As Sonoma’s only completely pesticide, herbicide and fungicide-free nursery, we have spent two decades experimenting with environmentally sustainable plant solutions. Maintaining a small footprint is important to every member of the nursery staff.

In remaining 100% loyal to our chemical-free philosophy, one great discovery was introducing chickens to control our snail and slug population.  We feed our birds ample organic feed, vegetables grown especially for chicken grazing, dried grubs and clean well water, but what they (and we) appreciate most is their appetite for snails and slugs. While protecting plants, our chickens also provide healthy eggs…and endless entertainment.

In our greenhouses, we also use beer to attract snails and slugs away from plant material, filling empty cat food cans with Budweiser. The mollusks intoxicate themselves and drown, producing an aroma that attracts even more snails – an incredibly effective method that gives new meaning to “bellying up to the bar.”