Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Bunny Trap

[ed note: This story occurred at the first house we owned in Lake Crystal, MN.  Since that time, we've had gardens three other locations (including our current farm).  We still get a bit annoyed with bunnies at times.]

GFF Stories: The Bunny Trap
Our biggest nemesis in our early gardens was the rabbit. And we tried several approaches to exclude them from our vegetable crops. We even tried reasoning with them - after all, rabbits have this nasty habit of taking out very young plants - even if more established options were available. Unfortunately, the average education level for members of rodentia is fairly low, so we resorted to fencing.
Iris crop our 3rd year on the farm
Rabbit fencing has smaller holes closer to the ground to keep rabbits and other critters from crawling/hopping/walking through. We had carefully placed timbers around the perimeter of the garden and then erected a fence that tied into those timbers. We reasoned (and correctly so) that this would make it difficult for critters to make a quick burrow under the fence.
We entered the gardening season feeling as if we had prepared well for the inevitable rabbit population explosion in our neighborhood. And, we might have been....UNTIL....
The neighbors noticed the cute little bunnies in the bunny nest. Aren't they cute? Would you like to pet them? No. No, thank you.  Even then, they had beady eyes.  Never trust a critter with beady eyes.  Especially when vegetables are on the line.
The neighbor's dog noticed the cute little bunnies just outside their bunny nest a week later. Aren't they cute? Would you like to taste them? "Yes, I would," said the dog.
Run bunnies! Run! Run dog! Run! Look, a fence! I bet we can get through it because we are still small. Squeeeeeze... pop! Two baby bunnies, complete with beady eyes, in the garden.
Utopia! Veg everywhere! See the bunnies. See the bunnies see the veg with their beady eyes. See them get fat. They cannot not get back out of the garden. They are safe because the puppy dog cannot get in. The humans cannot chase them out. The humans cannot catch them. The humans can't even throw rocks at them for fear of destroying the very vegetables they seek to protect.  Sigh. Anyone for organically raised rabbit?
Eventually, we removed the fence, chased the rabbits out and replaced the fence. We really outsmarted those critters that time, didn't we?

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