The gophers on our property are cute but their system of underground

Buying Herbs and Veggies

tunnels keep us busy; my husband and all three dogs especially.

Down by the fruit orchard, there must be miles of tunnels and Charlie believes that they are getting fat off underground tubers from the plants that proliferate on the surface in the Spring. The dogs can hear them or smell them and that is all they need to begin their extraction by digging and digging and digging! Charlie calls this activity his ‘Greek Tragedy’. Every Saturday he fills the holes back in and every day of the week the dogs dig new holes in the hopes of finally catching one of these critters. Every once and a while one of the dogs shows up at the front door with the prize. Good doggie!

We enjoy growing fruits, veggies and herbs in our garden. The orchard manages to withstand a lot of stress from limited water and fertilizer but we have a good source of bees that help with cross pollination. When the monsoon season is good then we harvest more apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemons and clementines.

Our avocado and olive trees are new this year. It will be a while before we see any fruit from those trees. For the most part, the groundhogs leave the tree roots alone. However, we are certain that if we planted our garden down by the orchard, we would not profit from our efforts. Our solution was to purchase several Earthboxes®. Have you ever heard of these?

Earthboxes® are a mixture between hydroponics and container gardening. The main benefit for us is that the plants are grown beyond the gophers’ reach. This season we are growing strawberries, yellow squash, zucchini, paddy pan squash, plum tomatoes, Brandywine heirloom tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, herbs, haricots verts and a variety of melons. We are considering trying corn as well. One Earthbox® will hold 12 stalks of corn!

These containers are great and are definitely the solution to gopher distress and limited water resources. Now if only we could find a solution for Charlie’s ‘Greek Tragedy’!

We re-purposed brick pavers to elevate the containers.

Each container is connected to an irrigation system.

The irrigation system is specifically designed to sense the water level in each water storage tank.