Monday, February 4, 2013

Winter Rains/Harvest

It was mid-December, and in anticipation of the coming winter rains in San Diego we were working to put in our winter garden. The anticipation of delicious salads and meals in the coming months was palpable. I had tenderly raised starts of cabbages, broccolis, kale, lettuce and chard.  We had rows of carrots, beets, turnips and radishes going in.  Plus peas and fava beans for nitrogen fixing and stir frys.

After we were done, we looked at our beautiful budding garden with promise. An oasis of green admist a partched and thirsty landscape. You could almost hear the bone dry hills holding their breath, waiting for the dry season to end, and the rains to bring new life.  

We learned a valuable lesson that month...When your garden is some of the only green and growing landscape around, everybody takes notice.  One morning, on my way to milk the goats, I looked with fond eyes at the garden to see every one of our tender pea shoots nibbled clean off.  The next day, the cabbages were gone.  Then the broccolis and even the brussel sprouts.  As soon as the beets came up, they were gone, right along with the carrots!  

Needless to say, I built a rabbit trap, I set gopher traps, rat traps, reinforced our fences. All to no avail as even the California Towhees (birds) spotted the lettuce and nipped 'em up.  

They only thing that made it were some potatoes. Which I kept hoping the bunnies would be dumb enough to chew on a member of the nightshade family, and that would be the end of our rabbit troubles.  

So what did we learn...We should stick to rainwater harvesting until everything is green, so we aren't such a smorgasbord of tender young plants when everyone is starving for some greens.  

We will have more rain water harvesting posts soon, but for now check out San Diego Drums and Totes on facebook.  You don't have to pay top dollar for rain barrels from Homedepot.  


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