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Revenge Of The Slugs

You’re not going to believe this. We don’t quite believe it ourselves.


A few weeks ago we noticed that something odd was going on in our field of Dream Rye. Shoots were disappearing and being overtaken by grass. At first, it seemed like no big deal. The changes were subtle. But the shoots continued dying and the grass spread even further. Eventually we lost nearly all 20 acres of the Dream Rye we planted just a few months ago.

This is what happened.

A banana slug. Photo courtesy Oregon State Extension Service.
A banana slug. Photo courtesy Oregon State Extension Service.

Field slugs ate almost the entire crop. Maybe it was the banana slug pictured above. Maybe it was the leopard slug, another variety that’s common to the area. We don’t know and we don’t care. We are fed up with slugs.

What the field of Dream Rye looks like today. It should be filled with bright green shoots of rye.
What the field of Dream Rye looks like today. It should be filled with bright green shoots of rye.

This is not our only slugfest. When we planted our first crop of Dream Rye back in 2011, it too was eaten away by slugs. The shoots were barely out of the ground when they attacked and ate everything in less than 24 hours. Back then we joked that because gardeners use beer to kill slugs, the slugs were getting even. But that was a small patch of rye. This year it was 20 acres and we are not so amused.

To fans of our Rye Whiskey and Roguenbier Rye Ale, we are not giving up. We’ll be back.

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