First Harvest and Fighting Slugs

The last week or so, we have been able to harvest a few early plants including kale, parsley, radishes, and mint.

First of the harvest
First of the harvest

The kale was planted last fall.  I harvested a bit in the fall, then it overwintered and took off this spring.  It is ready for the fourth picking this season.  We enjoy stamppot kale which is the Dutch name for smashed potatoes with minced kale.

Kale
Kale

Since parsley is a biennial, the leaves shoot up early and try to produce seeds.  I pinch off the seed heads for a while to keep it producing.  Fresh parsley is delicious in soups, sauces, stir-fry, and one-dish meals.

Parsley
Parsley

I planted the radishes in hopes of having some for farmer’s market, but I think they will be long harvested by June.  The greens, I have added to lettuce salad; and the roots are tasty dipped in ranch dressing.

Radishes
Radishes

The mint has shot up tall with all the rain we had this spring.  This week, I made my first batch of mint tea for the season.

Mint
Mint

Last year, slugs and snails took quite a bite out of our harvest, literally.  They really enjoyed our potatoes and also nibbled on some of the other vegetables.  I decided this year if I saw any signs of the creatures, I was going to try trapping them with beer, as was suggested by a reader.  So when I saw a few tell-tale nibbles out of the radishes and sprouting greens, I stopped and purchased a can of the cheapest beer they had at the gas station.  Two evenings ago, I settled three lids, the size that fit on canning jars, into the dirt so that the top of the lid was level with the ground.  I placed the lids in different garden beds around our house and filled them with the liquid.  Next morning, as I eagerly inspected the traps, I found eighteen slugs and snails of varying sizes floating in the lids.  Some were teeny tiny, and others, a bit larger.  This morning, there were only two creatures in the traps, so I am hoping I nipped the problem in the bud.  While I do not relish killing creatures, it is frustrating to put effort into growing vegetables and then have them damaged like last year.  Hopefully this solution will help.

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