I snapped this picture earlier of a White-tail doe standing suspiciously close to my garden. While I would like to believe that her intentions were harmless, years of experience have taught me better than that.
However, upon taking this picture, I realized that my make-shift green house has put itself to another use besides encouraging the largest crop of RIPE tomatoes that I have every harvested from this garden. I realized that it is also working as a deer fence and watch dog, since my watch dog has decided it is no longer her responsibility, but mine, to keep the deer away from the garden.
Furthermore, the make-shift green house actually accomplished several things for me this year, including keeping the garden from being too damp and drowning my seeds during heavy Spring rains. It also made it possible to extend my growing season a few weeks earlier than normal, and also several weeks later.
We normally use tarps to cover the garden in the Fall and on the occasional very cool Summer night that frequent our valley, but this year we used a heavy clear plastic that we were able to leave on during the cool Spring days, until the plants out grew their toasty home. We used saw bucks and other like sized items to hold the plastic up, and we opened the ends during the day for ventilation, much like a normal sized green house would work.
It took much more effort than most gardeners put in, but it really did maximize our harvest, which is what we were looking for as we are striving to be more resource efficient. I am now wrapping my green tomatoes up to finish ripening and making multiple batches of yummy tomato sauce to be canned.
And that’s not to mention the many other wonderful vegetables that I have canned throughout the summer. Home canning really is the best, especially when what you are canning has come from your home garden!