Slugs ate my lettuce

P1070022Slugs ate my lettuce – that’s my excuse. On the first day of our salad-a-day challenge, I made a monster salad out of lettuce, mustard greens, and radishes. It was a tasty delight topped homemade chipotle ranch dressing and hard boiled eggs. Unfortunately, it contained all the greens I had. Late March I planted rows and rows of lettuces, spinach and arugula. A short while later I was rewarded with rows of tiny leaves. Within a few days it was all gone, the slugs had swept in and feasted.

I go out early a in the morning and late at night to collect as many slugs as I can find (which get fed to the hens, so at least the slugs get converted to eggs). Lettuce was replanted late April, much to late for an early May harvest.

Originally, I thought May would be an easy month to start in, but that has not been the case. We have eaten a salad-a-day, but they have come from the local area rather than my own yard as I sucked it up and went to the market and bought some local lettuce. This is a temporary solution until some of my own lettuce is ready in a week or two. I do have homegrown sprouts, micro-greens and pea shoots to add on top.

Since, I’m waiting for my lettuce to grow, I share some reasons why I think my salad-a-day plan is a good idea:

1 – Eating a salad every day is a healthy thing for us to do. Fortunately we like our vegetables and already eat a lot of them. But, since our daughter arrived, we’ve gotten lazy and turned to ready made easy to prepare things like perogies and frozen pizza from time to time. Even if we don’t completely stop eating occasional convenience food, committing to a fresh salad a day will at least ensure we get plenty of veggies.

2 – Eating as local as possible is good for the environment, and how more local can I get than eating from my own yard? If you live somewhere you can grow greens it doesn’t make sense to ship them from far off places. Sharon Astyk has a great philosophy around eating local she called the bull’s eye diet where you consider your home the bull’s eye and food comes from as close to there as possible (her blog that explained this has since vanished, here is her current blog). Salads from my garden fit nicely into this philosophy.

3 – Another environmental plus is using my own produce requires less packaging. When I went to the market I was amazed that each head of lettuce came in its own plastic tub. This tub-creep is especially evident at the grocery store – lettuce in tubs, kale in tubs, sprouts in tubs, even tomatoes in tubs. Once harvested and cleaned, I do use plastic tubs to store my garden produce. However, my storage tubs are reusable ones I’ve had for years.

4 – I know exactly how my produce has been treated. I know nothing has been sprayed on it and I know how well it has been washed. Since I harvest regularly, my produce is fresher than what I get at the grocery store which tends to translate into crispier and tastier.