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early customers at my pick-your-own farm

APPARENTLY I AM OPERATING A PICK-YOUR-OWN blueberry farm, but my customers arrive early, before the fruit is even ripe; skip the baskets altogether, and leave without paying. I knew I should have kept my steady job.

  1. Tod says:

    I saw the same thing this weekend. I love the munks, but dang they’re hungry buggers. That owl with the rotating owl certainly isn’t working.

  2. Susan says:

    I hate to say he’s cute, but he is. And they’re having a field day with my strawberries.
    Great shot, by the way. You caught him red handed!

  3. Rosella says:

    I am sorry, but I can’t help it–I think they are soooo cute that I can’t get cross with them no matter what they do, although I kind of wish they would leave me just one ripe wild strawberry. I haven’t yet seen them in the blueberries, but I suspect that’s because the catbirds patrol there pretty strictly — they certainly chase me out of there, and I have given up on getting any berries for little old me.

  4. Amy says:

    They are adorable, but also very frustrating. We saw the first ripe raspberry and ran for the netting and by the time we got it in place it was gone! I grew white alpine strawberries one year, thinking the critters wouldn’t notice the fruit, but once they discovered it they stopped every morning for breakfast.
    Perhaps the little guy will at least leave you some nuts in the fall.

  5. I think the guy was here earlier this spring, just as the crocuses blossoms where about to open they filled his cheeks. Didn’t pay the tab and left no tip. Yes sure looks familiar.

    Enjoy your evening,
    John

  6. Tammy says:

    I have a resident rabbit who keeps eating my chartreuse potato vine and purslane (no complaint there). He is definitely not a cute as the first time I saw him hopping about. = ]

  7. Toby says:

    One? Two? Three? a whole colony? of chipmunks devoured my strawberries while I had to be away. I did a lousy job netting them this year and they just burrowed under. I should have guessed it would happen. I had chased one out earlier who ran with a strawberry and took refuge under a bench and chomped quickly but delicately. I thought i fixed the netting – but obviously not!

    Now I’m wondering if they’ll get to the thornless blackberries – it will be my first crop. Can they climb up the vines?? Toby

  8. Diana P says:

    They not only ate all our strawberries, but they chewed holes through the netting! Where are the neighborhood cats and WHY are they not doing their job?

  9. tigress says:

    what an amazing photos. i have tons of blueberries – and tons of chipmumks – now i know what all that chirping is about around those bushes!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Tigress. I love your site, by the way…keep meaning to double back to the topic of preserving/canning/freezing, so don’t be surprised to see me in your comments asking questions. :)

  10. Carolyn Chadwick says:

    Absolutely lovely picture and story.. amazingly cheecky!
    Warm happy gardening greetings from Holland, Carolyn

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Carolyn (all the way from Holland!). They are so terribly naughty, and so terribly cute. An exercise in love and hate all rolled up into one bundle. See you soon again I hope.

  11. Sarah says:

    How can I get rid of rabbits? They are eating many of my flower plants. I thought about a cat but don’t want it to get the birds. I have several bluebirds on my 3 acres. I don’t want an inside cat during the day.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Sarah. Not good, I know: rabbits are voracious pests. Only woodchuck and deer are worse in my experience.

      Basically once they are in the garden, you have to get them out — which in my rural area is often accomplished by a fox or coyote pretty quickly, and between that and my large cat who hunts all night (I keep him in by day because of birds as you say), they don’t fare too well here for long.

      Otherwise you have to trap them (I am assuming you are not going to shoot them, which is what farmers would do if their crops were imperiled) but here’s the hitch: In many states it’s illegal to move them from your yard to a wild place to release them. So using a Havahart live trap has its limits…which is why many people resort to calling a licensed wildlife-control person to intervene (some pest-control firms have such a person on staff). Not cheap.

      There are repellent sprays of various types (including coyote urine!) and granules (note: many brands contain chemicals) but of course most effective is preventing them from getting in in the first place. Fencing to exclude rabbits must be installed underground as well at least 4 inches, not just above, since they can tunnel. Chicken wire or so-called hardware cloth is usually used. Aesthetically and practically speaking, this has its limits of course — not every bed can be fenced.

      So start by making a plan to get rid of the ones you have asap — again, which may require getting help.

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