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Meet the Snails day

Festival time again! It’s the Strawberry Fayre at Brogdale this weekend so Sunday is the first ‘Meet the snails’ day of the summer season. I will be there with snails big and small explaining how they live to anyone who wants to listen. You can handle the big snails and let them explore your fingers. They’ll probably give you a gentle nibble to see what you’re made of but it doesn’t hurt – it tickles.Image People are often surprised to find that snails lay eggs but gardeners usually say ‘Oh that’s what they are!’ They’ve seen them in the garden, probably in the soil round a potted plant, but didn’t know what they were. The baby snails, for the mini snail farms, will wow everyone as usual – even people who don’t like snails have to admit that the babies are cute. Their shells are translucent and they move so fast, waving their ridiculously long antennae.Image

As well as the Roman snails I’ll be taking some petit gris – the little snails that are so popular in France.Image

(a reader who is more observant than I am noticed that this photo has been reversed so that the snail shell is spiralling the wrong way!)

Look forward to seeing you there!

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20th May

Chelsea Flower Show is where the idea of starting a business was hatched. Rachel and I met there for a mother and daughter day out and talked about our hopes and dreams. I started growing things when I was very young. My mother was a keen gardener and she gave my brother and me our own small patches of ground where we dug and sowed seeds and watched things grow. Many of the vegetables and fruit that we ate came from the garden. Maybe that’s why it feels natural to me to eat local food in season and to grow my own vegetables. At Slow Summer Snail Farm I’ve been cutting beet spinach that has over-wintered and is now going to flower; so new seed has to be planted to continue the cycle. Spinach is a favourite with both the molluscs and me. This month’s extra special treats in the farm shop are asparagus fresh cut straight from the soil and new season’s strawberries from Faversham. Kent is the perfect place to live if you want local food because it is all here in such abundance.

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