Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Horrified Fascination

Here's my gruesome little Haiku for the day. 

Slimy snot bodies
Threatening pea survival
Drown you in salt, Die! (insert evil cackle here)

Yeah, I know, perhaps a little unduly violent, but the slugs have decimated our pea plants and we're feeling a little upset about it. So we've waged a daily war on those darn slugs and every morning we are out there before the morning dew dries and the slugs move undercover. They are ripe for the picking in early morning - all plump and glistening in the early sunshine. All fat and happy on pea leaves and turnip greens. As a math biologists I shouldn't be so grossed out by the things, but really people, there is a reason I studied theoretical ecology. Computer simulations are my friends. Unlike those pesky slugs. Despite the all out declaration of war, the outlook for a pea harvest is looking a bit grim.

But the rest of the garden is just thriving. Take a look:

Our potatoes have gone from this (back in March)

to this

and we have all kinds of greens and roots (turnips, beets, carrots, rapini, collards, baby bok choy, kale, red lettuce, microgreens) that the slugs haven't devoured yet. 

And although we never actually planted it ourselves, this beautiful chive plant comes back year after year. 

Joe made a gorgeous red potato and chive blossom salad this week with kalamata dressing. Check it out!

We have strawberries (I just harvested the first two!!) and blueberries and are breaking ground for a sweet dark cherry tree. 

Joe and I are a bit obsessed about our garden. We were pretty excited when we first found our house and discovered there was already one raised bed in the back. We have since added two more raised beds as well as just digging up random patches of our yard for lettuces, jiu cai (Chinese garlic chives)

(from Wikipedia)

and wildflowers. Right after T was born, Joe gave me a copy of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle on CD, realizing that I spent hours of my day, immobilized and nursing. Although in the end, we saved it for car trips up to Cleveland to visit family. It took us months to complete the book this way, but it made the trips really special and we would find ourselves staying up late at night in bed talking about the book and dreaming of our future garden.

Luckily, we aren't the only enthusiastic gardeners in this house. Taran is also big on "helping".

"What?! You weren't actually using these tools, were you?"


  1. Haha - I LOVE your haiku - because I also loathe slugs just as much as you! One of the nastiest creatures in creation. Ugh - I shudder just to think of them - and stepping on one - have you ever done that? The absolute worst! But, in my tender old age I have become too soft-hearted to sprinkle them with salt. As a child I must have had a very black heart because I loved watching them shrivel up and die. But now I think it must be such an excruciating way to go - just can't do it anymore. But that doesn't mean I didn't get a secret little thrill reading your poem! hee! I hate crows too - just thought I'd throw that out there :D

    And I love your garden. That is something I wish I could have. In high school I was a big dork and dug up ground in the back yard to create my own little fenced in garden - raised beds and all. But in all of my adult life I've never lived in a place where I could keep a garden. One day . . .

    Your chives are especially beautiful and they are such a nice thing to have on hand. They add such a nice, subtle flavor to so many dishes. Hope to see more from your garden :)

    Thank you for letting me know about your blog - I will be following along!

  2. Wow, interesting about the slugs! I've never seen them anywhere except under rocks so I would have skipped a heart beat (or 10!) if I had come across your morning discovery! Funnny haiku. :) Loved the picture of Taran with the grown up tools though it gave me a bit of a shiver to think about "what if" and to be reminded of so many near misses in our house too, even with my injury prevention background. O the I've never read that Kingsoliver book. Sounds like you liked it?!
    Wonderful to see you last weekend and lots of love!

    1. Auntie K! thanks for leaving a comment. Glad you liked the haiku. You crack me up about the garden tools - I guess we weren't too worried he'd hurt himself with the garden glove or the dull spade. ;) Although, looking back at the photo, the camera angle does make the spade look a bit sharp. If you ever get a chance, you should check out the Kingsolver book. I remember you saying you like her and this is my favorite - maybe tied with Prodigal Summer, but different because it's non-fiction.

  3. Alright, I'm getting that book! Happy long weekend to you guys!