~Lush, juicy, fragrant strawberries are said to have been created from heart-shaped tears shed by a devastated Aphrodite over the death of her lover, Adonis.
Fresh strawberries are my most favorite thing about Spring...or maybe asparagus or snap peas...it's hard to narrow it down to only one and while I am debating, I start to think about ramps and new potatoes and green onions and rhubarb and the whole thought process breaks down into a democratic mess. Regardless of my waffling, fresh strawberries are amazing and finding a ripe red juicy one in the garden before my nephew or the slugs is a huge victory. There is not much I can do about my nephew, but the slugs I can try to discourage.
Raised beds help, especially with rough, rocky gravel paths in between to scratch their tender slug undersides. A band of diatomaceous earth works on this same, irritating their bellies, principle. Make sure that you use the food grade not the swimming pool kind and you will have to replace it after it rains. A bulb duster will make this go a lot quicker and give you some control over where you want the extremely fine, dusty powder end up.
If you have your plants in pots or containers, a band of copper plumbing tape attached low around the pot will do the trick. There is a weird science lab reaction between some chemical component in slug slime and copper that gives the slug an electric shock. I don't know how this was discovered, I am sure it involved a creepy, government employee in a lab coat. That, or a bunch of drunk college students.
There is also the tried and true bowl of beer. Slugs will come in for a drink and end up a drunk, drowned statistic. I have always had misgivings about the theory of luring insect pests in with something good. Even if they meet with death, is it too late? Have they already spread the word about "good eating here" through some secret network, leaving you stuck not only with your own bugs but the partying free loaders coming over from next door?
Also...maybe I have just had tetotalling slugs, but given a choice, mine have chosen the ripe strawberry every time. Maybe I need to offer better beer....or worse...maybe my Oregon micro brews were too hoppy?
There are lots delicious recipes out there that call for strawberries, save them for the smushy, overripe seconds. When you have your hands full of perfect berries, try this deceptively simple delectable treat!
Strawberry Skinny Dip
Serve the ingredients in three separate bowls.
Swirl the strawberries in sour cream…then dip into the brown sugar...savor.
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