Yesterday, I went out to work in the gardens and found this:
If you’ll notice, the first two heads of summer crisp look quite lovely (ready for tomorrow’s market, even), but the third–the top one? Eaten right off.
The deer had also got into the west garden and eaten the tops and leaves off a couple of bolting-to-seed Green Ice lettuce plants I was saving for seed. So, I grumbled, and H. put up another wire, and I went about my work.
Last night–or maybe this morning after last night’s heavy rains–it found the butterhead. While the summer crisp was good, the butterhead is by far the tenderest, most lovely lettuce ever created. And the deer, having completely ignored my lettuce all season up to this point, gorged itself on my lovely little heads.
I grumbled again, and wondered why the new wire didn’t work, and I spread some crystals from a bottle of coyote urine animal repellent in the area. While I’m against the idea of caging a coyote and collecting its urine, I got it from a friend who got it when a nursery was going out of business. So, I’m using it up.
Meanwhile, I considered my options. The deer wasn’t particularly thorough about eating the heads it destroyed, so I cut off all the damaged heads in the row (summer crisp, a romaine, and especially the butterhead), and washed them up for tonight’s dinner.
When I started eating the salad of mostly butterhead, plus some tuna, roasted red peppers, tamari almonds, red onions, and bleu cheese (dressed simply with lemon, olive oil, and black pepper), I realized that it’s pretty hard to blame the deer for their taste. Butterhead is simply the best, most tender and delicious lettuce there is!