A warm wet spring is a great time in the vege garden. New seedlings are planted in anticipation of fresh home grown garden salads. But the warm wet conditions also give rise to the gardener’s arch nemesis – the garden snail.
Voracious in appetite, they happily devour your lettuce seedlings before you can reach for the balsamic. The common garden snail (also known as Heli aspersa) has a life span between 2 and 5 years and can lay between 90 and 130 eggs within a few weeks.
Instead of using the traditional method of crunching them underfoot, seek the ultimate revenge by trying your hand at a bit of snail wrangling.
Heliciculture is the process of farming or raising snails. In Australia, the demand for snails exceeds availability, and the current market potential of snails is very sizeable, both locally and internationally.
Ronnie’s Succulent Snails is a Canberra based social enterprise that breeds and grows snails for the restaurant market in Australia. A social enterprise can be described as a feasible and profitable business – that’s built around a sound business model – but which also serves a social purpose; for example, in this case, providing a sustainable employment solution for someone who would be otherwise unable to enter the mainstream workforce.
Ronnie is a 21 year old Canberra man who has a moderate intellectual disability, as well as a life-long history of hospitalisation, injuries and surgeries due to a serious chronic epileptic condition. Entering regular mainstream employment is not an option for him. His family, with assistance from the ACT Social Enterprise Hub, developed the business as sustainable career that would help support his physical, mental and social development and also provide inspiration for others who are trying to help loved ones with special needs.
Always in need of fresh stock, Ronnie wants your snails.
All you need to do is collect the snails from your garden and keep them in a secure container with some small air holes. Also place some vegetable leaves and a lid filled with water in the container, if they are going to be in there for a few days. Then contact Ronnie to arrange pick-up or delivery!