Slugs go belly up in organic 'bar'
Rocky Mountain News, 8-12-89 (and other papers)

BURLINGTON, Vt. - If a Slug Saloon, Rodent Rocks and a bucket of one thousand live ladybugs were not on your Christmas list last year, you might want to check out these products as a special summer gift for your family.


These are among the devices a Vermont firm, Gardener's Supply, is promoting to encourage organic gardening.


"A recent poll by Organic Gardening Magazine shows that more than 70% of Americans would buy organic produce if it were available at their local markets," said Will Raap, of Gardener's Supply. "We think the best way to be sure of safe, wholesome foods is to :grow them yourself.


His company specializes in finding and testing innovative products gardeners can use instead of chemical fertilizers and poisonous pesticides - products that naturally improve soils and combat pests.


Some natural helpers:

* Slug Saloons. Fill them with beer and slugs and snails will crawl in and drown.

* A 20-inch great horned owl in lifelike plastic, reported to have sent a rabbit into a backflip trying to get away from it. Birds find equally appalling a lifelike inflatable snake, to be placed strategically near berries, grapes, or seedlings.

* A tomato "automator," a black tray that prevents weeds, warms the soil, distributes water correctly to plant roots, protects against cut-worms, and reduces blossom-end rot.

* Ladybugs. A thousand little red "good" bugs for less than $10 to control aphids, whiteflies, spider mites and mealybugs. You can release them all at once or keep some in your refrigerator.

* A Mansion for Martins or a little house for bluebirds. Keep

these insect-eating birds on your property and enjoy the bonus of their graceful flight and beautiful songs.

* Rodent Rocks keep away moles, voles, and mice, offending them with the smell of a garlic-and-onion herbal formula. Just bury them around the garden,

* Several natural soil boosters to improve soil and feed plants without chemical fertilizers.

* Children's products to make the garden a family affair and teach children to care for the environment. A "bug kit" just for children has a bug bottle and a book that explains which bugs to catch, how to catch them and what to feed them.


(Ed Note: a promotional press release from Gardener's Supply that appeared in a number of papers, highlighting the Slug Saloon.)