Renewable Farming

Update on our earlier report, “Grow it and they will come”

This morning’s arrival on our family’s 20-acre “eco-patch” is a beaver. He or she joined mink and muskrat denizens, and it will be interesting to see if this creature’s appetite will resolve a problem we’ve had for years: Willow saplings whose roots clog our field tile. 

May 4, 2018 — This friendly creature circled the pond dozens of times this morning, apparently surveying, before settling down to decimate willows around the shore. In previous years they’ve migrated up our branch of Dry Run Creek, southwest of Cedar Falls, IA, but left after felling some six-inch trees. We’re not going to get concerned unless a mate shows up for this amiable beaver, and the species shows an interest in berry bushes now being planted around the pond.

Usually, farmers are wary of beaver incursions. They see them as nuisances. Our friend John Phipps of Farm Journal  sees moles in his front yard as another invasive rodent.

However, since beavers aren’t active predators of bass and bluegill, like otters, we will live with this livestock for awhile. We tried to shoo away a pair of Canadian geese, but they’ve claimed dominion of this pond with apparent intent to nest here.

To see our earlier summary of living with wildlife, visit this link.