For years v and I discussed getting a few chickens for our backyard garden. They'd eat the snails, and v loved eggs, scrambled, boiled, poached, coddled, baked, fried...he loved eggs. Not I, I'm afraid. Anyway, back to those discussions over breakfast, or dinner. Chickens would take care of our snail problem. What held us up was the chicken coop. v was an exemplary woodworker. The workshop I've featured from time to time was built by him, alone. But, where to put a coop? The workshop took up a lot of space already. So, for years we just talked about it. Then, a few years ago, we realized that we no longer found any snails in our garden. Earwigs had become scarce to non-existent as well. This was a mystery. Was it climate change? Had someone spread copious amounts of snail bait in the neighborhood? Were snails endangered?
The answer came during a completely non-garden, non-snail conversation with one of our shift mates at the aquarium. The fact that we had possums who visited of an evening came up and the first responding comment was "then you don't have snails". I thought the woman was clairvoyant! Possums, as it turns out, eat snails like they were candy! I have since encouraged those sweet marsupials. They are omnivores and are welcome to any leftovers I may have. I have had slug, snail, and earwig free lettuce, spinach, and chard ever since possums began to hang out on the back deck with our cats. It's a peaceable kingdom...and slime free.
In bocca al lupo. m (no v)