Friday, June 19, 2015

Hungry Bunny

With warm weather and ample rain, my tiny town garden in Madison has flourished.  The garden is but 3.5 feet by 8 feet, about the area of the walkway in our Roshara Garden.  The town garden’s tomato plants are more than three feet tall, the potatoes nearly that  high, the broccoli soon ready to harvest, the lettuce doing well--four cuttings so far—and the cucumbers starting to vine (I’ve built a little rack on which they can climb).  As of yesterday the beets looked reasonable and the green beans appeared promising. 

 But today it happened.  My garden has been attacked by bunnies.  Hungry little buggers that I had kept away with netting since I planted the garden—and mistakenly assumed the vegetables were too tall for a rabbit’s liking.  I was wrong.

Today, in broad daylight and while I was watching, a big bunny that had been nibbling on my lawn grass hopped up into my little raised garden and began feasting on my beets and beans.  I shooed the vegetable thief away, but alas, he (maybe a she) had been there before.  The beans are now but little green stems, and the beets appear to be history.

I hurried to a nearby hardware store, bought some awful smelling rabbit repellent and sprayed my remaining beans and the couple of beet plants that still had a leaf or two of hope.  After all these years you’d think I would know better—that’s what Ruth told me anyway.  Rabbits do like vegetables.  I know that.  I know that.  I know that.  Sometimes I have to say things three times for the message to sink in.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  It’s never too old to learn—about bunnies and their eating habits.


 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to  for detailed information.


In 1945, a family from Milwaukee bought my grandfather’s farm, which was a mile from the home farm.  Our new neighbor knew nothing about farming, including how to milk a cow by hand.  Farmers in our community had no electricity at the time.  My dad suggested I would teach this fellow how to do it.  He never did learn, but for my efforts—I lived with the family for a week—he gave me a wonderful little book: CAMPING AND WOODCRAFT: A HANDBOOK FOR CAMPERS AND FOR TRAVELERS IN THE WILDERNESS BY Horace Kephart.  If you want to learn about early 1900s skills for wilderness living, read this book.  From how to use a compass to honing skills with an ax, from how to deal with mosquitoes to recipes from the wild.


June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Dinner Speaker
July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)

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