by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
A story in our local newspaper the other day told about the lengths a local gardener had gone to in order to protect his plants from marauding birds and critters. I wish I had some way to link to the photos - he'd built a net and plastic pipe "house" over his entire garden. I haven't quite gone to that extreme (but I'm thinking it did look like a good idea), but when your garden is an oasis in a sea of sagebrush and sand it does tend to attract everything in the neighborhood.
This Spring, after quail had eaten all my peas and lettuces down to the ground, I suspended netting over my entire "early" bed and replanted. I'm happy to report that it worked - so well in fact, that I now have a bumper crop of lettuces and greens. I'm enjoying lots of fresh-picked salads and wilted greens side dishes, but I've also discovered a new treat.
I've been making green smoothies. There are lots of specific recipes on the internet (search either "green smoothie" or "raw food") but to generalize just blend a fruit or two (strawberries with a banana are my current favorite, but canned peaches are a close second) with 1/2 cup of water (throw in a few ice cubes too), and then add a couple heaping handfuls of some lettuces or other fresh greens and blend again. Yum! I plan to play with vegetable-based versions too - using canned tomatoes (and a splash of hot sauce?). Either way, I've found green smoothies make a great breakfast treat or mid-afternoon pick-me-up.