Everything GardenssteemCreated with Sketch.

in #homesteading2 years ago (edited)

One of the principles of permaculture is that everything gardens. It is humanity's job to utilize all aspects of nature, even the ones that do not fit in a perfect box. Often human ideas and processes are forced onto natural systems, which creates disharmony. In following permaculture, a gardener can work with the natural ecosystems, in which all life lives, to find abundance where once it was thought impossible.


One example is the gardeners warfare against deer. A deer can decimate many plants in just one night, and they often travel in herds. If they find food that they like, they will certainly return the next night to look for more. This can be devastating to both hobby gardeners and professionals. There are all manner of ways to deter deer but many of them are unreliable, or require repeated maintenance.

Accepting deer as part of the ecosystem greatly reduces the stresses of trying to remove them from the picture. The deer do provide fertilizers from their manure and urine. They are beautiful and majestic creatures. Creating a gardening space that is protected by fences is one way to deter them from a garden. A large garden with lots of space inside it, requires a high fences to keep the deer from jumping over. Smaller gardens with little space in between the fences do not need quite as high of a fence. Deer do not like jumping into small spaces that might be difficult for them to get out of.

Another way to deter deer is to spray predator urine around the garden. Even human urine can be used, but some say it is not as effective. This process however require repeated applications, and is still not 100% effective against deer invasion. Instead of applying urine by hand, why not get it straight from the source. A dog that lives in or near the garden will provide ample protection from all sorts of critters, including deer. Though the responsibility and investment required to own a dog, might outweigh their benefits.


Many people and city jurisdictions will attempt to cull the deer population through inhumane ways. Using helicopters and nets to catch and kill the deer is one local way that deer populations are controlled. It is a complex and difficult dilemma, as the deer no longer have natural predators such as wolves to keep overpopulation at bay; since ranchers removed them from the food chain a long time ago. Even the coyote have decreased in numbers as their environment becomes more encroached upon by the ever expanding urban areas. Though any human means to control the population of deer is ultimately be for not. No matter how many deer are culled, the females will just produce twins to bring back the population; since often nature will find homeostasis despite humanity's best efforts.


It is a difficult problem to solve, but if society at large looked at nature through the lens of permaculture, perhaps more and better solutions would be found for deer overpopulation. For example, it has been proven that the reintroduction of apex predators such as wolves into ecosystems greatly increases their resilience and overall health. If humanity started to accept permaculture as a new paradigm, the planet and it's systems could be healed, and so many problems could be solved.

Deer do not have to be the greatest enemy of gardeners. They can be accepted as part of the ecosystem, but steps need to be taken to address previous and current destruction of ecosystems. Humanity can thrive through adopting permacultural principles into all aspects of life, and can be a part of nature, instead of apart from nature.

All of these deer came to my backyard, probably every day, since I kept cool fresh water in my birdbath.


I would love to see wolf reintroduction. I had no idea that coyote populations for dropping as well, it's a little more surprising because coyotes are super resourceful and seem to thrive even in cities. Cool tip using a dog as deer deterrent :-) I'm a great animal lover myself and plan to always have a dog no matter where I am :-) so that's good to know :-) great article.

Thank you for the feedback. The coyotes are becoming less afraid of humans as they are living so close now, you are right that they adapt very well. I believe the populations are dropping mostly because of human intervention. The goat ranchers nearby have dogs, and you can hear them fending off the coyotes in epic battles. As the cities get bigger, and the suburbs expand, less room for roaming but plenty of food to scavenge. Just like the deer, cities, towns, and even housing communities adopt anti coyote ordinances, putting the poor things in even more of a tight situation. It's a difficult and complex problem. I live near a very large nature preserve, and I feel that preservation is probably the only course of action for both humans and animals.

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Keeping a couple of dogs to herd/alert you, might move deer off property, find trees with thorns that are indigenous to your area and grow hedges on the outer perimeter.

Natural predators sadly we suffer similar, no leopard or large cats to keep baboons and monkey numbers down.

Enjoyed your photography and article, living on different continents we learn from each other hopefully.

Thank you! I forgot to mention growing thorny hedges around the growing space would be a great and natural way to keep animals out of the garden. That got me thinking, growing something that makes berries would be nice, like a bramble bush of raspberries or blackberries so that the hedge serves many purposes. It will keep animals out, make food, and give a home for all the little birds. I think you might of just inspired me to write an article about hedges. Thank you again.

Great to give you ideas, we use this often and yes with edible berries, (I write a tree Tuesday every week) my next one is a great one for hedging around the perimeter, in our region.

Animals will most probably enjoy the outside while you enjoy those facing in, along with the birds, bees and hedgehogs LOL....

I love hedgehogs! So cute. I will definitely check out your posts.

Deer are so beautiful and majestic, I'm an animal lover, the only overpopulation I see is ours in this planet.

They are silly creatures, and I love them. That applies to both Humans and Deer.

somehow I understand animals have been a bit too much cornered, where are they supposed to be... we have taken so much resources and space, but still their impact is always considered a nuisance... probably to them that's what we are, still I'm happy to see you find for solutions suitable for both

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