A Plague on Both My Gardens

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IMG_5887(Web)(RH)P227-319-256-468-35h-006-02-0360-1080-0359-1079So… the Jalapenos that Peanut “helped” me plant never came up. I know, big surprise, right? As it turns out it wouldn’t have mattered, the tomatoes that I planted on either side of the two raised beds grew so out of control that they completely obscured the stuff I had planted down the middle of each garden. But the one day that I was down gazing proudly over the thick forest of tomatoes, I noticed that something had eaten the tops off of a lot of the plants. For those of you that just muttered “deer” under your breath, that is a really good guess around here. My husband with his game camera obsession (he claims it’s for his blog) has identified at least 5 different large bucks, some of which have pretty impressive antlers (they must be eating well). We’ve also see countless doe, one of which has the cutest little set of twins she runs around with. P179-324-256-451-73h-004-02-0360-1080-0359-1079One day, the one little fawn stood about half way up our long driveway and pawed the ground as though he were going to charge my truck if I dare enter HIS territory. I tooted the horn and sprang up in the air and ran off. That would have been a good “video camera” moment! It IS safe to say that the deer have at least sampled almost everything I have planted on the farm, but I know it wasn’t deer that had so skillfully given my tomatoes a hair cut because the fencing around the beds is over 8 feet of welded wire.
IMG_5893(Web)(RH)IMG_5895(Web)(RH)I studied the denuded tips of my plants. At first I didn’t see anything, but after a few minutes I noticed an almost imperceptible movement. It was a 4 inch Tomato Hornworm!! IMG_5899(Web)(RH)I combed through the plants and ultimately found three more of these colossal critters. I picked off the branch of the plant that each worm clung to and tossed them on the ground outside the gardens. I soon tired of this activity, so I picked up the pile of worms and was about to throw them in the woods when I thought to myself, “I wonder if chickens can have these?” “To the Internet Cave!,” I exclaimed. Peanut cocked her head and looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I guess she’s too young to remember that show…
Back at the main house, I did a quick internet search and found out that what I had was not Tomato Hornworms, but Tobacco Hornworms; the two species are similar but slightly different. Several sites said that chickens LOVE them (either one) and that they are like candy. So I grabbed my video camera and my pile of worms and went off to make movie history! Well not really, just a silly video.

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