Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Stinging Retort

Last night I went out slug hunting and looked up and saw bats. I love bats. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and when I was a kid I used to explore the old mines and find the bat rooms. It was amusing to see them sleeping upside down. Now the powers that be have filled in the vertical shafts and locked the horizontal shafts up tight. Yes it is safer, but it is a fond memory of adventure from childhood. It seems sad that it has been taken away.

The slug hunting went alright if you don't count the mosquito bites and how the slug slime got in my hair I'll never know. I go out early in the morning too to see if I can find any. I'm not sure I can eat the Fun Jen in the garden right now. It is totally shredded. Hopefully I'm reducing the population to more manageable levels. If not I'll be in trouble. I just planted another succession crop of Asian greens. Three each of boc choi, Fun Jen, and tatsoi. If the slugs are still out in force the little tiny plants will be gone in a couple of days. They only have a few true leaves.

While I was planting, I got my third ever sting. I like to plant things barehanded and feel the dirt. I only use gloves when doing the compost and pulling up things with thorns like raspberries. Well some tiny little blue-black wasp had made its nest there. I've never been stung underground before. A new one for me. I actually thought something had bit me, until the poor thing crawled out of the ground to get away. Ouch. It went away within 10 mins however, the mosquito bites lasted over an hour and were more annoying.

The last time I was stung was also in the garden. I had a small bee get tangled in my once-upon-a-time long hair. I really thought it was too small to actually sting me. Live and learn. Those small guys can get you just as easily if provoked.

Today was a wonderful harvest. Not for its quantity, but because it included lettuce for the first time since the summer heat made it all bolt. It was just thinnings, but still it is enough for two nice salads. Tomorrow I'm planting some lettuce plants that have been reared inside to beat the heat. They are still tiny little things, but the weather has broken and it is nice out. Certainly cool enough to start my lettuce growing again. In the heat it either bolts or just sits there not growing.

I also got to pick my first ripe raspberries. There were only six, but who's counting. Ok me I counted. I admired. I smiled. They were huge luscious raspberries.


  1. Oh no, slug slime in hair, not good. I am freaking out a little.

  2. I just found your blog from over at the APLS website. I'm really enjoying it and am going to put it on my Google Reader.

    That is too bad to hear about your slug problem. Our community garden got attacked by squash bugs this year and though we've tried to stamp them out, remove their eggs, remove infested leaves and so on, it doesn't really do too much since the other gardeners don't do the same. I hope your problem is eradicated and that your greens can survive.

    Yay for your lettuce. I just ordered some lettuce seed and am planning on attempting an indoor winter garden so I can still grow food through the winter. I don't have much expectation, but I do have a lot of hope.

    And yay for your raspberries, it's not about quantity, they actually grew and like you said, they were big, and I imagine delicious.

    Sorry for the really long comment!

  3. I hate slugs. Before some of the lettuce bolted in early summer, I harvested a few lettuces and found that the slugs that completely eaten and made the inside of trhe lettuce all slimy. Not fun. How do you go hunting for them? I'd love to know!

  4. So sorry Aunt Deb. Sadly the slugs like to share their slime, but never fear, hair washes.

    Hi Jennifer. So glad you found me. I looked at your site too. It made me so hungry. I love Mexican food. My current favorite zucchini recipe is Mexicanish (ok not a word, but you get the idea).

    dp: weirdly the slugs don't go for the lettuce here. Plant beans or brassicas next to them and they only go for the beans and brassicas. Sad for them, but really good for the lettuce.

    I hunt my slugs at night with a flashlight. They are all over at night. I mean everywhere. Around just before 9pm is late enough here. It should have been dark for over an hour before you go hunting. When you find them kill them. I used to smoosh them between two rocks. Now I tend to use sharp scissors and cut them in half. Some people put salt on them, but I can't imagine salting my garden. That would kill the plants too. I wish I had chickens then I could save them and feed them to the chickens. As it is I leave their broken bodies out for the birds in the morning. I hope they like their treats.