Dear Curiosity Journal,
I stepped inside the greenhouse at dusk to cover the plants and startled a bunny who was happily helping himself to the salad mix. “Hey! Get out of here!” I yelled after him, and he slipped out a slash in the plastic, which had already been taped and chewed through a couple of times. Now that our greens are popping up, the rabbit population takes it as an open invitation to our all-you-can-eat buffet. Rufus reluctantly reaches for the rifle. He’s no killer, but feels like he has no choice. His body count is at 6 in just 2 days, and there are plenty more where they came from. Balio doesn’t mind killing rabbits, but does a D- job of keeping them at bay because he lacks what they embody – speed. If he catches one, it’s by accident, a bunny bounding in the wrong place at the wrong time. Flowers serve better than dogs in our rabbit experience. The first wave of marigolds are seeded and we’re impatiently waiting for their potent rodent repellent to materialize. We discovered the magic of the marigold when we started growing them for the Driftless Dia de los Muertos Celebration in 2021 and our pest pressure went from 100 to almost 0 when those bright orange blossoms blasted open. They are now a brilliant keystone of our pest management plan, but until they bloom, Rufus and Balio are on an all rabbit diet.