Last month, the mystery was solved. The veggie thief was seen climbing the six foot fence! There were two eye witnesses. So now a trap is set near the back of the garden and baited with heirloom varieties of cantaloupe and other garden goodies. And here we thought we had to worry about the deer jumping the fence.
Since the very start of the garden installation, we have been battling it out with our neighbor Mr. Groundhog. Before the fence was built, he munched on lettuce, sunflower seedlings and even some tomato plants and onions. We thought we outsmarted him by installing a six foot high fence and adding chickenwire at the base. He wouldn't be able to bury underneath and surely he wouldn't be able to climb that high.
Somehow he was getting in. Volunteers checked the perimeter of the fence. No holes were found. The fall peas and beans planted in August were munched on down to the ground. And the groundhog is also a suspect in the case of the missing sweet potato leaves.