The Fence (Guest Post by Tim)
When my wife and I moved into our new to us home, we decided to grow a garden. From the beginning we wanted it to be the grandest garden the world had ever known. To this end, we had a soil analysis done by the finest Agricultural lab in the state. We studied fertilizers and seed variants, growth timings and compatibilities, sun and shade requirements, and all the various methods of delivering water to our man made Garden of Eden. After investing hundreds of hours as well as hundreds of dollars into this project, it was finally coming together.
The plants were growing, corn, carrots, radish, peas, beans, if it could be used in a salad or casserole it was there. There were strategically placed sun shades to shield and protect the more delicate types and hundreds of feet of water line of various types to deliver moisture at the precise rates needed for all the different crops.
Then on a fine Sunday morning I went to gaze upon our labor that was to deliver a large bounty in the fall to our family, only to discover several of the plants were cut down. There was a green pepper half chewed up, some tomatoes had been gnawed on, and corn had been cut down and the ears mauled. It wasn’t hard to deduce the culprit as there were rabbit tracks in the soft soil and the tell tail pellet droppings from there previous meals.
I simply could not allow this to go on or soon there would be little left, the decision was made to put up a rabbit proof fence.
I reasoned that rabbits were pretty short really so a fence two feet high should do the trick, at two feet we would still have easy access to our crops.
The day after our rabbit barrier was in place I inspected the garden, again I found destruction. This time along with the crop damage there were water lines cut and one of the supports for a sun shade had been gnawed through dropping the whole thing on the tomato plants. I really wasn’t sure what to do. While having breakfast at the local café, I told my troubles to several folks that lived around town. I explained about the garden and the first attempt at a fence.
I was told by several that I shouldn’t have bothered putting the first fence up as the rabbits will find a way in no matter what I do and what was the problem anyway, the garden is so large that they can’t be eating that much after all.
I installed video cameras to study the rabbits, and found that most had jumped the short fence; some however had tunneled under it. While most of them had simply eaten of our labor, two of them seemed to ignore the produce and went right to gnawing waterlines and shade supports.
Being nearly out of money I again spoke with the folks around town. I explained what I had learned from the video surveillance and outlined my plan for a fence six feet high and also two feet deep, this I knew would keep the rabbits out, maybe one or two really clever ones would find a way in but the problem would for all intents and purposes be solved. I offered to share generously from the garden if they could help with some money for the new fence.
I sure heard about it then, they knew the new fence I proposed would be just as effective as I thought it would be. How can you do that to those poor little bunnies some said, they are having a hard time finding food and you have plenty with that big garden of yours. “What’s your problem, don’t you like rabbits?” I like rabbits just fine I said. What you don’t seem to understand is they are costing me a lot of money, you don’t have a garden that they are destroying. They may not realize that they are destructive but they are, they do not replant or fix waterline and sun shade supports. We like the rabbits they said, they are so cute hopping around and cleaning their whiskers, and lots of kids have pet rabbits so you shouldn’t be mean to the rabbits.
Those pet rabbits came from a pet store they are documented and pedigreed and whatever else and they aren’t allowed into my garden to do whatever they like. Well, you’re just a mean awful man and we know that you hate rabbits.
Now I’m branded a rabbit hater. A lot of folks won’t talk to me because I want to protect my garden that they will eat from too. The fence goes un-built; when the produce isn’t there for them do you think they’ll blame me for not growing enough?
Do you want to talk about Ferrets? Some Ferrets got loose and killed some pet wiener dogs around town. I proposed an ordinance at town hall to ban bringing Ferrets into town until they could be certified as tame. Now I’m a Ferret hater too.