Sharing Food with Wildlife

Elk are the bane of my existence and I still love them.

Violet the Vixen

I talked about insect pests in another post but really our nemesis is wildlife. We’ve been determined to plant enough vegetables to provide fresh food for 1/2 the year. This summer, the elk ate about two-thirds of our apricots, a quarter of our cherries and peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and all my lettuce.

These are our javelina: Hector-dad, Betty-mom, Penny & Fido.

The javelina eat our flowers and shrubs, rabbits forage, and birds take whatever fruit they please.

I think the biggest problem is me. I have an unfortunate habit of naming my babies. We also provide water in our front yard pond and all the wildlife tell their friends the deer, squirrels, etc. to come visit when thirsty. We fill the 60 gallon pond back up again each morning.

We also sit outside between 4 and 5 AM just to catch sight of our wild family.

Our area has been in drought conditions too which makes us worry about our family when they aren’t around for more than a week.

I know if we lived in the old west, we wouldn’t be as lackadaisical about our missing food supplies but for us it’s just living our dream life in the mountains and seeing a glimpse into nature that many don’t.

We’ll continue sharing with wildlife as long as they come around and there’s a store to shop a few miles away. If that changes, I’ll cry.

Due to the rabbits, we garden in containers and have 20 in the yard. Here are a few pictures.

This is our edible lower patio also known as the crayola patio
More of the edible patio
Squash and hot peppers which the elk love
Line of tomato barrels with fencing around them
More elk fence around our tree garden but it hasn’t stopped them

If you have wildlife or gardening images, I would love to see them <3

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Bugs, Worms, and Food

This little guy lives in my lemon balm and he get’s pretty feisty when I water. I’ve watched him grow from the size of a dime to the budding teenager he is now at about the size of a quarter. He’s been around for two months and I’ve also watched my lemon balm flourish.

Last year the white flies almost did this prized plant in and I’m so happy Lancelot decided to save my delicious smelling and tasting lemon plant.

This brings me to a huge problem we have when it comes to food.

BUGS: the good and the bad.

Although truthfully, they all have their place in nature and none are truly bad. Maybe I’ll just use the word ick instead because I’m not too fond of some little green worms who are using my kale to gain weight. This little guy was moved out of my garden this morning but I’m sure I didn’t find all his brothers and sisters.

My poor worm-eaten kale

So we’ve established there are some bugs I’m not fond of and I’m sure you have your share. Here’s the thing, bugs mean my plants are not sprayed with pesticides or governed by GMO manipulations. I grow plants the way they should be grown and I do everything possible to naturally help them thrive.

When the worms win I have no problem picking away their bite marks and eating the kale or spinach or chard. I’ve even brought in the day’s bounty and found the small green worms that are my nightmare this year and carried the little guy outside and placed him far from my veggies. Wash, eat, repeat.

We must get back to nature to heal!

This includes bugs and learning they aren’t a bad thing. If a salad in a restaurant comes with a worm, I don’t send it back. My thought process switches to survival and the fact the processed salad I’m about to eat might just have some healthy nutrients left that my body vitally needs, after picking off the worm of course 😉