Deer DeFence

Posted on by traviscelp

One of the most challenging things about having a garden is resisting the temptation to eat those delicious plants all at once.

Rainbow Chard

Another challenge is keeping animals from doing the same. The garden at Howlands Landing has always struggled to keep our leafy greens safe from voracious island critters.

To help us keep those pesky foragers out, our lovely support staff have recently constructed an impressive new animal-proof fence. The area encircled by the fence is six times larger than that enclosed by the old garden fence. The fence was completed in February, and since then we’ve been busy planting around the perimeter and creating exciting new planting spaces within it.

Wild cucumber vine (native to California) growing on the fence

The fence has enabled us to free many of our fruit trees and vegetable beds from the cages that were once essential to protect them.

(From left to right) Pineapple guava tree, lime tree, and avocado tree

 We are beginning to expand the edible planting areas, experimenting with different locations around the new open space. We also plan on creating a native plant sanctuary throughout the garden, focusing on plants that were once abundant before the introduction of grazers like deer and bison to the island. Once more Catalina will blossom with Malva Rosa, white sage, rock flower, coreopsis, and purple needle grass.

A welcoming gate for garden visitors (unless you’re a deer)

This exciting addition has been a long journey involving the help and collaboration of many parties: CELP students and volunteer groups, CELP staff and support team, and CIC summer staff and directors. We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project and look forward to all the opportunities that it provides.


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