The Extreme Gardener

Experiments in permaculture and
other gardening adventures in northeastern Vermont

Very large garden pests, or where is Sarah Palin when she could be helpful?

October 2nd, 2008

moose cow

As I stumbled out of bed, I couldn’t help but notice a very large brown creature within 15 feet of the front door. I grabbed the camera and did what I could through the window. This is a moose cow, the trellis she is standing beside is 6 feet (2 meters) high. Moose were a rare sight here until the past 15 years or so, but their population is increasing as former hay fields and pasture have become overgrown. Up till now they have been shyly co-existing with us, mostly staying back in the cover of the woods. We regularly see their tracks and occasionally hear them huffing and stamping, hidden in the thick trees. They are becoming more bold, as you can see, and seem comfortable about being very close to a human habitation.

They hadn’t previously lingered in our yard and gardens, and the only damage we’d had was from them walking through garden beds. That said, they can really wreck a newly planted bed of onion sets, for instance. Their hooves are big, and they sink deeply into the soil.

Now, I don’t really mind about the poplar shoots they stripped – those were slated for cutting anyway. However, the next morning I caught one of them just before sunrise, eating our snap peas. It was too dark for the camera. The moose just watched me as I came out the door. I actually had to yell and jump up and down to get her moving. It’s time like these that I almost wish I wasn’t a vegetarian!

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One Response to “Very large garden pests, or where is Sarah Palin when she could be helpful?”

  1. ottawa gardener says:

    This is a pest that I so far have not had to deal with on our central urban plot and I thought racoons were big pests. The worst varmet around here is the squirrel aka the digger. They love the smell of freshly turned dirt.

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