Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rabbit Stew?

I grow most of my herbs in containers on the terrace. The terrace is south facing and I guess you would describe it as half covered. The herbs grow on the uncovered part.

I have several pots each containing one herb, mint, dill, savoury, flat leaf parsley, basil, chives etc.

I had a pot of basil which was growing beautifully. The leaves were bright and pungent. I had cut it a couple of time to add to dishes, but really, it had only just got big enough to cut.

And then, a couple of mornings ago I was sitting on the terrace drinking my early morning coffee . I was sitting under the covered part due to the level of rain that was descending from some place high above my house.

The rain had chased away most of the wildlife that I enjoy to watch as I drink my coffee and formulate all those plans for things that won’t get done during the day.

There were a couple of jays flitting about but not much else. No sign of the pair of red squirrels that live out there somewhere. It was too late to see the deer that I know passes through our land most mornings. So I sat and watched the rain.

Then my eye caught sight of one of the herb containers. Something had changed. I went out into the pouring rain and recovered the pot and shot back under the dry and alongside my coffee.

The basil was no more.
It was gone.

There were still a few stalks but no leaves. Every leaf had been meticulously chomped from the plant. Escargot I thought, knowing the French solution to that particular problem. But how many snails can one eat?

But there was something else about this pot. Maybe I was being a little hasty blaming the snails.

Now at this point I need to mention one of my friends ilex. She writes a blog about growing food on a balcony in Detroit. Go pay her a visit at

The reason I need to mention ilex, at this point, is simply that she also keeps a couple of what she would describe as adorable rabbits. Their photos feature almost as much on the blog as do photos of things growing. Well, OK, I guess the rabbits are things growing! Although from reading her blog it seems the only thing the rabbits are doing is pooping!

But back to my story.

It seemed to me that the culprit was likely a rabbit.

A rabbit had taken early morning breakfast on my basil

I mentioned this to a couple of people, one of whom replied instantly with the advice that I needed to surround myself with chicken wire. I pointed out that the rabbits had eaten the basil – not me!

Ilex - time to go now!!!!

Then the other person I had mentioned it to, asked about rabbit stew and I confirmed that it was very popular in France and likely to get a lot more popular in our household if this kind of behaviour went on.

Be warned Mr Rabbit!


Kate said...

Go for it, Ian. Hunter-gatherer insticts are beginning to emerge that I bet you never thought you had!

Patrick said...

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the comment about the get-together. Sorry you can't come, but thanks for letting me know.

I haven't said anything about your get-together yet, because I wasn't sure. Perhaps I will change my mind, but I think travelling such a long distance to one of these things is probably all I want to do in one year. I'll keep it in mind for next year.

I keep meaning to mention your event in a post, but I keep forgetting. I'll try to remember to mention yours as well as everyone else's the next time I have an on-topic post to make.

I hope your gathering goes well too. Good luck with it, and good luck with the rabbit! Around our garden we have hares -- they're a lot bigger!

Ian said...

Thanks Patrick,
remember that next year's event is in September. Pencil it in your diary now. I have bloggers from Australia and the US already committed, along with some of us European ones.
Hope to see you here.

Maggie said...

Ian I agree with Ilex, you write really well, how about a story about food or people at a local Farmers market, some local character or just "spin us a yarn".

ilex said...

I'd eat my rabbits in a New York minute if I was hungry enough, but as it stands, I have no plans to put them in a pot. I need their poop to feed to the worms!

Thanks very much for the mention, Ian- I'm honored.

Set a snare for that garden thief of yours. I envision a delicious stew in your future.