Everything But the Dressing On This Salad Came From Our Garden — Organic Slug Included
A garden photo essay
Let’s start our journey with a heart made out of radishes. Radishes aren’t my favorite garden food, but they grow quickly and can be planted in early spring. Since I’m an impatient gardener they fit the bill for easing some of my urgency with planting other more favored foods too soon. And, look at the beautiful colors you can now buy in a seed mix packet!
On April 29th I ate my first homegrown salad of the year. Everything but the dressing came from our garden: mixed lettuce, carrot tops, radishes, cilantro, oregano, and chives. This time neither snail nor slug crawled out of my bowl (that’s another story for another time).
It has been a tradition to celebrate May Day at our home for many years now. We purchase small starter plants and leave them on a few of our neighbor’s doorsteps. Most of them have figured out where they come from by now. It brings me great joy to share my gardening spirit with our neighbors. I now make a point of gifting pollinator plants, so we are enhancing the biodiversity in our neighborhood together.
Check out this beautiful snapdragon that has grown from seed into a beautiful flowering plant in the intersection between four of our back patio pavers and under our back patio table.
It has found the nutrients it needs right where it is (and, hopefully, enough shade when summer temps really hit).
Luckily, after 10+ years of gardening, I knew what it would grow into when it was a seedling and didn’t pull it up like it was Bermuda grass or some other such invasiveness. What a good reminder of our ability to bloom where we are planted!
And, to round it off: I harvested a couple of fall-planted carrots. Have you ever inhaled the aroma of a garden-fresh carrot?
They are sweetly pungent. I later chopped these carrots up for another homegrown garden salad. They may look ugly, but they sure taste good.
Are you still wondering about the food and the slug?
Well, I was sitting with my family eating delicious rice bowls that my husband had made for us. Earlier, he requested I snip some cilantro for garnish. I did so and brought it into the house to rinse off.
I did a pretty careless job — just a fast rinse, rolled it in a paper towel, and set it in the fridge for David to use later.
As we were halfway through dinner, I made a startled exclamation and jumped halfway out of my chair. A tiny snail or slug (it had no shell, so??) crawled out from under my rice towards the edge of my plate (yes, we use plates for rice bowls sometimes).
My family had to get up and see with their own eyes before my words came back. My son released the creature into the backyard. David said I didn’t have to finish eating. But, I did. And, it was delicious.