Looking back on the posting dates of my farm blogs, I’ve noticed a correlation between rising temperature and decline in blog frequency. This doesn’t bode well for summertime blogging. It’s hard to bring myself to sit down and blog when the weather is great, but today is cloudy, cold, and wet, so here is the next installment from down on Foggy Hollow Farm:
Last year in our vegetable garden, I took the approach of not fortifying my garden’s defenses unless I had proof that there was a need. It didn’t seem nice or neighborly to the animals to fence them out when they had done nothing to me. Plus, putting up a fence is work. “Oh, you’re going to need a deer fence,” was the advice offered from our neighbor who has lived in the holler for over 30 years. As a holdover from my teenage years, I have trouble taking advice that I didn’t ask for. So, I planted peas, spinach, carrots, and beans with nothing to protect them but my goodwill to the animals. Needless to say the deer were very gracious of my goodwill, but apparently have no honor at all, as they demolished most of what I planted early that spring.
Up went the electric deer fence.
I installed an electric fence around the garden powered by a solar panel and battery. I put electric wires at 2 feet and 4 feet high. It worked great, no more deer and my vegetables grew unmolested, until summer. That was when Mr. Groundhog moved in. I didn’t know anything about the metabolism of groundhogs, but I quickly learned about their appetite. In two nights, the groundhogs wiped out my beans, two fifty foot rows of beans. About the same time, the raccoons found the corn. Apparently, raccoons will push over the stalk, peel back the husk and eat the corn right off the ear. They don’t eat the whole ear, either, they’ll take a few bites off of one, then another, then another. What started as pretty rows of corn looked like a crime scene.
Up went the electric netting.
They make plastic netting fence that has electric wires weaved in it that is very effective at keeping small four-legged creatures out of the garden. I had it up within a week. After that, I had no more critter problems.
I have signed up to sell at the Franklin Farmer’s Market this year. It is, in my opinion, the best farmer’s market in Middle Tennessee and one we have shopped at for the past 5 years. The farmers must sell only product that they have raised, and the farm must be located within the region. The local community is very supportive of the market and local farmers. It will be a great place to “learn the ropes” of direct marketing my vegetables.
The market will open the first Saturday in May.
That’s the news from the farm. I’m staying pretty busy, but it has been great to watch the spring blooms and listen to the birds singing again. The bees have come back out and I’ve even seen a few snakes around. The farm is coming back to life again!