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Whistle-pig. Woodchuck. Groundhog.

My garden is my happy place, but lately, it’s been a demolition zone thanks to a family of these menacing rodents.

When we moved to this land last summer, we caught a glimpse of one Woodchuck — that’s what they are most commonly referred to in our neck of the woods — next to the barn. One. This season it has become obvious that our Woodchuck is a chuck-ette, because now she has 3 offspring that graze on clovers with her out in the yard everyday.

We knew they had to go, even before we saw the main burrow entrance behind the barn; a gaping hole about 2 ft wide and at least that deep. We knew they had to go, even before they ate ALL of my brussel sprouts, lettuce and most of my kale. And before we saw the hole dug out of a corner of one of my raised vegetable garden beds. And before we realized that one of them had decided to move in beneath our shed nearest the house, because with veggie gardens wrapped around it, it’s like a five star resort with a free gourmet buffet.

We can see our neighbors’ sheds from our home and guess what? Families of groundhogs living in each and every one of them. Earlier in the summer, I saw at least 10 of them in one day. I know this is an annoyingly common issue around here, but this has really gotten out of hand!

( I might add, that one male groundhog had a lot of fun in the springtime here in Lady Woodchuck Land.)

And as a deeply passionate animal-loving, vegan, it is uber important to me that we find a peaceful way to resolve this problem. That means there will be no bloodshed! (The most common response I get when I mention this dilemma is, “A .22 will solve that issue in an instant.”)

Can you see her boldly chewing on greens in front of the barn?

Can you see her boldly chewing on greens in front of the barn?

My heart tells me there is a better way.

I mean, they are simply doing what they do; what they were born to do. They don’t care what anybody thinks. (Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from these not-so-little varmints?)

I’ve made it my mission to encourage these critters to move away from our buildings and gardens. I trust that there is a beautiful place in the lush green woods where they would live happy lives, and peace and harmony will be restored to my gardens.

I’ve got a plan, so stay tuned to see how it unfolds…