"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Thursday June 16, 2016
Sugar snap peas have been voted the best All-America Selection (AAS) vegetable
variety of all time! Their sweet pods with juicy peas that burst with flavor are a favorite of even the most veggie-adverse children!!
In a normal year they are very productive plants that pump out pounds of sweet snap peas from mid-June till early July. I say in a normal year because two things this year have been abnormal that have drastically reduced the productivity of our sugar snap peas.
Water – Or rather the lack of it this spring. We are 5 inches below normal for rainfall since March 1st. Since we average 1″ of rain a week this time of year, that means we’re more than a month’s worth of precipitation behind. We’ve done our best to water, but its lack has definitely had an impact on our expected yield this year.
Rabbits – The biggest problem has been the rabbit population that exploded on the farm this year. A few years back while there was still an abandoned house next to the farm, where the neighbor fed many stray cats, these cats were the actual problem in our gardens. Our nicely prepped & just seeded beds looked like perfect litter boxes to them. So when we bought the house & tore down the back half I was happy to see the stray cat population dwindle. However, a year later (just last year) we noticed our garden was now home to a family of rabbits.
We’ve tried a number of ways to curb the rabbit population, but this spring it only increased, with a whole extended family of rabbits.
Last year during the harsh winter, just some blueberries & grape vines suffered severe pruning by the rabbits (both have recovered nicely now), but they kept away from the veggies. This year is a different story, & the pea plants have been their favorite target.
However, the cycle continues to spin, & this spring there is another visitor that has shown up on the farm. Most nights between 8:30 & 9pm a red fox makes its rounds at 5 Loaves Farm. It’s been seen by other neighbors on Grant St., & Patrick & I saw it late at night down Niagara St. a number of blocks. But right at sunset, 5 Loaves Farm, with all of its rabbits is the fox’s preferred place to be.
This reminds us of the cycles in life & how everything has it’s place in the system we are a part of… Remove one piece & the others are affected as they shift & change to fill the void. Sustainable agriculture is all about designing agricultural systems that consider these challenges & create benefits not only for humans, but directly affects in positive ways a number of other pieces of the ecosystems we exist in.
Let us all consider how our actions, or inaction, has an affect on the world around us.
“There is a time for everything… He has made all things beautiful in their time.” – King Solomon, Book of Ecclesiastes.