In March, when we were making soil blocks and planting seeds I had a fantasy of harvesting vegetables from our garden for our table. I did not picture a thriving population of slugs and snails enjoying them first. They seem to prefer the brassicas (kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli) but they are gaining on the potatoes and the rhubarb. This region, like many areas on the East coast, suffered a tremendously damp and cool summer last year which may have given the slugs a leg up (they need one! HA!). But this could also be par for the course around here. I just don't know. My only recourse is to head up the to the garden in the evening with 2 cans of 'natty ice' and begin pouring.
I have placed bowls on several of the beds they like to congregate in. Crouched near the ground with wafts of cheap beer surrounding me, childhood memories of late night wedding receptions and big hair flood in. I leave these bowls of beer out overnight and come back the next day, horrified and amazed by the abundance of creation.
This photo, as impressive as it is, is a week into this routine. The first night I did this the bowl was full, FULL with a crusty top, of slugs. I take them down to the chickens who, after walking over and through them a few times, gorge themselves. If I eat an egg from a hen who ate slugs, who ate the kohlrabi I planted, I am still 'harvesting' from my garden by a circuitous path. So I suppose right now the slugs are winning in the timeline, but ultimately we can't lose.
If anyone has experience with vast numbers of ravenous slugs and snails and has had success by a different method, please fill me in. I do like vegetables.