Lately, I’ve discovered a great cable channel called RFD-TV, which bills itself as “Rural America’s Most Important Network”. I guess so. It features a whole raft of horse programs such as live coverage of rodeos and the great Parelli Natural Horsemanship (kind of a “do it yourself Horse Whispering”). I find myself fascinated by the Louisiana Ag Report (which has nothing I can take away to farming in Sonoma, but is still oddly compelling). Andy is partial to The Successful Farming Machinery Show. I should mention one of the great draws of RFD-TV: twice a day they rerun the old Hee-Haw show. I should come clean and admit that we mostly watch RFD-TV at about 3AM when we can’t sleep. And for some odd reason, it airs on San Francisco cable, but not in the Sonoma area. However, we don’t have TV in Sonoma, so that’s a moot point.
Since RFD-TV doesn’t broadcast in Sonoma, well, I guess I’ll have to do it. So here’s the Ag Report from our small corner of paradise:
John the Baptist continues to help us clear out the Chaparral that is choking out one of our seasonal creeks. He’s discovered what he’s calling “The History of Beer”, everything from Mickey’s Big Mouth cans to pre-WWII bottles. Apparently when our boundary road was unpaved (which wasn’t that long ago) this was the town dump.
Two Terrier Vineyards’ former status as the town dump makes for some interesting juxtapositions. Like this pile of rusted springs from a few old dumped mattresses. John found it next to a Wood Rat’s Nest.
On a sad note, the Fava Beans are flourishing, but at too high a cost. I thought I had a clever plan to foil the foxes who were digging up my planted beans and munching on them. I put some netting over the raised beds (they are currently slipping right under or climbing over the deer fencing.) But I found that this little bird had gotten tangled in the netting and died. The nets are up now.
So there’s the Sonoma Ag Report, just like RFD-TV would have done it. Now on to Hee-Haw…
Better yet, how about some vintage Buck Owens singing Truck Drivin’ Man:
When we lived in Napa many of our friends with ‘outlying’ land struggled with people using it as an unofficial dump.
It is interesting how the unintended outcomes of our adaptations can affect other species. This makes me think about the experiment of placing solar panels in the desert only to find out that the natural shade affecting the wildlife that needs the direct sunlight in the desert.
Good luck in finding a strategy that blocks the bean-eating-foxes Perhaps you will have to create raised beds that are a good 4 feet up? What about chili powder near the beans?
Keep on writing!
Honestly, living in Suburbia I couldn’t even imagine doing a lot of what you wrote about but on some days it sounds enticing.
Eva, thanks for the suggestions. The raised beds are four feet off the ground. No problem for a fox. I think the best course is to stop obsessing and work with “acceptable losses”. With my last crops, they left the tomatoes and corn alone and only munched on the melons. But, all told, they only ate a few of them. Maybe I should plant a little “Fox Garden” of melons just for them.
I’m partial to RFD-TV’s “Big Joe Polka Show” – seriously. I need to get out more.
I used the same netting that’s trapping your birds to keep rabbits from crawling under gaps in the garden fence. The rabbits found their way in anyway, and snakes were getting stuck in the netting. Not pretty.
I’ve never heard of RFD-TV, but I can imagine how it could draw you, especially the Louisiana report that can’t be of much use to you because I found myself listening to a garden show on radio one day and I don’t garden. It held my attention for reasons I can’t explain. I think they were talking about the solstice and gardening or something like that.
And then one day I had to look up information about plant life down here for some fiction work and started reading the extension service report or something by 4-H, and it fascinated me. Maybe this means I should take up gardening, but I can’t imagine myself doing that, Lisa, because of I have snake phobia.
Cool post, Lisa.
RIP little bird. Glad to hear you will soon have a large bounty of fava beans though. The Louisiana Ag Report sounds tempting. It is a good thing we don’t have cable or I might spend hours in a trancelike state.
Awwww. Poor little birdie