Since you may know me as a photo junkie, you’ll be shocked to hear that I documented none of this story with photos! But it’s a good story, anyhow.
Last night, the sucky raccoon – I am pegging it on him even tho I never caught him in flagrante delicto, and you’ll soon see why — ate my biggest little butternut squash. It was particularly galling because I had been hoping the sticky squash vines would repel the nasty brute.
Once again, I set about rearranging the random blockades and nets. My goal this year is to use as much stuff as we have in the garage as possible and not invest more in the infrastructure until I’ve gone through a season and have a plan. So when I am out there, sometimes I am rearranging and sometimes I am staring and just thinking. And, sometimes, as you all know, I am taking photos and putting them on Facebook (and Instagram, lately).
I never used Instagram much until recently discovering that some of the younger members of our extended family post more photos there than they do on Facebook, but I digress….
I was just about done with the staring phase and doing one more light watering when I noticed, on the top edge of the composter (lower corner of the composter door), a glob almost the size of my fist that seemed to be oozing out of the composter. It seemed sort of hardened on the outside, and it was a bizarre orange-ish color. It had not been there the day before.
Wasp nest! was my first thought. But it seemed pretty quiet for a wasp nest. Some kind of oozing blob that would soon take over all of Bonnieland?
Whatever it was, I needed to zap it. I grabbed the hose, set the sprayer on full force and aimed.
Chunks of what looked like vomit broke up and fell to the ground.
Vomit full of… baby butternut squash!
The odd color? Undoubtedly, the turmeric I included in the homemade insecticide I’ve started spraying on the plants – directly onto the squash, as well. I guess it gave the raccoon a belly ache. It kind of gives me a belly ache when I think about consuming it, too:
Dr. Bronner’s unscented Baby Mild Dr. Bronner’s soap – 1 tbsp
Dashes of cayenne pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic
Peppermint oil – 1/2 tsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
I clogged my first sprayer and had to strain it the second day. But it had sort of melded together by then.
Before spraying directly on the leaves and fruits, I tested it to make sure it would not burn the plants. (Here’s an instructional video that uses Peppermint Dr. Bronner’s.)
And why does this point the finger at the raccoon? Because no other mammal could have perched atop the free-standing composter, similar to this one. Maybe he was trying to pry it open when the nausea hit.
This episode, of course, gives me no confidence that the raccoon will not strike again. I started off as a dreamer with this garden, but I’m quickly getting real.
Next up: I’ve ordered a “scarecrow” thingy with a motion detector that squirts intruders with water. Why do I think I’m going to be forgetful and get hit with it a lot more than the raccoon?