The Parable of the Groundhogs

If you have passed by the farm recently, you may have observed the white wooden plank held tight along the bottom of the gate with rocks. If you’ve come up close to it, you may have even noticed the odd musky smell. It’s organic groundhog repellent, and it doesn’t seem to be working.

For the first few days the plank was there, I watched with delight as adult and baby groundhogs (admittedly cute!) wandered over to it, sniffed and stared, and then scampered away. But today, I saw the burrow under the plank; the lettuces nibbled down to the stalks, and a couple of fat and… perhaps it was my imagination, but I could have sworn they were smug-looking groundhogs!

We have fields full of clover (reputedly their favorite food), but they claw their way under stinky wood and multiple layers of chicken wire to get the lettuce they know is in there, waiting for them. It reminds me of Jesus’ parables about the kingdom of heaven – like a treasure hidden in a field, like a priceless pearl. Some things are worth perusing relentlessly, despite the many obstacles. Lettuce… the kingdom…

So the groundhogs have my begrudging respect. I can learn from them… But if you have any humane suggestions for dealing with groundhogs, please do let me know!