A Meditation on Slugs

Slugs! What are they good for?  So far, I have determined that they are good at crawling all over the underside of lettuce heads, destroying cabbage, burrowing into cauliflower, bringing down whole sunflower plants and other general mayhem.  But, what are they good for?  The chickens won’t give them a second glance, it doesn’t seem like the spiders are interested at all, and other birds are just going for the worms and seeds.  However, the ducks do get excited for a tasty slug That is one benefit among many detriments.  So…how am I supposed to justify the presence of these pests?


A slug.  On my window.  Nearly seven (SEVEN!) feet off the of the ground.  They are everywhere!

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Foraging Farmgirl

“Why farm? Why give up the 20-hour work week and the fun of hunting in order to toil in the sun? Why work harder, for food less nutritious and a supply more capricious? Why invite famine, plague, pestilence and crowded living conditions?” Harlan (1992)
The late summer foraging season is upon us in Alaska. As our own raspberries start showing hints of pink (an unlucky few matured early and made their ways into eager bellies, already), Mother Nature’s bounty is ripening up, as well! While societies around the world have thrived and grown in the wake of the development of agriculture, hunting, gathering and all around foraging are still great ways to supplement our diets with fun new (and often previously unknown to us) ingredients.

I love Blueberry stained hands!

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Learning to Farm

In the not so distant past, the main mode of gaining farming knowledge was by growing up in a farming family. The mothers and fathers of little farm kids everywhere imparted their knowledge to their offspring for generations. In this way, families knew their land intimately, the children’s knowledge of farming practices was nearly intuitive and land, machinery, livestock and outbuildings were passed down generation to generation. However, the days of the family farm have all but come to an end. People who grew up on farms are increasingly moving from rural areas into more urban centers. The median age of farmers has increased steadily while the number of farmers has decreased. The U.S. census doesn’t even list farming as an occupation any more.

So, what is going to happen to small scale American farms? 

This is what small-scale sustainable agriculture looks like!

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