The Weekly Digs #186

by Becky

With the final big harvests in, we have enjoyed a little bit more rest time than usual. It’s been so nice! We also got some much needed rain and we stayed inside to finish up a couple of preserving projects.

First off, I freeze dried some apples that we purchased locally. I also spent a day making more applesauce. Now we are up to about 26 quarts total. We were completely out before I started! 

In the garden, I’ve been getting inspired by listening to podcasts, particularly ones with Eliot Coleman. I thought I knew a lot about his particular method of gardening because I’ve read several books by him, but listening to more of his why behind what he does has been enlightening. And THIS keynote speech by him on Youtube is awesome.

The kids and I planted cover crops in two garden beds. My goal is to do 1-2 garden beds each week until most are covered. Once we hit mid November though we drop to less than 10 hours of sunlight a week and the growing slows to almost nothing. I think at that point we will cover the garden beds with a thick layer of compost instead of the cover crop and call it good until Spring. 

The other garden thing from the week was a bummer! Oh goodness, we can’t catch a break this year.

I grew the most beautiful broccoli I’ve ever grown. It was not quite ready but looked so good. The other day, I took off the row cover to assess if they were big enough to pick and they weren’t but what I did find was rodent damage. 

I took the picture below on my phone and sent it to Cam. He bought 15 mice and vole traps on his way home from work. We have had about enough of these guys. 

The traps were a success and we caught one vole within an hour and five by the next day. Two were in one trap! No more mercy coming from this gardener. Sometimes I grow enough to share but fall/winter crops are definitely too precious and too few to grow for the wild animals and pests. 

We put peanut butter in the traps or peanuts. If you saw my video from this week about how the rodents ate all my peanuts, I knew peanut butter would be very enticing to the mice and voles. I’m glad it’s working. 

Now just to keep setting the traps and be diligent. Hope you are having a relaxing fall!

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Janalyn Voigt October 30, 2022 - 1:17 pm

Sorry you are having a rodent problem. It’s maddening to lose crops you were about to harvest. I believe that the peanuts you planted drew the mice to your yard in the first place, and then they went on to consume other crops. Either that, or some other factor has caused the area to be overrun. I suggest spending some time looking into the root cause of the problem. I’m sure you don’t enjoy dispatching mice, so maybe think about creating balance by introducing more natural predators (cats, snakes). The beauty of gardening is that we start with a clean slate each year. Here’s to a better time gardening in 2023.

theseasonalhomestead October 31, 2022 - 6:52 pm

Thank you! We’ve had voles/mice every year, but this year is by far the worst. Yes, I think it was the peanuts! Thankfully we do have a resident snake and the traps are helping make up the difference.

PamR October 30, 2022 - 9:17 pm

Geez, you just really aren’t catching a break this year! I’ve had voles in the garden always, and they have never gone after cole crops in the 30 years I’ve grown them. I hope you manage to harvest some of the broccoli…

PamR October 30, 2022 - 11:19 pm

I just watched the keynote by Coleman and I can see why you were so impressed by it! He has some great ideas! I just wish I had the 2 or 4 people besides myself to implement them….

theseasonalhomestead October 31, 2022 - 6:53 pm

Yes, me too! 🙂


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