Snails and slugs from our DemoGarden in Amsterdam North. Debra Solomon for and

At Urbaniahoeve’s DemoGarden in Amsterdam North we spend our wet summer days collecting snails and slugs, literally hundreds of them each day. Even if we wanted wanted to kill them on the spot, the carnage would be just too great to bear. Sam and Kat insist that we collect the slugs and snails and take them to the waterfowl at the nearby Noorderpark, where they might be part of a more elegant cycle of life and death than being smooshed under my boot.

The permaculture principles describe a design system that is good for people, good for nature and where the species share fairly. In all my time in this garden I have never noticed the slugs and snails doing any fair-sharing. A little bite out of a leaf is fine with me, but selfishly destroying entire crops of leafy greens and brassica is not something I’m willing to tolerate.

Please don’t tell us to use eggshells, or coffee grounds because these techniques haven’t worked thus far. What seems to be making in a dent in the populations is to remove them by hand and take them far away from the premises.

Snails and slugs, War on Slugs, Debra Solomon for and