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Portland OR 97219
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In between the Rain Showers, Dig up a Patch in your Garden

Sarah West

Gales Meadow Farm will be back at the Hillsdale Market on March 4th. We will bring starts of many kinds of hardy vegetables plants – sugar snap peas, shelling peas, lettuce, kale, broccoli, beets, and others. Even if the temperature were to fall to 22ºF, these little veggies will survive and thrive. They will do even better with a light covering of floating row cover (Reemay or Agribon, available at garden supply shops and online through seed companies).

These early vegetables do need protection from slugs. We have two methods which do not involve poison and which really make a difference:

  • Save your eggshells and crush them up into a fine powder. Sprinkle the eggshell powder around your plants. Slugs just hate the way the eggshells get stuck on their slimy skin and they will not cross egg shell powder.
  • Mix water and flour to the consistency of cream. Add a pinch of sugar and a package of yeast to a half gallon of this mix. Put an inch or two of this liquid in deli or yogurt containers, sink them in the ground here and there among your vegetable plants, and watch the slugs crawl in and die. This is better than the old beer technique because the alcohol, which is what attracts the nasty little creatures, is continuously renewed for up to a week, rather than dissipating within a few hours. About once a week, dispose of the contents in your compost, and do it again.

We use both these anti-slug defenses at Gales Meadow Farm, and we have another one as well: ducks. Our 14 ducks and Sgt. Queenie the goose range around the farm all day. They nibble on some of the winter greens, but their main diet is slugs, grubs, and other pesky things. A wonderful by-product of this slug control technique is duck eggs. We will have rich and delicious duck eggs for sale at the market.

We will also have some winter greens, arugula, and other produce. The amounts will be limited, so come early.