Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rabbit-proof fence

While traveling for three months in Australia, I dug into the culture and watched the movie "Rabbit-Proof Fence." It's the dramatic true story of three aboriginal girls who followed a fence that had been erected in Western Australia to keep non-native rabbits on one the east side out of the pastoral grounds in the west.

While I am not facing ultimate destruction of every living thing in my country, it certainly is starting to feel that way.

I started to get this feeling when two weeks ago something ate all of the marigolds I planted in my community garden plot. "Marigolds?" I thought they repelled things, and were not interesting food for anything. I replanted them and this time stretched row cover over them and fixed in place with 6 inch ground staples. To my horror, the other day I found that something had pulled the ground staples out and ate all the marigolds.

I also discovered this same creature ate an egg plant and a pepper plant! "A pepper plant?" This is the first time I've had any plant damage from anything but insects. It think it's fair to say the mammals have found our community garden.

So Saturday morning before going to my garden to finish planting and doing a little weeding, I stopped at the hardware store and purchased fencing and fence posts. You have no idea how much this pains me. The aesthetics alone I find distasteful, the inconvenience even more so. Then there's the maintenance, the sagging, the rusting, etc.

Everything in my garden is once again covered in row cover, but has previously discovered this may not help at all. But I ran out of time on Saturday morning and so the fence posts and chicken wire remain in their original packaging.

I know that if I don't assemble this I will return to my garden regularly and cry silently or yell loudly if no one is around. I also know each time I return after putting the fence up I will feel like I gave in to some four-legged creature that hasn't given me the courtesy of a thank you note.

New photos as the fence goes up.

1 comment:

  1. A almost failsafe strategy for protecting plants from rabbits is to build a basic wire fence around the area of the garden that contains vegetables and other plants that are extremely susceptible to rabbit damage. A 2-foot-high fence won't be jumped by cottontails. Where jackrabbits are prevalent, raising the fence's height to at least 3 feet is necessary since they may jump higher when scared or pursued by dogs.