Thursday, 23 April 2009
The Peewit Papers: 1. The Slugfried Line
Speaking at the official launch today, Professor Gordon Peewit said...
"Here at the Stockwood Sustainable Science Park our new slug control experiment is now under way. Results aren't yet in, but this preview should interest those like Charlie Bolton, desperate to protect their prize seedlings.
"Our approach is founded on the lessons of history - learning from the way the revolutionary aspirations of the local working classes have been dulled by the ready availability of alcohol.
At the same time, we're sticking by the principle of 'reduce, reuse, recycle' - with the emphasis on reuse. Our kit is discarded tetrapaks. Bits of them can be recycled, but right now that means sending them to Scandinavia, where the card is separated out and saved, but the aluminium and plastic is lost. Our research gives them new uses. First as germination boxes...
then as a barrier... meet the Slugfried Line.
It's a development of the 'slugpub' concept - but extends it into an impassable barrier to slugs and snails that attack from their daytime lairs in the undergrowth. As seedlings are planted out and the packs are emptied, they're fixed to old pallet boards (another bit of reuse) and filled with homebrew. The flap keeps out any diluting rain. Having the separate compartments means they can be used on sloping ground
We would perhaps have used the supermarkets cheapest beers - but these may be hit by the new 'minimum price' rules (a result, we suspect, of lobbying by the Association of Slug Pellet Manufacturers). Anyway, it keeps the beer-miles down.
The Slugfried Line is portable and re-usable. It is thought to have high potential for the regeneration of the real South Bristol economy (since no-one makes slug pellets locally) and we hope to get grants from SWRDA to continue the research.
Early results are promising:
Next, we'll try baiting the cartons alternately with beer ullage and bran. It offers the slugs the equivalent of a pub crawl and a take-away."