February 2014, fifth month
Goats: the new pigs
Since the report of tourists of seeing two goats in the garden during the last week of January, the goats have become residents. The group grew to about 12 during February. LVV didn’t come to the garden to shoot the goats for different reasons. Tourist helped chase out one goat. The fence became a topic for the board and STENAPA staff. Documents about the fence, property boundaries were tabled. Rebuilding the fence is on the EZ budget – approved but still not transferred since September (?) 2013. No other means available to address the issue. LVV made some animal feed and barbed wire available for temporary measures (baiting and improving the most vulnerable spots in the fence). Continue reading
January 2014, fourth month
Pigs have landed
During January the issue of controlling pigs came to a head and (tentatively) to a conclusion.
The last remaining smaller piglets still able to get through the fence appeared to be in bad health and distinctly malnourished. A group of four of them was visiting the area around the house daily, getting closer and more intrusive. Raiding the cat food and drinking water, digging up the food forest and veggie patch routinely. After consulting with Steve Piontek I was given permission to take decisive action including killing the piglets if possible. Continue reading
Better late then never…
December 2013, third month, first quarter
Pigs are flying!
December brought a turbulent end to 2013 and the first quarter of the Permanaut in Residence programme in the Botanical Garden. It was marked by lots of rain and wind – great for lush corelita growth, and daily pig invasions – not so great for the garden.
Having experienced this much pig activity 24/7 up close and personal its hard not to conclude that the roaming pigs of the neighboring farmer is the single most threatening issue that the garden and its users face. It is a life-threatening issue in the sense that the purpose of the PinR programme is to provide a substantial contribution to the primary needs and livelihoods of the PinR and other STENAPA stakeholders: staff, interns, volunteers, board members and their respective dependent family members. You could say that the purpose of the programme is to emancipate the STENAPA community from the dependency on external funding and resources. That sense and practical application of freedom and independent self-reliance is severely and potentially fatally threatened by the routine incursions of the neighbor’s feral livestock.
BTW other rooming animals like the cattle, sheep and goats are easily deterred by the current fencing, while the chickens are only a minor annoyance. It’s specifically the pigs that are a persistent and substantial problem. Continue reading