Broad beans, carrots, plums, pears, apples, runner beans, cauliflowers, cabbages, potatoes, the bounty dripping off the vegetable plot at my mum and dads house this summer has been melodious. We have feasted like kings on great bowls of fresh runner beans steamed and lathered with melting butter and a frolicking of french sea salt…….scrummmdiddly.
The children love it too and, to be frank, nothing tastes more wonderful than a freshly picked pea or a head of cabbage, as we should all know by now if we listen to the vast array of chefs who continually intone; seasonal, seasonal, seasonal…
I love to get the children involved in picking, plucking and podding. I send Fealte up the pear or plum tree if there is one particlularly perfect looking specimen waaaay above my head and Betty-Blanche prefers nothing better than digging in the mud for potatoes, or carrots or beets.
As we have just moved into the house of our very dreams, I thought, really too late in the year, that I should get down and groovy with my new, small, veg patch.
So I spent a full day turning over the soil and removing a whole host of strange looking, seriously stubborn green beasts, and with a profound sense of pleasure and achievement I planted a very small courgette plant. One I had procured from an honest lad at the school fete; he had grown it from seed and I was heartily impressed with his apparently blasé success.
So in it went, tucked up and fed with a great drink of agua. The next day I went to visit my newly planted green baby, already fantasizing about the courgette glut I was so obviously to expect, as it is, according to my veg book, a bloody easy plant to grow.
But, yeeuuuuuuchhhh, it’s leaves had been eaten by foul slugs and slimy snails, ergo I put loads of slug pellets down and went about my business, pretending to myself I was and am the keen garden professional and this is one small setback in my plan to…succeed.
The next day I went to view yet more dead snails and slugs, and the next day more, and more and really my veg patch has become a graveyard to many, many molluscs and my courgette plant is a yellowed and wilted affair from far too much rain and too many mollusc munchers, which quite frankly are putting me off my pathetic attempt at vegetable domination.
What on earth should I do next year when I really would like to achieve some kind of vegetable production on the very simplest foundation.
Any mollusc murdering advice greatly appreciated.