me: "Hi, this is Gina, how may I help you?"
him: "I AM FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW!"
me: "Why? What's wrong?" (I am only moderately concerned)
him: "THERE'S A BUG IN MY SALAD!"
me: "Hmmmm...really? That sucks. I'm surprised it survived the washing and fridge overnight."
him: "IT'S STILL MOVING! I ALMOST ATE IT! IT'S A LITTLE GREEN BUG!
me: Silence. I know what's coming...
him: "I AM NEVER EATING THIS SALAD AGAIN!"
I washed it. Three times! I swear! I have this technique of washing my homegrown salad greens where I put them in the salad spinner and fill the bowl with cold water and let them sit for a few minutes. You know, so the bugs will drown and float to the top. I do that three times and usually it works. God! I have run across some crazy shit in those salad greens. I am particularly creeped out by earwigs so when they crawl out of the salad greens onto my hand while I'm picking them or washing them it's all I can do not to scream bloody murder. My goal is to remain calm so as not to alert my husband who is even more creeped out by bugs in the garden than I am. It is hard enough to get him to eat the food I grow after he watches squirrels and rabbits frolicking amongst the food but bugs that survived the cleaning process? Forget it.
I have written about my husband's pest issues before. How he used to keep a pile of rocks by the back door of the 2nd floor two flat apartment we rented. He'd put a couple in his pocket in case he encountered a squirrel in the yard on the way to the train in the mornings. In his defense, the squirrels were very aggressive, probably because the folks next door fed them all manner of food right out of their kitchen. We once found a partially eaten hot dog with a bun on our back porch which we assumed had been dragged up there by a squirrel. And then there's the time he accidentally ran over the baby rabbits with the lawn mower. He left the lawn mower sitting in the middle of the yard and refused to mow the grass for 3 years. I was content paying for the service because they helped me weed the garden, too. But then they "weeded" my strawberries, so I fired them. And the next ones "weeded" an expensive Autumn Moon Japanese Maple and some other nice plants so I fired them, too. I digress.
I'm making light of it here but bugs and animals in the garden are just part of the organic home garden. I wish somebody would tell me how to wash my salad greens in a manner that would remove 100% of bugs 100% of the time. Or how to convince my husband that a bug or a squirrel in the garden isn't the end of the world. That just because grocery store salad comes in a nice clear crispy plastic bag doesn't mean it's really clean or safe. I guarantee we'll never get e. coli from my homegrown salad greens!
me: "J says to tell you that you can either deal with an occasional bug in your salad or a lifetime of pesticide"
him: "I'll take the pesticide"
grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere