Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Joys of Organic Gardening

This post may not be for everyone, especially if you have a weak stomach. The photo below is necessary to show just how the weather has affected the growing conditions for our garden this year. We have had rain to some degree for weeks now. Constant wet conditions are perfect for SLUGS! Those creepy, crawly ninjas of the garden world.....

This year we are tending two vegetable gardens. One at home and the other at Papa-rottzi and Gramma Butternut's house.

Here at home we aren't having any problems in the garden other than the lack of sunshine. That's mostly due to my hard working
girls that keep the insect population under control.

The garden at Papa-rottzi's house is much bigger than ours but is within walking we should be able to be there everyday (in theory) to garden and make sure things are going well. Little T. and I have had a rather busy schedule lately and have not checked in on the garden in nearly two weeks. I did however check on the garden here at home as I walked by it daily on the way to the chickens. It looked great, green and lush. I imagined that veggie garden number two looked pretty much the same and I did not have to worry.

Meanwhile (cue scary music), much to my dismay....the garden at Papa-rottzi's was under attack....we walked over yesterday to plant another row of string beans and as we turned the corner of the house....(insert shrill scream here), we saw STEMS! A whole row of stems with no leaves and rows of leaves that looked like swiss cheese!

Little T. shrieked "What did this?"!

I learned this day how to impress my child. Who knew all it would take would be what took place next. I told her it was slugs who did this very bad thing, then I showed her the giveaway clue: slug spit on the leaves. The child at this point was still an unbeliever, due to the fact that I am her mother and I don't know anything. She told me that the cluprit was clearly taller than a slug because the tops were eaten off of many of the plants. I told her that it was a whole band of slugs, no - an army of slugs that did this. I got the PROVE IT look. (Just to clarify, I spend much of my day having to PROVE IT.)

I knew we'd need a bucket, a big bucket. Papa-rottzi, why don't you have buckets at your house? No one was home -good. I went inside and got Gramma Butternut's big pot from the kitchen (I hope she doesn't read this.) I gave orders like a general in the military, "get two shovels, some water for the cooking pot and let's start rolling back the hay in the foot paths"! There they were, sleeping like little innocent creatures with their full bellies. Hundreds of them asleep under the hay. My child gasped and was so impressed that I was right and that I knew where to look for them. I maintained my parental level and refrained from saying "I told you so".

But this was one of those moments that made me think twice about my organic ways. It would be SOOO easy to throw something toxic on these bad boys, quick and easy. But no. We had to be quick to get rid of them but it was in no way going to be easy. We shoveled them one by one into Gramma's big cooking pot. To Little T. this was extremely entertaining although it took hours. When all the foot paths had been checked, we took the big pot of slug stew home to the chickens who said I'm the best cook ever! They went nuts!

Everyday there are lessons to be be learned. Here's what I learned today:

1. Slugs are gross.
2. Gross things entertain children, especially mine.
3. One cannot leave a vegetable garden unattended for any period of time.
4. One must be reacting constantly while gardening organicly no matter how busy ones schedule may be.

Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman