Fed up of the slimy critters destroying your garden? Well, as we permies like to proclaim, the problem is the solution.
After many a torch lit evening collecting bucket after bucket of our slimy friends, I wondered what I could do with them. The solution is gloriously simple. Simply pop them in a moderate oven (180°C, 350°F or Gas Mark 4) for five minutes, not so long that they cook, but just long enough that they adopt the texture of a wine gum. Then simply slip a sharpened knife under the skin, and it peels off beautifully, like peeling a lychee. The resultant 'pelt' is waterproof, flexible and tough.
After a few weeks drying and peeling, I had a large enough collection to make my first pair of trousers, sewing them together with a tough twine. Now my 'slugskin strides' are the talk of permaculture and Transition gatherings around the land, and I have started work on a matching jacket.
Rob Hopkins is the co-founder of the Transition Movement. You can read his excellent blog at The Transition Network.
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