Saturday, May 18, 2013

Harvest is Done

The wheat harvest has been completed.  Unfortunately, it is not us humans who did the harvesting.
Only a small area of spelt remains

Essentially all of the wheat is gone. 

 Whole plots were flattened earlier and have not recovered.   Areas have been trampelled, and much has been devoured right off the stalks.

The ground squirrels have taken much of the crop.

On May 15th, one of them seemed unaware of a visitor, came quite close and demonstrated how he could reach up, pull a wheat plant down, nibble on the seed head and then move on to the next plant.

Remaining bit of Red Fife
Red Fife seed heads

A small clump of Red Fife remains, but it is more than two weeks from maturity when it can be harvested for wheat.  Unfortunately, it appears the squirrels like wheat berries even before they reach the soft dough stage.  So their harvest timing is significantly in advance of ours. 

Portions of our two spelt plots are still standing, but their seed heads are only at the blossom stage and will certainly be devoured as their kernels just start to develop, well before it is time for human harvest.
        Though Maggie's Farm has not been a successful locale for wheat, it is home to some charming critters
 and some very colorful ones, like this Western Bluebird.


  1. Paul, thank you for the lovely documentation of our project; we lost the crop to wildlife last year as well but were not certain what creatures made off with it. Now we know that ground squirrels are a force to be reckoned with.

  2. I used to think of squirrels as adorable creatures, but now I hate them. They've consumed all my backyard fruit for the last 3 years. I was talking with Alex Weiser and he agrees that small animals are definitely worse for him than "pests".