Friday, June 15, 2012

Slugs in the Garden

After I planted lettuce in April, one of the big rains must have washed some of the seeds to the other end of the raised bed.  Eventually, lettuce was popping up in places I hadn't sown seed.  I left it to grow. 

The lettuce I did plant needed thinning.  Week after week I didn't get to it.  We came home from vacation to ready-to-pick heads of Romaine.  The ones at the far end of the garden --where there was plenty of room to spread out-- grew beautifully.  Where I planted, however, was crowded.  The heads were thinner and several were spindly.  But what surprised me most was the slug damage. 

Where there was room to spread out, where air and light circulated around the veggies, I had no chew-marks from the slugs.  The most crowded part of my lettuce-row was the holiest. 

Same thing in the strawberry patch.  I overthinned last fall.  But hey, no slugs this year!


  1. Susan, I found your blog searching for VCFS data. My son was dx'd last year at 5 months old because of a hunch one of the specialists had (a full micro array was done).

    So far he has no symptoms at all.

    None. The specialist we saw was because his soft spot closed early and he was born little but near full term. He's still little, at 18 months.

    Wait, revisit the no symptoms. He's short. That's the ONLY symptom.

    Our 22q team insists he looks like VCFS. That's how I found your blog, asking what does that look like.

    We homeschool too. I totally get your posts about thriving children outside the system. We have avoided getting in the system at every turn, and good thing too. So far no intervention snowballs.

  2. Danelle, I bopped through blogger links to find your blogs. (LOVE the food one! Oh, yeah! And a bunch of my crunchy homeschooling friends would love it too. Especially the Iowa farmers raising pasture-fed organic beef.)

    Hooray that your son's heart, thymus, and palate are fine! Thanks be to God for that gift of health!

    I want to pass along one thing I have learned over the years with Maggie:

    Over and over we get advice from the "experts" (via newsletters, workshops, during doctor visits, etc). They encourage us to See Our Child As A Person. They encourage us to focus on our child's strengths. They focus us to celebrate the person he is instead of mourning what he's not. But you know what? I think --as parents who buy into homeschooling and the whole attachment parenting perspective-- that we DO that. We don't have to try. We don't have to be coached into it. We don't have to learn to relate to our child in a healthy way. We're already doing it!

    It's pervasive out there. We hear it from other parents in support groups, both online and in-real-life. We hear it from friends who are teachers who Want To Help. We hear it from doctors and therapists. We hear about all the things wrong with our kid. What we should do to fix him. What we should do to improve him. What kind of remediation he needs. Blah blah blah blah. It's like they think my kid is a project. And then they tell us to focus on the child's strengths, to enjoy him for who he is. You know what? I think it's really themselves they're trying to convince.

    Sometimes it helps to have some details about what's going on. When Mag was 5 and still not talking, it was helpful to discover that it was her genes, not my screw-ups as a mother. I didn't have to keep beating myself up for failing her; we just needed a surgeon. It was good for us to see the immunologist last year and find out exactly what Maggie's immune deficiency is, so that we can take that into consideration with regard to what type of work she may be able to do as an adult. But mostly, the more we ignored the advice of the so-called experts, the better we did. After all, they know some generalities. But we know our children. And as homeschoolers, we also know that mainstream perspectives on education, learning, and child development are not always right.

    So we live with our kids. And we enjoy them. And we teach them. And we play with them. And we make them do chores. And we feed them real food. (Oh, by the way, kids with vcfs often have loads of dental decay. When we changed to raw milk, Maggie's biannual cavity count plummeted.) And we discipline them. And we play with them. And we treat them almost entirely like we treat our other kids.

    And things turn out better than anybody predicted.

    Of course, we might say that's got nothing to do with what we did and how we did it. One thing we do know for sure: it's entirely a gift of grace from a merciful Savior.