Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I recently read a discussion post by my friend David Lindemann in reply to Natural Pest Controls where he wrote:

" My philosophy is "Let it Grow!"  This means all plants, insects, animals and bacteria.  When the balance (the ultimate goal of aquaponics) is complete, a micro ecosystem will evolve and all of the plants and animals will live in harmony.  Wasps, aphids, worms, squirrels, cats, ladybugs, bees, humans, dogs, water fleas, fish and everthing else will balance out and the growth will be awesome.  Don't try to kill anything, try to cultivate the best of everything.
The bottom line is - every living thing needs to eat.  Sometimes we need to sacrifice some of our food so the other creatures can eat and we are part of the ecosystem - as opposed to the belief that we are the ecosystem. Let it grow, let it grow."

 

Well, I too, in general, like to let nature take it's own course. However, recent incidents at my small Aquaponics Research Farm have drastically changed my view. So far, I have trapped 4 possums, 3 large raccoons (the last one was so big, must have been over 10lbs, that it destroyed the cage), and half a dozen squirrels. I am not fortunate to have an enclosed greenhouse and thus am exposed to the natural elements. I do believe that these unwanted visitors have found their garden of Eden and are hell bent on destroying it. While the possum and the raccoon visits have been reduced somewhat, there has been a tremendous increase in squirrel activity...they in fact now visit at all times of the day, not at all afraid of being caught in the act. Just yesterday, as my friend David Hart was walking in to feed the fish, he noticed two rather large squirrels eating the tomatoes and lettuce. He ran towards them waving his arms and making a loud noise...they just scampered with their spoils in hand, and looked back at him from a safe distance showing him the food they had just stolen. David says he almost caught one but I am glad he did not...what if he had been rabid and had bit him. 

 

He cleaned up and re transplanted numerous lettuces etc.

 

Well what a shock I had this morning. The barsteward squirrels had revisited during our absence, (scrambling when I arrived), and virtually destroyed sections of my garden. Numerous tomatoes were scattered around the raft beds, the newly planted lettuce and other crops had been destroyed as they had dug into the coir mixture and significant damage was done to the other growing plants. Boy! so much for "Let it grow,let it grow". I take this as a sign of "War" and will now get to work defending my property. But How?

 

So here is what I am planning...I do not have the luxury of an enclosed space, or the ability to keep a dog. I am thinking of building a removable screen enclosure (like swimming pool), to go around and over the DWC raft bed (in 8 ft sections - 48 ft long), putting up an electrical wire - like that to keep out deer, and have just purchased two Sonic control monitors. David jokes that he is going to camp out with his BB gun and pellets (another friend said he would be willing to do the same saying squirrel meat is good...funny, I never fancied that). Now what else to do. The fake owls did not work, they just dance around them, red pepper spray and cinnamon does not work as it gets washed away (lots of water around). Any suggestions?

 

 

 


 

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Agree George...I would not want to "transport" my problem to someone else.

 

Sorry it has to come to this but there is a limit for everything.

 

God bless,



Geoge said:

Due to the lack of natural predators to keep such populations under control, I do what I feel is necessary.  I use traps and pellet rifles for squirrels and traps and .22 for possums and raccoons.  Don't transport the critters to cause problems for someone else.  In fact, that is illegal here and may be where you live too.  Good luck.

Squirrel pie is wonderful on a cold winter morning. Possum and Coon aren't my fave but still possible sources for human consumption if you are set up to skin and butcher. Personally I have six small dogs that love fresh rodent, cat or any other invader. The only predator I had to contend with here, was a pair of red hawks that like my fish, free range chickens and rabbits, however they have disappeared along with wild pheasant. Everything else that moves has already been eaten by the local populace.

I'll take you word on Squirrel pie Carey my friend :-)

 

Now if I was in an open space as you are Carey, I would be grateful for such bounty for feeding the working dogs that I would keep. Hovever the reality is that my small Aquaponics Research Farm is located in waste space in a Commercial Urban center where I cannot keep such. The city / county requirements of planting trees every few feet has resulted in a natural home for these Barstewards who have no natural predators. That coupled with open large commercial trash cans where local restaurants and office kitchens dump uneaten food, create a natural oasis for such creatures. It will only be when there is an outbreak of some serious disease (as the case with pigeons), will the local government officials move of their b... to allow serious culling / elimination of such in urban areas.

 

God bless, 

Carey Ma said:

Squirrel pie is wonderful on a cold winter morning. Possum and Coon aren't my fave but still possible sources for human consumption if you are set up to skin and butcher. Personally I have six small dogs that love fresh rodent, cat or any other invader. The only predator I had to contend with here, was a pair of red hawks that like my fish, free range chickens and rabbits, however they have disappeared along with wild pheasant. Everything else that moves has already been eaten by the local populace.

 

Have you found a good source for bird netting?

TCLynx I am going to check the Big Box stores for such...I have some but need to check how much and how wide the hole spacing is. Will also probably check out Tractor Supply if I don't find something at the Big Box stores that works. Having it mailed from Farmtek will probably take longer than I am willing to wait.

Do you have any suggestions?

 

God bless,

TCLynx said:

Have you found a good source for bird netting?

Well I had gotten a big roll from some place online once (an orchard or vinyard of some sort I think) but I did have to wait for UPS shipping.

I am going to probably need around 100 to 150 feet so may not be worth getting a big roll. Will let you know how I fare :-)


God bless,


TCLynx said:

Well I had gotten a big roll from some place online once (an orchard or vinyard of some sort I think) but I did have to wait for UPS shipping.

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