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Beware of snakes   

By Clif Knight 

Geanell and I are both farm transplants. We grew up on a seldom-used dirt road about a quarter mile apart. We were familiar with the sights and sounds of all kinds of critters and knew the dangerous ones to leave alone. You can imagine how shocked we were to find a three-foot-long rat snake squirming around inside the rear storm door at our house trying to get inside a few days ago.  

“What are we going to do?,” Geanell asked. “I’ll kill it,” I said. “I’m not going to open the door and invite it in.” 

First, I had to get outside through the front door and go to the storage shed for a long-handled hoe. The snake had found its way outside and was nowhere to be seen when I returned. Good riddance, I thought, after making a search and not finding the snake. I left the hoe nearby just in case it returns. 

The snake’s presence could probably be attributed to the arrival of the summer season and the sudden activity of such cold-bloodied critters. Whatever prompted its desire for a new habitat, it was an effort that failed. Hopefully, the presence of a hoe will dispel any future attempt to gain entrance. 

The arrival of hot, rain-free days has made a positive impact on the growing of fruits and vegetables, including both those who’re growing for the family and neighbors and for sale at farmers’ markets. The inflationary crunch that families are facing is shrinking the value of the dollar everywhere consumer products and services are sold. According to the nation’s leading economists, raising costs of energy and food could run as high as $5,000 for the average American family in 2022.  

The use of even small garden spaces to grow fruits and vegetables for the family kitchen table is taking on increased importance despite the higher costs of fuel.  Two or three container plantings in the back yard have the capacity to produce enough selected vegetables to feed a family of four. A well-managed backyard garden can produce enough food to feed an extended family. Four patio planters can be used to grow enough tomatoes to feed a family of four during the summer growing season. 

 

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