Breath, Stupid Animal. [Journal 3-12-17]

Yoshida Brothers – Ibuki.

I began filtering the dirt in my garden two days ago – a laborious process that I feared my depression might hinder. It did not. Rather than being overcome by tiredness, fear of life, and a simple desire to curl up and die after a pathetic amount of work, my old vigor came back to me: pain did not repel, but instead encouraged me. I was irritated when sundown came with my work incomplete.

The garden will be a minimum of 15′ x 20′, though I may have the option of making it five-to-ten times larger, and am tempted to do so: I’d happily do the labor of prepping the soil [currently sod-covered & sloped], and costs in seeds and water are mostly negligible.

All in all, the larger project would be very beneficial to my life: the labor required would help in ending my depression, as would actively pursuing my dream of becoming a subsistence farmer; as a cook, fresh vegetables are precious to me; given the potential size of the garden, I may want to sell some of the produce; and the project may greatly please the owner of the property. So, I’m highly motivated, which is an excellent change.

While the physical demands encouraged me, there is a logistics issue that made me psychologically stumble. I was very happy and motivated with this garden’s potential, until I hit a major snag which seemingly killed it. Predepression, I would approach the problem with unrelenting determination, vigor, and innovation; but still somewhat depressed, I got sad, wanted to give up, and depression was resurging.

Thankfully, metacog is successfully addressing my depression; so I managed to find solutions for the garden issue, despite being an emotional little bitch. The calculations for those solutions were somewhat extensive, as the initially simple problem evolved into a larger and larger one, which kept dramatically increasing the projected costs in time and money. Again, thankfully, I was able tolerate the emotional impact of my goal being threatened.

If I follow-through with the build, I’ll be dedicating an exclusive section of the blog to covering it. I don’t want to use the Journal Hub, as I’ll be covering the build process primarily, rather than my thoughts and emotions. But, for now, I’ll provide the following information regarding the build.

Anyway. The problem is thus: I’ve seen a family of three large raccoons on such a regular basis that I suspect they live under my home, and squirrels are a constant. All those little bastards will destroy my garden. Keeping them out of my plots would require thousands of dollars in caging – which I can’t afford, as my savings have dipped below 1/3rd of the amount before my “depression vacation” started.

First, I moralizied on whether or not to trap and kill them, as that would be the most affordable and simple solution. I won’t cover the reasoning associated with that right now, as I’ve written it down extensively elsewhere, and plan to eventually post it. What I’ll say now, is that I decided against killing them, and will instead try building a barrier. I may, in the future, have to reevaluate.

With prefabricated caging far, far too expensive, I considered salvaging very large quantities of wood [hoping my old source is still viable] and building fencing, but that would still cost me hundreds and require an intense amount of work. I welcome the work, but it’s a process I’ve never done before. With my limited time before planting season, and diminishing funds demanding I find paying work soonish, the extra time is risky.

I first considered a simplistic solid fence with an unclimbable top on it, but that comes with a large variety of problems – primary of which are the sheer quantity of salvaged wood required, the cost of cementing posts, and the solid fencing blocking the sun. The unclimbable top is also an issue, as it would require a rather elaborate build, given those nimble little fuckers’ ability to jump and climb.

The solution to those problems is a lattice-work fence [I have a table saw for processing salvaged wood] topped with tack-strip. The lattice-work provides a barrier that lets light through, and dramatically reduces the necessary amount of wood. Less wood reduces my transport costs, and means I might not need to cement in posts.

The inexpensive and prefabricated tack-strip –a simple board with allot of tiny nails protruding upward– should repel rodents without seriously harming them. While there’s a minor chance they could get meaningfully hurt, I’ve done enough for them already: these fences will cost me allot of time, money, and work; trapping and relocation/killing them [even humanely] would have taken almost no effort; they get the most out of this deal – by far.

Journal Hub



~ by Louis Naughtic on March 12, 2017.

7 Responses to “Breath, Stupid Animal. [Journal 3-12-17]”

  1. Looking forward to reading about your garden!
    Wildlife netting is really inexpensive and may do the trick to ward off the critters:
    You can even just use sticks you find out and about to use as stakes too. This is what I use for my own garden, and it’s kept the rabbits and raccoons at bay. I also allow dandelions to grow in my yard for two reasons: 1, dandelion root is medicinal and can make some pretty good tasting ‘coffee’. 2, dandelions distract rabbits, they eat their fill of those yellow-headed buggers and have no interest in my cabbages.
    Good luck! Are you going to nurture some seeds inside?

  2. Ya, I considered using that sort of stuff, but given the proximity of the raccoon’s den, the ubiquity of squirrels, as well as allot of information I reviewed suggesting they can easily break through, or climb over, plastic and low-gauge wire if determined, I figured it’s best to play it safe. Plus, I like building shit – especially what I haven’t built before. And the home owner will be fucking jazzed, and my roommates awed, thus giving me more social leverage in my home – possibly even reduction in rent.

    And the salvaged wood is free, but I’ll have to rent a u-haul if I can’t find a truck to borrow [mine requires insurance, tags, a battery, and probably some other parts]. So, a u-haul run, plus nails and such, will probably only cost me around.. 90 bucks. Just don’t know if I’ll have to make more than one run, and like to estimate in random costs – really depends on how much wood is in the container I intend to salvage from; usually it’s pretty full, which would completely fill a small uhaul. For my largest plans, I might need 3 runs, at 70 a piece.

    But ya, I was considering sacrificial crops, and may still go that route. Hell, I may not build any of this shit and just go your way. But, at present, I’m leaning toward my plan given the large variety of secondary benefits. And given that plan, I don’t want anything encouraging wildlife to visit: I want them to try, to suffer a bit, then to never come back.

    But yes, I’ll be starting some seeds inside, once I confirm I’m actually doing this. I’ll be using seeds provided by these people, which are insanely cheap and supposedly high-quality; you may find this particular product interesting, though I’ll be using their “Herb” and “40 Heirloom” packs. Absolutely insane quantities.

  3. Ah, yes I have put a few of their products on my prepper wish-list, although, I may stock up on some heirloom seeds that are native to either NoDak or MN. We will see. I like the quantities for the price for sure!
    Are you still living on the West Coast? Just curious. What’s the growing season like? I’m hoping to sell some of my wares this summer at some farmers markets also, depending on what I come up with. Nothing like having a few goals in place to re-invigorate that motivation flame! Hope you make it happen, however you go about it! We’ll have to trade canning, pickling, sauce recipes sometime.

    Perhaps you could grow your own smokes, 😉 lol

  5. Em, still in Seattle, unfortunately. But ya, good you reminded me about the tobacco, though I don’t want to invest too much energy into it now, given my need for perfection and hatred of unfinished products.

    But goals alone have never really done anything for me in the real world, as life has usually just forced me along it’s preferred course, and people tend to shit on everything I do. But these goals will certainly be helpful, as I can imagine my dream of eventually being left the fuck alone, on land of my own, through means of my own, coming to pass. Ahhh, not having to deal with a bunch of shitheads every day – what a pitiable dream.

    But yes, recipes and such. Unfortunately, I haven’t done any real canning or pickling, though intend to learn. Plenty of cooking though, and I’ll have to start adding to that section of the blog when I run out of other shit to talk about: every post is one more god damned chance.

  6. Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I have a lot of family there in the Bothell and Bremerton area. I haven’t been there in about 11 years though. I really enjoyed the Pier(Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe is a place I remember most), Capital Hill, and of course Pikes Place.
    I imagine that the growing season is a bit longer out there than in the Upper Midwest. Looking forward to your progress pics. I plan on doing some canning, pickling, fermenting, and saving up for a dehydrator too for saving food.

  7. Ah, Bothell, where I was sabotaged out of my favorite job. Fuck me. And you should know that my opinion of you has lessened, given your enjoyment of Cap and Pike’s – you can’t blame me for that. Though one of my other cook jobs made the biscuit recipe on this site with Beecher’s – fucking amazing.

    No promises on the pics, but I imagine I’ll come through, now that I’m regaining self-control. I don’t know about the growing season, as I haven’t paid attention much while here, though from what I do recall, it should be plenty for a good garden.

    And I believe you don’t need an actual dehydrator, just a properly built box.. I’ll see if I still have that book on dehydrating later.

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