Organic Farming vs. Industrial-Era Deer

Boomer and Sunny cleared an area of box elder, sumac, buckthorn, and multiflora rose for the garden, orchard, and vineyard.

Here's Sunny pulling the cart.

A tomato with a tomato.

One of their neighbors liked to feed the deer, so around sundown, the deer would converge on the neighborhood. Boomer and Sunny counted as many as 14 deer at one time rampaging through the garden they had spent many hours preparing.

 Boomer learned about incompatible land uses. 21st Century, human-accustomed deer are incompatible with growing food for human consumption. 

Every year, the deer became more aggressive.

With eight billion mouths to feed, we need to make some adult decisions about large-lot, low-density estate zoning.

Are we going to use the ever-shrinking supply of good farmland to watch cute little Bambi, or are we going to get serious about food production?

Or are we going to eat bugs?

Boomer is digging post holes for deer fencing with a clam shell digger. To avoid frost heave, footings need to go down below frost level (42" in McHenry County, Illinois.) He marked the handles of the clam shell digger at 42" so that he didn't have to use a tape measure to know if he had gone deep enough.

Various strategies for pressure-treating wood to protect against decay have been attempted over the years. First creosote, then pentachlorophenol, then chromated copper arsenate, today alkaline copper quaternary. . . What's next?

Do you really want to eat a bowl of chromated copper arsenate with a side of creosote, and then wash it all down with a glass of pentachlorophenol?

The problem is that anything that is toxic to insects and fungus is ultimately determined to be toxic to people, as well. Who woulda thought?


Concrete, on the other hand, has been around for a couple thousand years. It's been tested by time.

Boomer's hometown used concrete posts to mark residential street corners. He priced out pressure-treated wood posts and found that concrete posts were more labor-intensive, but the materials were cheaper.

One shovel of cement, two shovels of sand, three shovels of gravel. Mix the ingredients dry with a cement hoe. Contra 007, it can be stirred (in a wheelbarrow) rather than shaken (in a cement mixer.) Form a depression in the middle and add water to taste. Let the water percolate, then stir a bit. Done.

The bag to the right of Boomer's feet contains Portland cement. The pile behind the bag is sand. The pile on the left is gravel. They need lots of posts.