Remember how just a few weeks ago, I was complaining about the drought we’ve been having here in California? I’m not sure I would say it’s over, but we’ve had two weeks of back-to-back storms that have done a lot to alleviate things. Good news! Except that it’s keeping me from burying the evidence of one of my most glaring failures at Two Terrier Ranch.

Yes, I’m talking about those Brussels Sprouts. The Sprouts that I was sure I could grow as a winter crop until two heat waves determined that we would have no real winter this year in California. As steamy hot weather often does in inner city areas, our heat waves turned my Brussels Sprouts into juvenile delinquents. Instead of staying polite tight heads, they sprawled out into big blowsy untidy monsters. They were the Sharks and Jets of the vegetable kingdom. If they had been ambulatory, they would have been down in Sonoma Square throwing bricks through shop windows. Instead, they just blowsed out into horrible “Little Shop of Horrors” plants that constantly thumbed their little Brusselly noses at me. Just when I decided I had to chop them down and feed them to the compost pile, the skies opened and we had buckets of rain.

So for the last two weeks, I’ve had to look out into my raised beds and confront my first gardening failure. They really stood out since I’ve let the rest of the beds go fallow while I grow Fava Beans as “green manure”. It was only today, contemplating my Fava Beans that I noticed something else that was wrong.

I laid these Fava Beans out in neat rows. Why are they looking all random?

I laid these Fava Beans out in neat rows. Why are they looking all random?

 

Why indeed? The answer appeared when I left the deck and went down on the soggy ground next to the beds.

Seems someone has been digging up my planted beans, chewing off the tender shoots and throwing them outside the beds.

Seems someone has been digging up my planted beans, chewing off the tender shoots and throwing them outside the beds.

 

Yes, we mistakenly thought the deer would be the big threat to our vegetable garden. We never thought of the foxes.

The deer-proof fence has plenty of room for foxes to slip under.

The deer-proof fence has plenty of room for foxes to slip under.

I knew the foxes could get under the deer-proof fence, but since they left the tomatoes and corn alone and only took the occasional melon, I thought we had a sort of detente going. Apparently not. It seems to be war.

How do I know the foxes are the culprits? Because, I happen to own the Big Bumper Book of Poo and I can identify the tracks and scat of any North American mammal.

Busted! By the poo and the tracks, I know the foxes are the culprits.

Busted! By the poo and the tracks, I know the foxes are the culprits.

 

So I’m getting out the heavy artillery. Can you guess what this is:

Ten points if you guessed that this is a British Army issue snipers glove. Yes, Im ready to bring out the big guns.

Ten points if you guessed that this is a British Army issue sniper’s glove. Yes, I’m ready to bring out the big guns.

 

Okay, I’m not yet ready to kill anything. Although I do have a seventeen year old with an air rifle on stand-by.

And about those Brussels Sprouts? Rain or no rain tomorrow, out comes the machete and THEY ARE GOING DOWN!

It’s a war zone out here and you’ve gotta be Rambo.

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