Critter battle update, a mini harvest, and we’re getting poppies!

First, a bit of a follow up from yesterday. After blocking the woodchuck holes by the house and in the old garden area, I headed out a few times to check on the one by the house. Twice, I found things disturbed!

This picture was taken after the second time I found it dug up. The first time, I had started to remove the plastic around the back of the mock orange, saw that things had been pulled out, and started tying it back again. As I was fussing and making noise, I could actually hear little grunting noises coming from under the stairs! I found some rocks had been dug up a bit on the other side, too, but just a little. After blocking the other side, I tried spraying water into the little gaps remaining, to try and pursuade the woodchuck to leave out the other side. We never saw it, but I came back later and it seemed to be gone, so I blocked the opening again. A couple of hours later, what you see in the photo above it what I came back to! After making as sure as I could there was nothing inside, I blocked it off again. As of today, it has not been disturbed again, so here’s hoping the critter has decided it’s not worth the effort.

Later in the evening, I found this in the old garden area.

Much to my surprise, the first den we found was dug into again! It was just a small hole compared to before – the buried sticks seemed to work in preventing further digging. I blocked it off and, when I checked it this morning, it was still buried. Once again, I’m hoping the woodchuck has decided it’s not worth the effort and have moved on.

After doing the watering this morning, I picked a tiny little harvest.

There was one zucchini big enough to pick, and I gathered the last of the garlic scapes (unless I missed one or two). Plus, we have our first peas. πŸ˜€ Only two pods from the purple peas. Because the pea plants are so stunted in growth, the weight of the pods were keeping the plants they were on from being able to reach the trellis lines. At least we’ll be able to taste the peas. I’m curious about how the purple peas taste. Reviews on the Baker Creek website were pretty mixed!

Unfortunately, it looks like some of the pea plants are not just stunted in growth, but have been nibbled on, too! Where this is new nibbles or not, I couldn’t really tell. I also noticed new nibbles on the Crespo squash. Any part of the squash that started to grow outside the hoop and twine barrier seems to be getting nibbled. We’ll have to find a way to extend the barrier.

Meanwhile, in the old kitchen garden, I’m happy to see pods developing on the Giant Rattle poppies! These had had such a rough started, I wasn’t sure what we would get, so this is making me very happy. For this year, we might have enough pods to taste them, but not enough for cooking with; mostly I want to save the seeds to grow more next year, and fill the bed. Gosh, this brings back memories! When I was a kid, my mother grew similar poppies in this garden, and I remember my late brother and I picking dried out pods and eating the seeds, straight from the garden. We would later have big bunches of the dried pods (well… big, in my childhood memory!) gathered. The only thing I remember my mother making with them was a special soup she made only for our Wigilia (Christmas Eve) dinner.

I did have another harvest this morning, which will get its own post next. πŸ™‚

The Re-Farmer

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