Garden Plagues

A reprise from 2011 as we move into the gardening season

No matter how beautiful a garden starts out or becomes, you can be sure disaster will strike at some point during the season. With my corn just starting to tassel, and having escaped the early threats of frost and flood, I am awaiting the further triple threat of hail, bugs, and raccoons. The worms I will eat around- they just add protein anyways. The raccoons I’m pretty well prepared for with the electric fence ready to go. I’m putting an extra booster on it this year to take care of the two-legged midnight marauders as well. The only threat I’m not ready for is a hail storm. Prayer is in order.

But I’m not the only one with concerns. Up in Bergland, Gordon has been patiently coaxing his giant pumpkins along all spring and with the ever present threat of the exploding deer population annihilating his prize patch. It is rumoured he has taken to sleeping with his vines. Perhaps those in the know could donate a couple of bottles of OFF to help him fight the mosquito plague that is making the chore almost unbearable.

Over in Arbor Vitae a plague of a different sort has hit Pat’s garden already, virtually wiping it out. This time it’s hogs. Not the wild boar kind of hogs that roamed that neck of the woods a few years back. They were all live trapped and released… released that is in the vicinity of George’s barbecue.

No this time it’s groundhogs… good old marmots. Still, no reason to waste them. They should roast up real nice. Instead of a Sunday chicken, what say to a platter with a nice, stuffed roast groundhog, with mashed potatoes, brown gravy, buttered beans, Harvard beets, and fresh green peas? Yum!Yum! Oh I forgot, the varmints already ate all those fresh vegetables. At least that’s what Pat said.

“You know, there not a thing left in my garden. They cleaned out the peas, potatoes, beets, lettuce, cucs, squash, beans… even ate the dill. I’m at my wit’s end.” complained Pat. I suggested the ‘Big 12’ with some double 00 buckshot might be in order. And since they were well fed and pre-seasoned with dill, they should make real good eating.

“Oh I can’t stand the thought of guns. Much too violent,” explained Pat obviously distressed by my brutal solution.

“I’ve even thought of putting out that wolf trap hanging out in the shed, but I’m afraid I might catch one of the neighbours’ dogs, or even a neighbour,” she shuddered, the thought once again just too harsh for this gentle soul.

“Maybe the municipality has some of those humane live traps I could use to catch the varmints,” she wondered softly as she turned to the municipal clerk.

“So you mean you’re going to catch and then release them?” I asked wondering at the length some gentle folk will go to to avoid inflicting harm on a creature.

“Release them? Heavens no!” retorted Pat. “I’ll just beat ‘em to death with the shovel!”