Gaia’s Little Pests

Property of Raices Eco Culture

Property of Raices Eco Culture

by Francisco G. Gómez

So here I am with Lauren out in Piscataway at a Raices micro plot work party, and out of nowhere this little guy appears from underneath some materials we have stored with a cover over it. We were able to catch him, but his brother got away through the fence.

Property of Raices Eco Culture

Property of Raices Eco Culture

Overnight these little buggers devoured all of our lettuce and some other veggies, much to our dismay. As pissed off as one may get, we have to understand that these critters are just doing what they do best, find and nibble veggies. Of course we carefully removed him from inside the perimeter of the fence and let him go back into the forest. He’ll probably come back as soon as he finds a way back in, but so be it… have to admit, he’s a cute little thief!


Gaia’s Little Pests — 6 Comments

  1. Those cute little thieves had some good taste their choice of food. It must have been delicious. Luckily once we helped them out of our plot, and you patched the fence, all the lettuce they had chewed up grew back stronger and more vibrant than before they were eaten. The way they recovered was amazing!

  2. I have never had a problem with rabbits in our garden. Apparently our two indoor/outdoor cats are a pretty good at keeping them away. But they are not as effective at deterring ground hogs. Years ago I saw one munch on a tomato after noticing a bite had been taken out of every ripe one in the garden. Mind you they don’t like tomatoes, but that doesn’t stop them from tasting EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Now, I’m normally okay with sharing a bit of my harvest with the resident wildlife, but this was just too much for one gardener to take–this fella was even munching down my lettuce every time it got perfect for harvesting. He seemingly knew the EXACT day that I was planning to make a salad, and I like to imagine that he took great delight in having his first. Well, I had just picked a big bowl of tomatillos, and I was furious at the sight of the marauder. In a moment of angry indignation I grabbed a tomatillo and threw it at the thief. Having never been athletic I really didn’t expect to hit him. But I did! I actually hit him from 50 feet! He jumped like a startled cat! I discovered something amazing about myself that day–rage improves my aim (just ask my husband). And I also discovered that fear of vegetable projectiles will not stop a ground hog with poor short term memory from tasting all of your tomatoes. The end.

  3. We have the same problem at our micro plot in New Brunswick. I catch between 3 and 5 hogs every grow season. Believe it or not, if you’re plot is enclosed like ours is, fence goes all around our plots, you can catch them with a large fish net the way I do. Caveat, you have to run like hell after them but, once you have the bugger cornered it’s all over. I put him in a large trash can and dispatch the critter to a forest. We have to understand that they’re doing what comes natural to them…munching on our hard work!

  4. Yes, they have to eat too. And what we grow must seem much tastier than what they can forage in the suburban wilds. I’ve learned since then that they are excellent climbers too! I’ve seen one in a tree! And a landscaper we know told us that he has seen one lounging in his pear tree eating his pears! I suppose I wouldn’t have been so angry with the ground hog if he had just eaten an entire tomato instead of a small nibble from all of them. Thankfully we no longer have trouble with them. I imagine the combination of two young cats and a gang of chickens does the trick! Even the cats fear the chickens!

    • My cat has no affect when they get in to our Brunswick plot. I wish New Brunswick didn’t have a city ordinance against having chickens, that might well do the trick! From what I understand some city people who are active in the grow community here are doing some work to get the law changed, hopefully they will be successful. As for these critters being climbers, well I can attest to that; they climb the fences at our Piscataway plots all the time. It is truly amazing, so getting up into a pear tree doesn’t surprise me at all…

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