So we don’t have any actual Rattus Norvegicus, but my garden has been ransacked by at least three varieties of the other favorites, the tree rat squirrels, the bird rat pigeons, and the rat-cockroach starlings. I’m getting increasingly violent feelings towards our furry and feathered neighbors. The first infraction was just after I’d put in the raised beds, but hadn’t yet crossed them with the grid. The starlings and robins went a-digging, presumably searching for non-existent worms. I had filled the beds with new peat and compost, so worms there weren’t.

the beginning

I added a few smaller beds for the perennials, and inter-planted them with onions and beans.

strawberries, beans, and onions

The squirrels quickly discovered and molested the strawberries, so I thought the onions would serve as a deterrent. It turns out squirrels love to dig up bulbs, so two days ago, I went out to discover the onions had been unearthed in certain patches.

This morning, I peered out the kitchen window to witness the morning doves pecking at the bean and corn shoots that just poked out today.

three sisters bed

I went out to scare them away, and found one of my pumpkin seedlings that I’d transplanted yesterday, ripped out of the earth and left for dead. I put it back, but I have little hope for its survival.

pumpkin seedlings

Do I have to go out and physically guard my garden against the predators? I haven’t seen the rabbits from next door yet, but I’m sure they’ll be joining the fray in no time. And the opossum that wintered on our block surely has a friend or two that will come terrorize us, no doubt by burrowing up into the compost pile and thieving my precious compost. We also have deer, which I have seen less than a mile away. Do I have any hope of a harvest?

first plantings


the back three

rainbow chard from an Amish farm