If you watch my blog, or if you are a Facebook friend, you probably have noticed that quite a bit of conversation/activity centers around wild boar. This may seem odd to you, but is pretty natural around our neck of the woods! Our finca borders on the Sierra de las Nieves national park, and there are lots and lots…and lots… of wild boar.
Now this would not ordinarily bother us. They are a protected species, but we aren’t hunters anyway. However, every once in awhile they make a foray into our carefully tended vegetable gardens and make a right mess. They don’t usually eat the veggies (except for our sweetcorn, which they razor to the ground!), but they do root up the vegetables, looking for grubs to eat. As you might imagine, this makes a huge mess, and usually means the loss of most of a crop. Irritating, to say the least.
We have tried fencing. First, that irritating orange plastic stuff that they use as temporary ‘fencing’. This works really well, as it rustles in the wind, which the boar hate. However, it does not last long in the hot sun, and tends to get ripped up by our boxer dogs, too. Not good.
Next, we tried nice, tidy green plastic fencing, held up by wooden posts. This looked great, but a few weeks later, the boar dug under the plastic, and tore holes in it. As did the boxers. Not good.
So next, same wooden posts, but with metal fencing. This held the boar out (and the boxers), but they could still dig under it if they tried hard enough – and last summer they did, tearing/digging up our tomatoes, zucchini, squash and pumpkins. We had had a fairly decent crop of each by the time they did this, but it was still heart-breaking.
So this week, we are trying again. Metal rebar posts, with metal fencing (stuck into the ground 8 inches). We think in the long run, the only solution is to build a low concrete wall around the garden, topped with chain link – but this will take time (and money) so it is a longer term project.
And speaking of boar, the locals do hunt them, although they aren’t supposed to. And on our land, usually, as we have a spring that the boar visit regularly! And do you think the buggers ever give us a piece of boar for the barbecue? Like heck they do! (well, maybe this is a mixed blessing, as there has been an outbreak of trichinosis in Andalucia – probably due to boar meat that has not been cleared as fit to eat!)