Who's asking: Me
In West Gardiner, they eat my garden.
Dizzy and I went over to water the patch yesterday afternoon (I don't have a yard; a friend lent me an unused piece of his yard. This friend is British and refers to his entire yard as the garden, which makes conversations about it confusing).
The first thing I noticed, approaching the vegetable patch, was that things didn't look as tall as they had when I left on Saturday. It rained a little on Sunday, and we'd had some wind; could everything have been knocked down?
A closer look found that weather had nothing to do with it. The six lettuce plants were entirely gone. Most of the tomato plants had lost their leaves, and several of the stems were bitten down to the ground. The only plants left mostly intact were the peppers and the marigolds I'd planted to keep the aphids away.
My first instinct was to blame rabbits (too much Beatrix Potter!), but my friend said he'd seen a large woodchuck waddling across the yard, away from the garden. He'd even pointed it out to his visiting nephew as a cute representative of the wonders of nature.
Wonders of nature, my foot. It turns out that woodchucks (or groundhogs, they're the same thing) are the gluttons of the vegetable world. They're herbivores, and how much do you figure they have to eat to keep those doughy body shapes? A lot.
Beginner's mistake on my part, obviously, and I'm considering my options. Deer fencing or chicken wire, to start, but my Organic Gardening book and some websites I've found suggest more exotic remedies. Did you know, for example, that you can buy fox urine in a bottle?
The next time I whine about my workload, please remind me that somewhere, someone has the job of collecting and bottling fox urine for the organic gardening market. If this happens to be your job, please write and tell me about it. I really, really want to know how this works.