely unique to the deer species, they gracefully bounded out of sight, leaving me behind; hoarse and with a long walk back to the house.
Yesterday, the big four point buck was a few yards into the canola crop and walking right towards me. He was obviously lost in a daydream about his upcoming onion, lettuce and pea green salad, because he was oblivious to my standing right in front of him with a border collie dog by my side. I wasn’t really in the mood to argue with a deer, so I took off my pink long sleeved work shirt that I always wear over my tank top, and started waving that over my head, and yelling.
He stopped, paused for a brief second to process, then bounded away, occasionally looking over his shoulder for pursuit. Thankfully, he hasn’t been back.
Last year I had very few issues with deer, as there was just the occasional one passing through. It would appear that one of them liked what they saw when they were passing through, and moved back this year bringing a few of their buddies along.
So if there are any hunters out there, who hunt east of Olds… if you get a mule deer buck this year and the meat tastes suspiciously of onions… you’ll know what happened. Pre-seasoned venison anyone?
If my garden wasn’t still in the growing size, I would be considering a deer fence. At this time it just isn’t feasible though.
I realize I haven’t really touched on how the actual plants are doing! But, as you can see every week, things are growing quite well. The potatoes have doubled in size from last week, and next week I think I will be trying out the new potato digger! That will be exciting, as I’ve never seen one work in person, much less operated one. I sure hope it works, because if it doesn’t, it may take me a few weeks to dig all of the potatoes I planted this spring.
The corn is elbow height on me, and this year the wind hasn’t blown it out of the ground! Huzzah! The pumpkins are the size of 8 balls, and my 8 ball zucchini are the size of soft balls. The pickling cucumbers are starting to bloom, so everyone who signed up for those – they are on their way! As well, be prepared for the peppers, as the plants are loaded and I’m going to start sending them out. Does anyone out there like hot peppers??? If you do, give me a shout and I will include a few in your box. They aren’t smoking hot, but just be sure to not touch your eyes after you’ve cut them! It hurts! Otherwise, all of the peppers included in your delivery will be sweet, or banana, so there won’t be any heat in them.
As always, if you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.