Being one of the only woodland spaces along the Rt 1 corridor in Alexandria, I knew we would have deer. I also know, from very sad experiences, that deer can eat an entire garden within a week. I did not expect, however, to have an entire village of Bambi's living in the woods!! I see the evidence everywhere!
There are a lot of ideas circulating in the farming world about how to best deal with deer. Some say they hate marigolds and the smell alone will deter them. Others say bloodmeal sprinkled on plants or air cannons shot throughout the night (think how much the neighbors would love THAT one). In reality, it seems the only way to deter the deer is to build a fence and make a barricade between the deer and their feast (aka, your garden).
This week, thanks to the weather gods and an unseasonably warm Monday, the first installation of the deer fence went up at Arcadia! We attached 8' "invisible" mesh fence to 8' 2x4's purchased from a local building supply house. With a power drill and staple guns, we economically built a barrier that will, at least, deter the deer a bit. Fencing is not foolproof and some farmer's have seen them jump the 8' fence or wiggle their way underneath! I am going to have to be at peace with a little bit of midnight nibbling. Deer are part of the ecosystem too, right?
Another HUGE thanks to the staff from Birch and Barley and Buzz Bakery for coming out and trudging through the mud to help make our farm a reality!