Birds were what welcomed me to the farm this year. There is a big old dead western redcedar high above the field where a bald eagle perches and sends elaborate vocalizations out across the field from. There is a flock of ravens in the same area. They connect me to the earth and make me feel alive when I am working in the field.
I have been lucky up to this point, very lucky. In fact, I'd begun to suspect that farmers don't have problems with all the pests (slugs, deer, rabbits, birds) that us gardeners have. I had no problems in my first three years farming out here. It's been eerily easy that way. It looks like my good fortune has come to an end.
I did the rounds this lovely, misty evening, as I do every few days, checking to see what has newly emerged (soybeans, Celt's corn, late pole beans, millet) and I noticed that all my squash ID tags were pulled out of the soil and laying on the ground. Strange. What small child was out here messing with my field? But as I kept walking I realized with a shock that there were many many beans pulled out as well, just laying horizontally on the ground next to where they were planted. And some corn as well. Birds. Perhaps even my beloved but mischevious ravens. I am staying calm at the moment, but definitely a bit worried.
Krista is a life-long resident of Whatcom County, Washington State. She has been gardening and farming in the area for over 15 years.