Sunday, January 9, 2011


Voles, voles and more voles.  Josh and I, at Slow Hand Farm, got hit hard this winter by these pesky little rodents.  They have taken out multiple beds of carrot, beets, chicories, and even climbed their way up stocks of Brussels to nibble the sprouts.  Winter harvest can be discouraging enough as it is.  Motivation is put to the test when heading out to deal with frozen Remay in 20lb muddy boots, soaked rain gear and icicles for fingers.  So when you make it out there to find hollow beets, nubs for carrots and tunneled through sugar loaf chicories a sense of despair sets in...followed by an onslaught of giggles and laughter.  If there is one thing I have learned as a farmer, it's the importance of a healthy sense of humor.  Besides, half of farming is out of our control and the other half can always be done a little better.  With that in mind we invested in traps...not the "Have a Heart" kind (Viewer discretion advised).

Caught in the act! 
This is "The Better Mousetrap" by Intruder!  My farming partner, Josh Volk, heard about them on Elliot Colemans website  which has a good resources page.  Like any new product it has it's pros and cons.  For instance, it is made of plastic, and it is made of plastic.  Easy to clean, possibly more likely to break.  Although this hasn't happened yet.  However, we have lost a few.  I'm afraid some of these critters may have walked away with them.  They are fairly easy to set, so long as you don't use too much bait (in our case PB).  More importantly, they are much less scary than the traditional wooden-wire-spring traps.

This reminds me another varmint I have experienced on the farm.  There's nothing like an Orcas Island rabbit.

Here is a video I put together a few years ago (many of you may have already seen a slightly different version).  It highlights my experience with this adorable, yet destructive and tasty little creature (Once again, viewer discretion is advised).

Check back in for an update of the projects I worked on this summer and to learn about what is on the agenda for 2011.

Kji McIntyre

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