My efforts this year in the garden have been foil and folly. I planted a Four Sisters seed collection, open pollinated organic seeds from seed stock found in an Anasazi Cave. Such amazing little seeds, but something else thought they were amazing too! I first thought slugs were attacking, so out came the saucers of beer. Then I thought the rabbits had arrived, up went the chicken wire, with ribbons attached to flutter in the wind. Then I thought it was coming from above, birds? Chicken wire went across the top. I replanted four times.
Each planting carried the same excitement in waiting for the results. The seeds continued to disappear with only a few to germinate, but then later disappearing as well. Finally I discovered, in the dead of night, sitting quietly in the moon light, Field Mice had found the garden.
After that I encased the garden in metal screen over the chicken wire. I was able to get the beans to start and a few sun flowers. . .
. . . and one lone stalk of corn, it's a beautiful corn stalk. Not one Squash showed up, I have always been awash in squash. Those little mice kept finding a way into the garden.
The tomatoes I planted where heirloom, Cherokee, but they also have had quiet a summer, just when they were getting started, it hailed for five hours straight. Nothing was left but scarred stems, I continued to water and they did survive, leaves slowly returning . I think the trick was to not touch them, no pruning of scarred branches, just leaving them alone to grow.
A few of the plants survived in the Dye Garden after the hail, but there was foil and folly there also. Just in getting the seeds started, it was not the field mice but, I will share that story another time.
To adventures in gardening!
* Last time in Barn Stories: New Neighbors