Wednesday, October 14th– EO Group A
As the days turn gray and cool, everyone enjoys spending more time inside… including rodents. Yep, it’s that time of the year when mice and other rodents try to locate warm places to spend the winter. At the farm those warm places, like the shed and our tractor shop, also happen to be full of food in storage. There are squash and potatoes galore all for the rodent taking.
Enter team predator. As farmers we like to have as many predators around as possible to help with natural rodent control. (There are no poison traps at our organic farm). But as we rotate into the 15-16 winter season, our line-up isn’t looking very strong.
Crossroads’ team predator is still reeling from the loss of its main rat, mole, and vole hunter: Ruby. May she rest in peace. Her replacement, a rescue rookie named Willa, has been under-performing at best. Her preference seems to be for vegetables. While great at stealing downed peppers, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers from under the wash line, she is a shoddy rodent hunter. We have our suspicions that despite her terrier breed, her sniffer is impaired. During training season, when we threw pork bones into the grass for her to scout and devour, she was unable to locate them. In fact, one time she stepped on the bone and jumped out of fear before she realized it was the bone she had been trying to find. Alas – she has an indefinite contract.
Meanwhile, the feline portion of our team is struggling too. Dizzy, in her 7th season, is still going strong. She has been leaving us mice guts and even a couple of juvenile rats on the porch to prove she’s still worth her weight in fuzz. But Mosa, in his 13th season, has succumbed to cancer. He’s still eating, purring, and hanging in, but his hunting days are over – his claws in retirement.
Eager to strengthen our ailing team, we decided to take on two new kittens as barn cats. They were born in a barn not far from here.
So far they’ve shown some tough grit. When first transferred to our team, they hissed and swatted with kitten-like ferocity. We’ve witness great gumption: one jumped into the pig pen. We’re feeding them in the barn only once a week or so, but they are thriving and growing… so clearly they are eating something.
Conditioning them into agile hunters was off to a good start… until they discovered that all the people who live and work here, from our family to worker shares, crew, and babysitter’s kiddos, are actually really nice and excited to hold and cuddle them. Lately they’ve been slacking off on their hunting drills, and instead have taken to purring on employees’ shoulders, cozying up together in cute kitten cuddles on top of potato cloths, and licking up crumbs leftover at the lunch table. The cuteness factor softens us all.
So the question still remains, will Alexa and Mischief (named by our girls) become strong additions to Crossroads’ team predator? Like any sports fan, we have high hopes for our teams’ performance this winter season. High hopes…
Enjoy your veggies! Many thanks and well wishes to all you EOs taking your last box
Cassie: Head Coach