If you follow this blog, you know that I protect, as best as I can, the predators on my farm: coyotes, hawks, owls, coons, bobcats, gators, and so on. Obviously, this policy includes the peaceful, graceful, gentle deer.
Today, I would like to discuss with you a shift in policy.
I went out this morning to check one of my winter gardens. I planted this garden from seed with spinach, chard, cabbage, kohl rabi, collards, cauliflower, and a variety of lettuces. The beautiful vibrant leafy green vegetables were almost ready to harvest.
This morning, most of the vegetables were gone. All that remained were a couple thousand deer-hoof prints down the long rows.
I grabbed my hair with both hands and fell to my knees in the sand. If you heard a long anguished cry on the outskirts of town around daybreak this morning, that was me.
Usually, the dog chases away deer before they get close to the gardens. However, I have a new batch of chicks out on pasture, and raccoons have been trying to tear down the fencing to get to them, so I locked up the dog with the chicks to protect them. The deer took advantage of the dog’s incarceration by throwing a dinner party on my garden. I can’t prove it, but I think the deer and raccoons are working together.
Can I tell you something about cute precious deer? Deer have teeth. Deer have big spinach-chomping teeth. And they have sharp hooves. It looks like they hosted a rugby match on my garden. Or a tractor pull, with mules.
So, here is my shift in policy. I will continue, in principle, to protect the wonderful predators of my farm. However, I WILL HARVEST every last bit of spinach, chard, greens, and lettuces that I just lost. I will harvest it as chicken-fried deer steaks.
So, place your order now for “Venison Stuffed with Greens”. I am locking and loading and going out now to harvest it for you.
P.S. For my vegetable-loving customers, do not worry. We will still enjoy a bounty of delicious winter vegetables, coming soon. I have more gardens. Also, I typically grow 99 times more vegetables than I plan to sell, due to my former predator protection policy.