One evening last week I took a walk out to the garden to visit the tiny veggies and to assess the workload for the following morning.
I took note that there would still be lettuce for picking and even snapped off a few remaining pea pods before I noticed the beans.
At which point I let out an audible gasp.
Nearly the entire center of four rows devoid of leaves - munched to the stalks, tiny beanlettes left exposed! Barely a plant was left un-nibbled.
Heartsick, I then discovered the evidence:
Deer. In the garden. Feasting away.
Needless to say, a better fence is in order; however that is not immediately possible. The current method of deer defense involves the application of a wretched-smelling (though all-natural) repellent solution around the perimeters.
When one grows vegetable plants, she can expect to defend the crop from all manner of detrimental insects and weeds, slowly, day-by-day, a bit of work here, a bit there. It is quite another thing to wake one morning and find the entire garden bare - a very real possibility with deer, rabbits, or even raccoons sniffing about.
I am fortunate to have lost so little, though it still makes me sigh to see those bare stalks. My home would not be the same without my animal neighbors, but with a little luck and some perseverance, perhaps I can turn their attention from my own garden back to the wild.
In the meantime, I'll take in the survivors and savor my harvest just that much more.