MOST EXCITING THING THAT HAPPENING IN THE GARDEN THIS WEEK: The vole population seems to be growing, so we thought we should clear some dead grasses in the bog garden to make hiding harder on them. The particular area we wanted to clear would also allow us to walk on the other side of the beds and maybe discourage the voles from living so close. As we walked to the area to figure out which way to drive the tractor, we both saw something jump right before our eyes. Eric looks at me, wide-eyed, and says, “Was that a rabbit? A rabbit in our garden! We can’t have a rabbit in the garden. How do we get him out.” I say, “I’ll catch him!” Eric looks at me with disbelieving eyes and says, “How can you catch a rabbit?” I say, “I don’t know, head him off at the pass.” By this time, the rabbit, who is a baby, by the way, is in the squash plants, hiding under their huge leaves. I think, “How am I going to catch a rabbit?” And I think about how mom animals carry their young by the scruff of the neck, so I figure if I aim for that spot, I can catch him, without worrying about him biting me or hurting him. I reach into the maze of squash plants and quickly grab the bunny. And I caught him! He tried to wiggle away, but I grabbed him and pulled him close to my chest and covered him with both my hands. He immediately settled down. I surprised myself, I actually caught the rabbit! He was so cute, I wanted to keep him. Eric ran up to the house to get the camera and I sat still, holding the bunny and petting him.
After the photo shoot, we told him we loved him and to hide from hawks and fox and to kindly stay out of the garden. We released him, on the other side of the fence and saw him disappear into the grass.
I wasn’t sure what kind of rabbit he was so I looked it up on the internet. I think he is a cottontail. And I learned some interesting facts about them. Go to http://www.webbedworks.com/messingerwoods/rabbitprofile.htm to learn more.
The tomatoe plants are growing and we see many green tomatoes on the vines.
Peppers are on the pepper plants and today we ate our first baby squash. They were very good. We also found the first lemon cucumber and shared that in the garden. Very crisp and refreshing. The radish are ready and very spicy. I think they would be good in a salsa. The arugula is growing well and about 2 – 3″ tall. The new cilantro is starting to grow too. Last week we added 4 Isis Candy cherry tomatoes, very sweet and 6 eggplant. We hope the eggplant make it. In the past we haven’t had good luck with it and we hear from neighboring farmers the bugs, probably earwigs, have eaten all of their plants. But we will try it again and now that we know the beer trick, we will see if this makes any headway. We have planted more basil, cilantro and carrots and this week we plan on planting more squash, carrots, radish, sunflowers, and turnips.
We think we have found the solution to get rid of earwigs! Invite them to an Asian beer party!
Since the wet rolled up newspaper tip didn’t work we tried planting a few pans in the ground at night and filling them with beer and one with soy sauce. And it worked! The next day we found many dead earwigs in the pans. The theory is they go to the beer or soy sauce and drown. I hate to kill things, but we drew the line with earwigs. They are good in the garden, because they eat other pests, but they eat plants too. We plan on putting in more pans and filling them every night, so we can replant, for the third time, Chinese yard long beans, cilantro, basil and carrots. We really love the beans but they haven’t had a chance with the earwigs. I went out one night, with my flashlight, and the earwigs were covering the bean plants that were left. Absolutely covered! Yuk!
We have discovered they like the darker beer better than the soy sauce, but both work. It seems we collect more with the beer. We bought a gallon of soy sauce. Yes, you can actually purchase a gallon of soy sauce at the Asian markets in or around Rancho Cordova. Actually, if you like Asian cooking, you will find many wonderful items you won’t see in your average grocery store, at a store near the Mervyn’s in Rancho called, Koreana.
Tonight I went to Costco to purchase more beer. For earwigs! Can you believe that? The things we do to grow organically. And no, the beer isn’t organic. 🙂 And neither is the soy sauce.