Hasenpfeffer

wild rabbit

I am so frustrated today I almost want to cry. I won’t, but I am thinking about it. Such a waste.

After all the hard work my husband and son put in tilling a larger garden for me and fencing it so beautifully, I decided to get my lettuce starts in the ground. They were getting very crowded in their pots and were ready to spear their roots a bit. I planted 5 rows of Matchless, which is an heirloom variety. I also had a bunch of Black Seeded Simpson that needed to go in, but I didn’t have time, so I left the starts outside for when I was able to get it done.

Naturally, after transplanting, plants sometimes look a bit droopy and my lettuce looked pretty sad, but I knew it would perk up after the coming rain. I went out the next day to look, because I still couldn’t see any perky little plants from a distance.

That’s because they all got munched.

Rabbits apparently found a small gap between the fence and the ground and wiggled in. All of my beautiful lettuce is gone.

Now, this may not seem like a big deal. We can fix the gaps and spray a natural rabbit repellent around the perimeter of the garden and start over. However, I planted that lettuce from seed, so if I do that again, that means I have to continue to buy salad at the grocery store. Since my goal is to grow what I eat, that is not appealing. I even thought about leaving one of the dogs out there but I think the dog would wonder why he had been banished to the garden.

We eat a lot of salad.

The plan was to let my starts finish growing while continuing to sow more every two weeks to give us a continual supply. When it’s too cold outside, I will go back to growing it in the house. That was the plan anyhow.

Technically, I could go buy lettuce starts and be where I should be, but to replace all of those starts that I had would add up to a lot of money. It is so much more economical to grow from seed. So this is a big setback for me and I am not a happy camper.

I am considering setting traps and catching those rabbits. I have never eaten wild rabbit before, but I am not above giving it a try. Jeff said he’ll just kill them and throw them in the field (he is as ticked off as I am) but hey, why waste free food? Especially food that is getting fat off my garden!

Today we will do some shopping. I need some stuff for the goats and we want to get some broccoli plants (I never got any started from seed this year and we also eat a lot of broccoli). I guess I will decide if I want to get some lettuce starts or if I want to start from scratch again.

Oh, and for those that don’t know, Hasenpfeffer is a German name for rabbit stew. And I am going to have to find a good recipe.

photo credit: Don McCullough via photopin cc

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11 thoughts on “Hasenpfeffer

  1. Boo on rabbits! Last year was my first year gardening and I was sort of indifferent about it. I was trying to learn but not be terribly upset if it didn’t work. This year I am really trying to go in with the understanding that I am growing food for my family. It is not a flower garden to look at. It is food. I am sorry the rabbits got your lettuce. Let us know if you make them into food.

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  2. That would be terribly frustrating. My father and brother used to hunt rabbits among other things. I had a hard time eating it, as I’ve always had rabbits as pets until recent years. Time and health problems have made it impractical. Might as well eat ’em if you’re going to off ’em, though! Perhaps the pelts could be put to use too.
    I’m visiting from the A to Z challenge list. One of the blogs my team participated with is Crazy Town in Looney Land.

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    • Thanks for stopping by. :)I can’t say I have every hunted rabbits before, but I am not opposed to it at all. Or hunting in general for that matter. You can bet that hunted meat is far healthier than the junk at the grocery store! 🙂 Some people raise rabbits specifically for the pelts. That would be something interesting to look into, actually. I hadn’t thought about it before, but it’s really not a bad idea.

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  3. I have never had rabbits in my garden thank God. I would be very very upset by that as well after putting so much work into it. The good thing is, rabbit is absolutely delicious and I love to snare me a good rabbit and cook it up for my husband and kids as well as myself. Honestly, the best way to eat rabbit (just in my personal opinion) is to grill or roast it. If you like to grill outside like I do, toss the rabbit meat in some aluminum foil with some potatoes, carrots, onions, and a little salt and pepper and it is absolutely delicious! If you don’t want to grill it, you can do the same thing by roasting it in the oven with the same ingredients. Sorry for the loss of your lettuce by the way, but now it provides you with a way to draw in free delicious food!

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