The melon plants have made rapid growth and now when you look at the fields you no longer see individual plants but rather two big melon patches. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we started the plants in the greenhouse and then transplanted out the many young seedlings. They are now blooming like crazy and growing practically as we watch.
The crows have kept a keen eye on the melon patch also. They like melons! Several years ago the local crows ate every melon in a 1/4 acre patch. What to do? If we only had a few plants we could toss a net over top. A net would not be practical in our 2 fields totaling about a half an acre.There is always the option of putting out a bird scaring cannon that would fire off periodically frightening the birds and neighbors alike. We figure this wouldn’t endear us to our neighbors. After discussing our options a couple of years ago we came up with this plan of staking and stringing the patch. We observed that the crows tend not to land in the dense foliage but rather fly in and land along the drive lanes and where there is a gap in the planting. By staking and stringing a network/maze of strings around and over the fields we can deter the pesky vandals.
This year the crows have started snacking prior to us being prepared but we are getting to work now. Each day the field is not protected can be the loss of several dozen melons.
We have lots of creative and energetic workshare members who often come up with and implement great ideas such as this.
Check out the picture. You can imagine us farmer/picker folk have to be fairly acrobatic to lightly and carefully make our way through the patch checking for ripe melons. But it should be so worth it!
It won’t be long and hopefully we’ll be eating yummy sweet cantaloupes, specialty melons and watermelon. All this hot, sunny weather [and our irrigating] can make for some really sweet melons. Can’t wait!