Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

Planning, planting, and harvesting a backyard garden is such a learning experience! I've already learned that 18 lettuce plants for 1 person is about 15 plants too many. And I've learned that tomatoes will not stay in their tidy wire cages, preferring to sprawl over the edges and dominate shorter, more polite vegetables. I've learned that cucumber vines will cooperate only so far in climbing their shiny new trellis before becoming bullies of the raised bed - apparently they love shoving, fighting, and strangling the other kids in the sandbox.

I've learned that tiny, pudgy, slimy slug babies love Bibb lettuce and I've learned the absolute meaning of "squeamish". The slugs have given me OCD. I start channeling Monk when picking lettuce - inspecting every groove and curve in the delicate little leaves. Then it's into the kitchen sink for a good soak and rinse under running water, where every groove is inspected again before a violent cycle in the salad spinner. It's highly unlikely that one of the slimy creatures could get past my Navy Seal worthy screening techniques.

And yet, every single time, about half way through eating my salad or turkey roll-up with fresh lettuce, I start thinking "what if?". What if a slug is still attached to this green leaf? Would I know if I bit into it, or could I have swallowed one whole? Would it crunch... or squish... or feel like the raw oyster I once tried to swallow in an attempt of culinary coolness? (Notice I say, tried to swallow.) What if I see one crawling along the edge of the salad bowl? What if, what if, what if. One time I added sunflower seeds to my salad and that was a nerve-wracking lunch. I had to watch each kernel and make sure it wasn't moving. Sheesh.
Maybe backyard gardening is going to be too stressful for me.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Wonderful description of baby slugs in the garden! I feel pretty much the same way about fresh lettuce... love it, but what if there's a slug, or even worse, one of those icky wiggly bugs with pinchers (earwigs?)... Still, I do really enjoy the smell and flavor of real lettuce..
Kathleen, North Idaho