Sheep and strawberries, cats and peppers

June 23, 2008 at 11:27 am 3 comments

When my parents moved to the country when I was about five, to live the good life at least at weekends, I was extremely excited about the prospect of the strawberry patch.

I was extremely fussy about vegetables, but summer fruit – strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, nectarines, peaches etc – were top of my list of favourite foods and reasons for being alive.* We went on holiday that first summer and I was assured that on our return the strawberries would be ready to eat.** My excitement mounted all the way home, and when we arrived we found that the sheep that were meant to live in the field behind our house had broken through the fence and happily munched their way through the entire crop.

I was absolutely devastated, and this is probably a not insignificant contributor to the fact that I became a dedicated frustrated urbanite throughout my teenage years, until I left home and realised the town wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and may also have been why my dad’s vegetable growing remained rather small-scale for many years.

This morning, I discovered nefarious goings-on afoot in my garden. Some creature (probably a cat) had dug up one of my pepper plants overnight and left it on the patio. I popped it back in the grow-bag and gave it a good water, but it might not make it. What cheek!

And a pepper as well. They’ve been causing trouble from the start. I had a germination rate of about 0.00005% and of that only one surviving seedling remains, and it’s still very much a seedling, not a plant. I managed to acquire three plants on Freecycle which are now happily, slowly growing in a sunny spot in my garden. And now, of all the plants the ruddy creature could have destroyed, it went for the least replaceable. Mr Sod, his law (again).

I suspect a villainous feline. I might post confirmed cat-hater Scientist Boyfriend on sentry duty with a water pistol.

But I realise it’s just par for the course. After all, if all I wanted was a steady supply of peppers, I could just buy them in T*sco…

*I only really liked one type of vegetable, carrots, but ate various others under duress and adored fruit. My brother ate a bigger variety of vegetables, but no fruit except apples. I can’t wait to have children…

** It strikes me now that that must have been late August, as I had my birthday while we were away that year, and I’m harvesting strawberries now. Perhaps I should allow Scientist Boyfriend to convince me to move west instead of north…


Entry filed under: victory garden, wildlife. Tags: , .

Teach a man to fish and you get his money for one day; sell a man a fish and you get his money for life… More sheep-related things

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jon in France  |  June 25, 2008 at 6:32 am

    God, I hate cats. I didn’t used to – we had them when I was a child and when we first got married we acquired one. But then we were urban beings and didn’t much worry about where “Tiddles” was going to the loo.

    When we moved here a little over five years ago, in a moment of madness, we got a second one. But then I became a vegetable gardener.

    They dug up my seedlings and the pooed in my cabbage patch and everywhere else. Horrible.

    I would never have had them put down – I don’t shirk responsibility that easily – but I have to admit to a quiet jig in the garage when they both shuffled off and joined the Heavenly Chior earlier this year.

    The kids have been hassling me for a fluffy kitten or two. I’ve told them that they have a dog and they can have a pet chicken if they want.

  • 2. sproutingbroccoli  |  June 25, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I take a perverse pleasure in running out into the garden, waving my arms and shouting, ‘Bugger off!’ to feline intruders that look like they’re eyeing up my vegetables…

  • 3. wtf cats  |  July 18, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Just keep your cats indoors if you don’t want them in your garden. Or put a fence up around your garden. We had indoor/outdoor cats and grew catnip, we just had some wire around it to keep them out. Now our cats are strictly indoors, and just as happy as the indoor/outdoor.


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June 2008
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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."

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