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Protecting Berries

The birds and squirrels in my yard are notorious for eating all of my blueberries, blackberries and strawberries before I even get a chance to decide whether I’m going to use them to make pancakes or muffins. And so far, despite putting it pretty high on my to do list, I still haven’t built any berry cages or put any bird netting around my plants. My only defense over the years has been to grow more and more and that strategy is finally working

So for first time in ages, I was looking forward to the chance to enjoy some fresh picked berries. But before the pancake griddle had a chance to heat up, the berries were gone. Once again my berry supply was decimated but this time, the birds and squirrels weren’t guilty. This time it was two brand new pests and their voracious appetites made the birds and squirrels seem like… well, birds and squirrels. They didn’t stop their daily feeding frenzy until the blueberries bushes were bare, the blackberry brambles were stripped clean and the strawberries plants were completely wiped out.

Normally I would be pretty upset but I don’t mind because these new pests were my kids. My 5 year old son and his 3 year old sister have made berry picking (and eating) a daily ritual for the past few weeks. We would bring a basket or a bag up to the garden to pick the berries but none of them ever made it back into the house. My son has become a pro at contorting his body and avoiding thorns to get the ripest blackberries and my daughter is close to having a permanent berry stain from her chin to her nose.

So if you are a berry grower, I advise using extreme caution. With my berries mostly gone, my kids may look to your yards and gardens for their next feast.


  1. Carol said...
    And just think, the older they get, the taller they get so they can reach all the berries. You'll have to wait until they go to college before you get some berries for yourself.
    Anthony said...
    Carol, I think I'll have to wait even longer than college because the berry season is always during summer break. Perhaps when they get married.
    Marc said...
    Great post! I'm sure the kids absolutely love it. They will have fantastic memories of the berry picking and eating!

    With their appetite you better order some more bushes and plants right now.

    Maybe you will get some next year if you appeal to their sense of sharing :) "Save Daddy some berries, please?"
    Annie in Austin said...
    You'll just have to keep expanding the berry patch, Anthony! After all, your kids are choosing something full of vitamins... it's not like they're raiding the marshmallow cereal patch ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    Anthony said...
    Marc, Yes, memories are the goal. I have fond memories of picking wild blueberries with my grandparents at their lake house so maybe my kids will remember picking berries with Dad. :)

    Annie, Marshmallow Cereal Patch? How can I get one of those? Yum!
    P~ said...
    Anthony, those look great, who can blame them! I updated by blog on the compost tumbler that I made a while back, thoguht you might be interested.
    Take care.
    Ki said...
    Heh, heh, gotta watch out for those two legged pests.

    The birds seemed to stop eating the blueberries about a month ago so I've been picking the late producing berry plants. I saw a catbird in some wild grapes so that maybe be the reason why they are not eating the blueberries. Somehow green grapes don't seem too appetizing to me but I'm not a catbird so what do I know? Also, the wild cherries are ripening and that may be another food source they may be exploiting.

    The squirrels around these parts don't seem to eat blueberries but I don't have the nasty ones you have or maybe it's because they are sated because they eat all our sunflower seeds set out for the birds.
    kellypea said...
    Sigh. We used to have blackberry vines at our old house and my youngest loved to pick them with my mom. No space on the patio now. But I have three pints of blue berries in the fridge to make a pie...Thank goodness for stores!
    Anthony said...
    P~, Nice work!

    Ki, I wouldn't mind sharing with a catbird, it's the squirrels that get on my nerves.

    Kellypea, I'm looking forward to the berry recipes on your blog no matter where the berries come from. :)
    Blackswamp_Girl said...
    *GRIN* Hard to complain when the kids are at least getting in their fruits and veggies, huh Anthony? I think you should pull rank and at least have them share one or two, though!

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