Saturday, May 31, 2014

Slugging it out.

For the last two weeks or so we have waged war. Slugs,  now I'm sure that in the greater scheme of things these slimy pests have a purpose, what it might be I have yet to discover, all I know is that the other half disappears every night come midnight to reappear some half an hour later with a satisfied look on his face. He's been waging war on these veg eating menaces nighty, most nights killing well in excess of one hundred of the beasts. They totally eradicated our first sowing of carrots, devoured just about all of the French beans, likewise the peas and Spinach. It gets rather tedious having to re- sow everything again, especially as the weather is so dry. What ever happened to the guaranteed rain that Ireland is so famous for? We  use salt barriers, but normally after the beasts have had their fill of our precious seedlings, beer traps would help, but I begrudge paying two euros for a can of beer when we don't drink it ourselves, plus we never have any suitable containers to put the beer into, we don't have plastic bottles. We have started to use some 'Organic' slug pellets, these pellets are not harmful to other animals and are approved for use in an Organic system, they have helped. But nothing works as well as a hands on killing of these beggars. We will win, but I do hate slugs.
The gardeners friend, the common frog.
What we need is more frogs, like this beauty found today under a bag of compost, sheltering from the sun, yes, yet another really warm day.
With all this lovely weather we have been having the flower garden is now in full swing, every day something else bursts into bloom.
Delphiniums tower above the Rosa Rugosa
The Delphiniums are looking wonderful, and it is very surprising that the slugs left them alone, normally it's one of the first things they head for.
The Poppies are a blaze of colour , they are the show offs of the flower world,
                                Clematis covers a dull fence,
and the Water Irises are blooming, the Roses are emerging with their wonderful perfume,  it  is very colourful.
The last of last years onions.
We have come to the last of our stored onions, this seasons will be ready in a couple of weeks, we do have some shallots ready so these can be used in place of onions.
Two weeks ago, quite by chance I discovered that we can get real milk, via the Farmers Market. By real milk I mean milk that has not had a percentage of cream removed and then subjected to all manner of high temperature treatments to make is 'safe'.
This milk comes from Jersey cows and we get it the same day that it was taken from the cow, so it is also 'fresh', the amount of cream is amazing, almost 50% as you can see from the photo, I have marked the cream level. Taste wise there is no comparison, I have started drinking milk again, something I gave up when we gave up keeping goats. For anyone who has never tasted real milk  you don't know what you're missing, a real treat.


  1. Your flowers look lovely, especially the Delphiniums. Your flower garden is really looking mature now. Must give that milk a try. Wonderful to be able to get it at the market.

    1. Thanks Bridget, hard to remember that three years ago there was no garden here at all, just a bare field. The milk is wonderful, the first thing I do when we get back from the market is to have a large glass of it.

  2. Ah, the milk. When I was a student back in the 70's we used to be entitled to a 'can' of milk straight off the bulk-tank every day we milked, and that was a mixed herd with Guernseys and Jerseys in for the extra cream. I remember it being so cold sitting in that tank waiting for the bulk-tank lorry to come and collect, that if you tried to drink it your throat spasm's and you almost couldn't breath. Happy days.

  3. It's always lovely looking at the beautiful flower pics on your blog. Hope Simon is winning the slug war! I remember the massive black ones in Galicia, yuck! The milk looks lovely, Jason is incredibly envious! x

  4. Yes the milk is great, we have just had John over for a few days, he had never had real milk, he loved it. The slug battle continues.

  5. The only way you can get fresh milk is if you know dairy farmer and get it on the sly or you buy "bath milk", no joke. There are lots of Cleopatras out there apparently. At a cheese course we used bath milk as it is the only way to get it without all the pre-treatments. We always had house cows for milk growing up and drank it straight from the bucket. You are right, they dont know what they are missing.