One of the more important tasks on a homestead is defense against destructive marauders, those pests that pass through a homestead, wreck a bunch of stuff, then move on to the next victim. Appropriately enough, if the homestead contains a Dad, the task of critter defense usually finds its way onto his to-do list. So, this post is a happy father's day tribute to those dads who tirelessly defend their castle against livestock-eating predators, driveway-destroying burrowers, and crop-destroying varmints.
Earlier this spring, we noticed that our strawberry patch was coming along nicely--the plants were lush, green, and full of flowers, followed shortly by green and increasingly large berries. In short, the type of stuff homesteaders dream about all winter and spring. Then, one day, almost all of the berries (without even a hint of red), were gone. We were shocked and angry. And although we were anticipating a perpetual battle with the neighborhood varmints, we knew this meant that the squirrels had struck the first blow.
What to do? Having not yet perfected our squirrel flinger design and with the everbearing plants already on their second crop of flowers, we needed something quick. Something that could be built in a couple hours while a frying pan of delicious root crops with rosemary graced the wood-fired grill on a Saturday evening. And thus was born the quick and dirty strawberry cage.
|The damage. The berries, all but one plucked from their stalks. What kind of monster would do such a thing? They were just babies!|
|Here are the strawberries, now fully protected. Where the sections of fence come together, we "sewed" them together with one of the wires we trimmed off the fence.|
How do you protect your berries from destructive marauders? How would you do it if your strawberry patch was a lot larger (which we eventually hope ours will be)? Let us know in the comments section below!