I planted my garden with dreams of jars lined up along every shelf, bursting at the seams, enough to last until next years garden produce was ready to be canned. Beautiful jars of green beans, applesauce, pickles, salsa, spaghetti sauce.
I was gonna be stinking Caroline Ingalls.
So being the smart gardener that I am, I knew I needed a fence to keep the deer and elk from thinking I had planted their very own Roy's Chuck Wagon buffet. So I researched and priced and planned. We bought our netting, put it 6 feet tall, someone told me to put sticky fly traps on the four corners to keep them out too and we planted.
We put in cabbages, peppers, tons of tomatoes, green beans, peas, more beets than I knew what to do with, 2 different lettuces, pickles, fava beans, broccoli, dill, pumpkins and more. And we watered and waited and watched for our harvest to ripen.
But just as it began to produce food for us, it must have also produced an irresistible siren song for every herbivore within a 50 mile radius. Because pretty soon I was chasing off moles, raccoons, deer and herds of elk. I nervously watched my fence, all the while wondering how I would explain to the hunting officials why an elk had mysteriously died in my backyard right next to my baseball bat.
Maybe they like baseball?
So when my beans suddenly started to disappear as well as all the leaves around them I began to worry. But there were no breaks in the fence and surely they didn't jump over it. Maybe it was just a family of busy slugs.
Hey, I don't claim to be a genius.
But when I went out to check the garden tonight I found hoof prints in the soft dirt around my tomatoes, and most of my plants either trampled or eaten.
And behind me, a hole in my fence just the right size for a brave elk to walk right through.
I'm thinking elk meat in my freezer is sounding might tasty right about now.