10.7.13 Picky Eaters

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

There’s very little worse than coming into the garden and finding that deer have been foraging around. The garden gate was left open overnight and, by the looks of things, they took full advantage of the opportunity. After a quick inventory, the thing we were most disappointed to find eaten was the rattail radish (above). It was a late planting and hadn’t flowered yet, and there’s probably not enough time for it to recover.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

Still, the browsing was light and what stuck us was how selective these midnight marauders were. The deer bypassed the tender lettuces and kale, preferring instead to dine on the rainbow chard.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

They carefully nibbled on the pomodorini, leaving behind the unripe ones, and plucked a few blossoms off the costata vines, but spurned the nearby marigolds.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

Of the chicories, the catalogna endive and cime di rapa were left alone, with the deer showing a liking for the brindisi puntarelle and italiko rosso instead.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

The tatsoi was untouched, but the hon tsai tai was mowed down. We were lucky to have harvested a bunch (above) beforehand.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

The carrot tops are usually considered a tasty treat, but they were left unmauled. Above: Napoli carrot thinnings.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

Maybe the deer were deterred by the onions and leeks planted in the same bed. Above: Rossa Lunga di Tropea onion thinnings.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

And the filet beans, left to go to seed for next season, were clearly of little interest. We couldn’t discern any reason why some things were eaten and others not. All we know is that we got off easy, and we’ll be compulsively double checking the gate from now on.

10.7.13 Picky Eaters

Harvesting:
Duborskian rice, winter squash (tromboncino), shishito peppers, costata, fennel, cherry tomatoes, pomodorini, radishes, chicories (puntarelle, cime di rapa, hon tsa tai), kale, chard, salad greens; last of radishes, cucumbers, and favas.

Preserving:
Lacto-fermented salsa; carrot pepper salsa (canned and lacto-fermented); pickled cherry tomatoes; canned applesauce; canned kale; frozen broccoli pesto and breaded eggplant.

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16 Responses to 10.7.13 Picky Eaters

  1. katrina says:

    That’s amazing! Whatever critters are out there ( and we have pretty much all of them), they hated my radishes and turnip greens, ate the cabbage, disliked sugar snaps (thank you, thank you) and the tomatoes, turned noses up at stunted kale plants, still 4 inches after two months, nibbled at the basil.

    • leduesorelle says:

      We’re completely mystified but what’s eaten and what’s left… Lucky you to have the sugar snaps spared!

  2. Norma Chang says:

    Isn’t it amazing that they have strong likes and dislikes. I didn’t think deer liked radish. Was going to plant daikon radish in containers in the unfenced area, need to rethink this idea.
    At Locust Grove the critters went after the lace leaf sweet potato tubers big time, but nibbled on only a few of the other 3 varieties.
    Will you be posting about your Duborskian rice experience?

    • leduesorelle says:

      The deer are completely bypassing the lettuces and continue to go after the daikon radish tops. Amazingly, the daikon are far enough along that this hasn’t seemed to harm their growth. Yes, we’ll definitely be posting about the rice, thanks for asking!

  3. Better to be made to walk across Texas than to have deer picking over one’s garden.

    • leduesorelle says:

      It’s definitely a challenge to remain philosophical about it… The only saving grace is that it’s already late in the season.

  4. maesprose says:

    I’m happy the deer left some for you! Let’s just hope they weren’t the ones who opened the gate!

    • leduesorelle says:

      The gate was certainly gardener error, though the deer have taken to completely ignoring that there’s a fence in place… sigh.

  5. Fig & Quince says:

    Oh no! I somewhat know how that feels (very brief stint as a suburban gardener and deers ate all freshly and joyfully planted flowers.) But yeah, thankfully the pillage and plunder was selective. Also: you have tatsoi! I first encountered it in farmer’s market a year ago, love edible flowers, I can’t believe you guys grow it yourselves.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Turns out tatsoi is a great thing to grow for season extension, rumor has it that it survives even if it snows! Plus it’s beautiful to watch as it spreads into a full rosette!

  6. Those are some well-fed deer with superior epicurean tastes!

  7. Ross says:

    Our silver lining when the pigs of the farmer down the road cleaned up our vegetable patch was a big crate of tomatoes from his garden which greatly exceeded the amount of the crop we had been expecting . Best to always make sure that the invaders have owners, unlike wild(?) deer.

  8. I love Bambi – just not in the garden. I think I have every perennial on the the ‘deer don’t like’ list but they still visit and munch during the cold months.

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