Right about this time last year, I was blogging about our garden, and happily posting pictures of carrots and cucumbers. A friend of mine asked me why I haven't blogged about the garden this year yet.
It's because of the rabbits.
I started the gardening season with high hopes. Last year was such a rousing success! We had no clue what we were doing, and things grew! Things we could actually eat! Next thing I know, friends are coming to me for advice, as if I have the slightest inkling as to what I was doing. I believe the term would be beginner's luck?
Our next-door neighbor, who really inspired us to build our own raised bed, moved last fall. A new guy moved in, who isn't so inclined to spend his free time in the yard. Mike and I wondered, would he mind if we used his now-empty raised bed? He did not mind one bit, and visions of all the things we could grow in that extra space danced before us like a farmer's market musical review. There would be rows and rows of corn! Because we live in Indiana, and that's what good Hoosiers grow! There would be watermelons and peppers and peas! And of course our old friends, the green beans, tomatoes, lettuce and carrots would return. We bought seeds and ordered plants.
And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We waited for it to stop raining. We waited for frost to disappear in the mornings. It took freakin' forever and I got impatient. I put seeds in the ground too soon, when it was still too cold and too wet. We got lazy. We neglected to put up chicken wire under the guise that "it would get in the way of the children really experiencing the garden." Really, we were just too lazy to deal with it. And so impatience and laziness bit us in the arse, hard.
The corn and the watermelon barely sprouted. Those that did? Eaten by rabbits. God love 'em, those peas kept trying. Every time they had a glimmer of looking like they might turn into something edible . . . rabbits. The lettuce fared okay. All those years of referring to salad as "rabbit food?" Apparently they don't like it as much as I thought they did. Either that, or they were too full of corn and watermelon and peas. I tried to fix the barren patches by throwing packets of sunflower seeds around, but guess what? They love that, too. I might as well be throwing out mixed nuts to a bunch of drunks. Nom, nom, nom! This lady rocks!
I walked out my front door early in the morning for a run and there were five rabbits in my yard. I'm pretty sure they all stood up and put their paws together for the most awesome feast I've been providing.
Smarter people would have gotten up off their rear ends and stapled $2 worth of chicken wire around their gardens weeks ago. Instead we choose to shake our fists at the little buggers, call them nasty names (but never in front of the children!), and use $10 worth of Tabasco sauce and red pepper flakes in a worthless attempt to foil their daily buffet. Instead they just ate more and thanked us for providing condiments.
For what it's worth, we still have a decent crop coming in. My tomato plants are doing awesome. Yes, rabbits don't fancy tomatoes. Unfortunately, neither does anyone other than myself in the Six household. If all of them continue to grow, I will have approximately 20 cucumbers ready at the same time. The rabbits continue to gnaw back one variety of green bean I planted. The other variety is doing fine. The green peppers look promising as well.
And as if the rabbits and the rain and the cold weren't enough to do the poor garden in, look closely at the photo above. Eli is crying because Elena won't share the hoe. The hoe they use to "help" me weed, which invariably means they will hack an actual plant to pieces. Turns out that chicken wire would have been helpful in regards to the children as well.