I noticed this little op-ed nugget in the Telegraph yesterday:

The crisis in the eurozone may threaten to wreck our economy; but the EU also has the wherewithal to destroy something far more precious: our gardens. According to a warning issued by the Royal Horticultural Society, many of the home-made remedies intended to counter the plague of slugs that has bedeviled this sodden summer fall foul of European regulations . The use of organic deterrents, such as coffee grounds, may carry a heavy fine, whereas chemical killers such as slug pellets are acceptable because they have been approved by Brussels. Anything that has not been through the regulatory system is illegal to use as a pesticide, however safe the material is perceived to be. Does that include orange peel to deter cats, or jam and water to drown wasps? Who is going to check? The RHS says it all sounds “rather daft”. Barmy, more like.

Three things about it.

First, what is that line often used about utopian pipe dreams to the effect that in the Brave New World everything not forbidden will be compulsory?  This gets at the same notion, albeit backwards.

Second, I notice that some of the commenters refer to the EU as the EUSSR.  Heh.  Hadn’t heard of that before.  I like it.

Third, I did not know that coffee grounds were a slug deterrent.  (I happened to be chatting with a checkout clerk recently who was praising said grounds as a fertilizer for her various herbs, so perhaps this is a double goody.)  As a matter of fact, I have seen very little sign of slug damage in the Port Swiller garden this year, perhaps because they’re not much interested in what I’ve got growing.  If they do make themselves a nuisance, the good Lord knows I go through enough grounds.  It would give me even more pleasure to sprinkle them about while thinking of the EUSSR, perhaps all the while making rude gestures in the direction of Brussels.

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