Vegetable gardening has been rather challenging on Witkrans thanks to a rather large troop of baboons that are in our area. Thankfully they are not like the Cape Town or Hermanus kind that go in the houses. This troop is still very wild and very scared of humans and will never enter our house. However towards November/December they love to sneak up to our fig tree early in the morning to steal the figs. We have somehow in 3 years never managed to get there first. All my previous attempts at vegetable gardens have failed thanks to the baboons.
This year we have put shade netting around a sizeable area and run an electric fence at the top. So far so good, but I’m sure they will manage to still find a way in. Our neighbors, Flower Valley and Bodhi Khaya have resorted to making enclosed cage type areas with wire fencing all around as well as over the top. This has proven very succesful for them.
We have been enjoying fresh greens everyday for the last few weeks and even had some spare to share with some friends and family and of course with the guest staying in our cottage. We have enjoyed strawberries, beans, herbs, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower.
Problems include cutworms which I got up a few times at 5am to catch them in the ‘act’ and terminate them. I had a major outbreak of caterpillars on my broccoli plants which the kids had great fun in picking off the plants and filling and whole ice-cream tub – we relocated them far away. I have also had some problem with my beans – normally the easiest plant to grow and needs little attention, but 4 out of 5 have died and the one left is really struggling – not quite sure of the cause.
We looking forward to harvesting tomotoes soon (there are masses of plants popping up from the vermicompost) – I have chosen to leave them intergrowing with the other plants.