This Is A Voring Story

by Curt Kovener

My college dictionary defines omnivore-from the Latin omni meaning all or everything and vorare meaning to devour-as something that eats both plant and animal. So when we sit down for a Thanksgiving dinner we all are omnivores.
There is a fairly new term called locavore which means to each food grown in the immediate region. If you put in a garden you are a bit of a locavore.
The omni and loca part of this voring brings me to the point of this tale.
Despite all of the vegetative predators in the wilderness, I tried my hand at some gardening this summer. Using some downed logs for primitive raised beds and the decomposed chipped up tree trimmings left from the electrical right of way clearance, I planted some red, green and jalapeno peppers, zucchini and summer squash and two types of tomatoes, and a pair of cantaloupe vines.
I knew better than to plant corn or beans and the deer and turkey would be spreading picnic blankets as soon as the seedlings emerged.
While it was a dry summer, I could sometimes carry buckets of water from the creek to water the fledgling garden.
Everything flourished and started to produce. But I guess some plants exude smells that tell everyone but the human world that they are nearly ripe.
As the tomatoes began a bit of a tinge to red, it caught the wild turkeys attention and they would come over to peck a couple of times at the tomatoes. Then deciding it wasn’t good to eat just left it with a couple of insect inviting holes in an otherwise perfectly good fruit.
And the deer found the red and green pepper leaves tasty and then the zucchini and cantaloupe.
Later as the melons just began to get ripe, the raccoons would feast.
Then when I wasn’t looking, even Charley (you will remember from earlier this summer as the blackberry picking and eating Labrador retriever) began taking an interest in the summer squash, tomatoes and cantaloupe. He would often come running up the lane with a ripe summer squash or nearly ripe tomato in his mouth. Then lie down and begin munching away on his foraged feast. And I am sure he was gloating.
He and the deer had already devoured all of the dropped apples that might be used for a dessert or applesauce.
Funny thing though, all of God’s critters left the jalapeno peppers alone just for me. Maybe a jalapeno perimeter spray will allow me to harvest more vegetables.
Between Charley and the woods critters, I think an amended definition of omnivore is warranted: they who eat it all.
I now have begun looking for tall chain link fencing to surround next season’s crop.