The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

If life gives you a bad dog, make lentil stew

Dog damage
I've tried to explain no-till gardening to our dog, but I just don't thinks she gets it.  Last week, she tore up a dozen beds in the mule garden, even breaking into the quick hoops to continue her vole hunt.  She wreaked havoc on our young onion beds, broke the flats containing the extra transplants, but at least left me enough living seedlings to replace her casualties.

Cooking on the wood stovePeople always say that the hardest folks to convert are your own family, so I guess it's no surprise Lucy won't practice what I preach.  At least I found the uprooted turnips while most of them were still edible enough to toss into a pot of lentil stew.

Uprooted turnips

And, heck, now I know that I don't need a pig if I ever want colonizer livestock.  I can just turn Lucy into the paddock with a few rodents and watch the dirt fly.

Our chicken waterer gives the flock something to peck at, rather than each other.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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When I was a kid all the dogs were trained to "git" or "dig" and "stop" The county would pay a dollar or two (1980s) for the hind legs of gophers. You'd find a gopher mound and have the dog dig into their hole, set the trap, stake the trap and then move on to the next mound.

"mock" training the dog when you needed some digging the garden was common with us kids. I live in the city now and am amazed at how much of a problem gophers and moles are complained about and everyone talks chemicals, chemicals, chemicals.

I feel old now.

Comment by c. Sun Mar 11 12:57:50 2012
c. --- We don't have gophers here, but you've got a good point. I'll bet if we took the time to train Lucy to dig on command, we might get a better handle on her digging when she's not supposed to.
Comment by anna Sun Mar 11 13:54:14 2012
Sorry about the weird formatting in my reply....
Comment by anna Sun Mar 11 13:57:19 2012
I feel for you. I know what it feels like to see the garden dug up like that. But Lucy loves you. I wonder if the wild boars love me...
Comment by Eric in Japan Sun Mar 11 17:41:43 2012
Of course your wild boars love you. How could they not when you plant a garden just for them? :-)
Comment by anna Sun Mar 11 19:03:32 2012

Ugh, I feel your pain. Dogs can be so destructive! They're only doing what dogs are supposed to do, but when it clashes with our own projects and aspirations, it can be very frustrating. Maybe some new chew toys would help redirect her energy. :)

~ Mitsy

Comment by mountainstead [] Mon Mar 12 12:55:07 2012
But she's got a whole woods worth of sticks... :-)
Comment by anna Mon Mar 12 13:14:46 2012

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