Something is eating our broccoli. Again.
These plants are obviously too far gone to rescue, but I kept them around as a decoy to try to keep the culprit away from all of our other plants. That worked for a while, until it found our big brassica bed. We originally thought that a groundhog was to blame (as has been the case in the past), but then we saw (and smelled) this guy:
That's a baby skunk. In this photo, it is stumbling kind of blindly along the fence, looking for its way out of the sudden rainstorm that popped up. Some people would feel sorry for it, but where there's a baby, there's a family. And I don't think Fletch is going to touch this problem with a ten-foot pole.
Turns out the skunk is rather a gourmand — and a finicky one at that. He only eats broccoli. This is good news for everything else in the garden (although he looks to have tasted and then spit out peas, and nibbled the tops of some parsnips before moving on). Good news also for our cabbages:
Even though the skunk(s?) went to all the trouble to wriggle under the chicken wire around our big brassica bed, he only ate the broccoli. Destroyed it. Then moved on to the Brussels Sprouts. But he will not have anything to do with the cabbage.
I read somewhere that skunks really hate moth balls, so I sprinkled a few by the area of the fence he seemed to be able to get around, and I haven't noticed any new damage. Hopefully we can at least harvest the cabbage in a few weeks. I'll try starting more broccoli for the fall soon.
In the meantime, we did manage to cut one tiny head of broccoli before the skunk got to it, and I ate it today for breakfast:
This is an omelet with cheddar, maple sausage, and broccoli. Not the most traditional way to consume broccoli, but it was good! If only we had more of it ...