For those of you who enjoy playing in the dirt and growing your own food, you know that gardening season has been well underway for several weeks.
Earlier this week, I experienced one of those “only in Wyoming” moments (at least in my head). I stopped by my community garden plot at Sagebrush before work to water the small green plants that have started growing in earnest. Each year, I create small mounds of dirt on which to plant my squash, zucchini and cucumbers. This is partially for their health, but mostly because it’s the easiest way to remember where I planted the darn things.
I arrived at the garden that morning to find holes, like something had burrowed through a couple of the mounds and under some straw my husband put down between rows of plants so I’m not watering in the mud.
I didn’t see any animals around, and I had to hustle to the office. So I quickly filled in the holes, watered and left. I figured I could investigate the cause of the odd tunnels later.
Well, I didn’t have to wonder long.
Shortly after arriving at The Press office, I received a phone call from a fellow gardener. She’s an amazing woman who works hard in the community to serve seniors and their families.
She asked if I had been to the garden and discovered the holes. I told her I had, curious where the conversation would turn. Was somebody playing a trick on me?
Turns out, she had been at the garden and seen a prairie dog digging its way through my mounds. I immediately felt like Rabbit from the Winnie the Pooh stories. You know him right? He’s all about organization and order and often frustrated by chaos. He’s also very concerned with his garden and is easily annoyed when it’s tampered with. Clearly, this prairie dog was not a welcome visitor.
I had no need to worry, though.
My friend informed me that she had rid the garden of the problem. With the help of her husband, they killed the prairie dog. When he went into one of his tunnels, they stuck a hose in one end. When he popped out the other, they whacked him with a hoe.
I’m so grateful to my friends for ridding the Sagebrush Community Garden of such a pest. I can only imagine the damage he would have done not only to my vegetables, but to all the other plots in the garden, too.
While the image of the whack-a-mole adventure is a little funny to picture, I am truly proud to be a part of such a caring, welcoming and helpful gardening group.
If you haven’t ever gardened but you’re interested, the community gardens are a great place to start. You can seek advice, have a fenced in area to (usually) protect your produce and make some new gardening friends.
Call the city for more information, (307) 674-6483.