Fencing for Deer – Medieval or Modern?

Cod. Ser. n. 2644, fol. 27r: Tacuinum sanitatis: Spinachie - https://www.europeana.eu/portal/record/2059502/data_foodanddrink_http___www_bildarchivaustria_at_Preview_18863860_jpg.html. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek - Austrian National Library - http://www.bildarchivaustria.at/Pages/ImageDetail.aspx?p_iBildID=18863860. Public Domain - http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/
Cod. Ser. n. 2644, fol. 27r: Tacuinum sanitatis: Spinachie. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek – Austrian National Library.

I was recently reading Groundbreaking Food Gardens by Niki Jabbor, and found a tip for dealing with wildlife challenges. It made me think of the many illuminations you find (like this one from the Tacuinum Sanitatis), with what seem to be immensely high (often living) fences around gardens.

Gardener vs. The Wild
Gardeners living in deer, rabbit or groundhog country may want to consider installing a fence around their food gardens. “Fencing a vegetable garden avoids so much heartache,” says Master Gardener, author, and blogger Marie Iannotti. “You can’t fault the animals for lusting after your tomatoes and cucumbers, but they don’t like to share.” She recommends an 8-foot-tall fence to exclude deer, while rabbits and groundhogs can be kept out with a 4-foot fence buried 18 inches below ground.

Turns out maybe the fences aren’t simply creative license (which is what I wondered, since these types of fences aren’t common) – but in fact a practical way to deal with a very real problem for a medieval farmer who needed their crops to survive. It makes me wonder if there are any references to burying fencing or other things to help keep out “varmints.” I guess it’s just one more thing to keep my eyes open for!

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