I just read an article in the NY Times that severely raised my blood pressure. It was about people from the city moving to the country starting a garden, and finding themselves competing with the wildlife. One women was terrified of snakes, even harmless ones, and bought a ’22 rifle to shoot them. Another woman traps squirrels and drowns them. Another kills woodchucks and rabbits. All I could think, as I read the article, was ‘Why the Hell didn’t they stay in the city and buy their produce from the farmers’ market???’
In my opinion, people that can’t adapt to the country shouldn’t kill everything that scares them, they should move back to the city. Leave the country and its critters to the country folk. We can deal with them. I have a garden and cherry trees, berry bushes, and grow flowers and vegetables. But I know the creatures that live with me on my property, and what they like to eat, so I don’t plant salad and carrots (rabbits love them) nor do I bother with sunflowers. I can buy them at the local ‘pick your own’ farm. I grow zuchinni and tomatoes (rabbits won’t touch them) stringbeans, leeks, peas, corn and lots and lots of nasturtiums to keep the insects off the veggies.
I let the hedgehogs creep in the garden – they eat slugs and snails, and I keep the birds out of my cherry tree with tin foil ribbons ried to the lower branches, and anyway, I can’t eat all the cherries myself. The birds are welcome to the uppermost branches.
I wouldn’t dream of shooting snakes, they kill mice and insects, and if I did kill the rabbits they’d end up in my stewpot. We don’t have squirrels here, except in the autumn when they come for the walnuts. And there again, we have so many walnuts it doesn’t matter. There was one woman who said she killed bees because they bothered her. You don’t want to know what horrible fate I wished upon her.
I spoke to the farmers around here about the deer and wild boar. They put up electric fences around their sensitive crops, and hail is more of a problem than deer.
So, for all you city folk looking for a second home in the country here is a word of advice. Find a house in town, or an apartment. Don’t try to have a garden, or think about competing with the wild animals. Leave the country to the country folk.

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