Our volunteer work days are filled with irrigation installation, tomato trellising, sign building, seeding, harvesting and catching groundhogs. We have caught 5 groundhogs total so far (1 adult, 1 medium sized one, and 3 small ones) who have been absolutely devastating some of our crops. Cilantro, sunflowers, lettuce, peas, squash…Poof! It is amazing how much these critters can eat. I released them to an undisclosed location.
Legally-killing them is the only solution I know of when it comes to removing nuisance wildlife (releasing them into the wild is not legal due to risks to the groundhogs life, their new homes being over populated). But, instead I made the call, that removing them and giving them a potentially suitable home is better than killing them. Ideas of fences, sonic waves, and planting them their own garden, cost a lot of space, time and/or money. Trapping them is by far the most humane, cost-effective option available to us at this time given our resources. So, as you can imagine, the volunteers and plants are recovering from the trauma! We have been steadily seeding in the last few weeks trying to catch up. Germination rates have been slow due to a number of factors including heavy rains, extreme drought, and partnered with the ground hog, we are a little behind, so please, be patient with us! This is the difficulty of farming that CSA members invest their time and money into, for better or worse. Traditionally farming involves the farmer and crew taking all of the risk, and all of the blows when things go awry, so thank you for your understanding, patience, and most of all, continual support.
For fun, the picture included is of the tomato stakes I forged at 97 Webster street, where our greenhouse and artisan friends are located. These suckers are the foundation for the entire tomato trellising system, which is quite advanced, I might add! I will add a picture of that when I can. Thanks for reading!