Deer Damage

My kale had a run-in with the local deer herd the other night … making me wish the local deer herd would have a run-in with … oh well, they are just deer doing what deer do do.  We live in an old suburb that has a lot of green space and even a community forest. The herd has a daily movement pattern that takes it around most of our village in 24 hour cycles. My house is across the street from a generally wooded route into the forest and the lot next to me was, until about 18 month ago, the only vacant lot in our old village. So, the lot next door was the deer’s path from the area behind me to the forest. I never had deer problems because it was just easier for the deer to stay in the lot and eat the vegetation there rather than to hop my fence and come into my more constricted and dog-smelly yard. Now there is a big ole house next door and the deer herd’s movements are more varied. So, several times this year they have hopped my fences and mowed some stuff down. The last big damage was to take my Travisio Radicchio down to the crowns in mid-season … no problem since killing radicchio by cutting the tops is akin to killing a dandelion by cutting its tops.

But this time they ate our kale. The interesting thing is that they only ate the big, coarse, lower leaves (being deer who prefer browse). That means that I still have the tender and more desirable smaller inner leaves.  They also ignored the collards right next to the kale … go figure. I was once worried about leaving these plants in the garden for fear that it would get too cold but now it is for fear that the deer will remember where they fed well.

No picts since I am too angry. But, thanks to a friend, things do even out. We made Bigos last Sunday. Bigos is Polish Hunter’s Stew … wonderful stuff with game, fowl, sausage, dried wild mushrooms, kraut … and anything else that fits the hunter theme. We had a very nice piece of venison in it. Maybe I should schedule our next Bigos dinner and invite the herd to participate.

BTW … when I lived and gardened in Connecticut, I lived on 10 wooded acres surrounded by 40-50 wooded acres. Deer were as thick as stones on the ground and my garden, therefore, was surrounded by an 8′ fence. In comparison, this deer episode is somewhat trivial.

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