Racoon War ’08

I was going to write about the ins and outs of organic certification for you’all, but I’ve got coons on my mind right now and I can’t shake them.

A neighbor of mine says that coons are never a problem until the corn gets just right, then they will show up two days before you want to pick it. Well, I’d have to say that his thinking is right. They completely decimated the planting that I was going to pick on Friday…two days before, right on time! Yesterday I noticed that some plants were stripped of their cobs here and there, which was surprising because I’d never had any problems with coons before. I knew that once they had my number that they weren’t going to go away—kind of like zombies in an old horror movie…they just won’t stop. The major outcome
is that the good looking bi-color sweet corn which SHOULD have been in the box today didn’t make it.

With the next planting of corn ripening in another week, I’m guessing what I’ve now dubbed “Coon War ’08” does not end there. My mind is consumed with plotting the next round with these critters. I’ve already told my wife that the dog and I will be sleeping in the machine shed to shoo the racoons away—typically a dog will chase anything most garden-attacking critters, but ours is used to sleeping inside each night. I’m sure if we left him out on his own, he’d just sleep on the deck by the house, so he need a little encouragement. Also, following another neighbor’s technique, I’m looking to set up a polywire fence. Polywire is a tape that carries an electric charge. The trick is to set a single strand just a few inches off the ground. Since raccoons walk with the head down and low, the single strand keeps them out. I like this approach since it is in the organic production mold…pest prevention instead of pest eradication, which needs some form of poison. I’ll stand guard over the next week, and, if all goes well, deliver a slug of corn in your box next Friday—let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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