Friday, February 22, 2013

Let's talk about potatoes and germs

I feel like I'm living during a pandemic.  My poor boss got really sick yesterday morning (the pukey kind), I've been fighting off a cold and woke up with a sore throat, headache and general "ugh feeling" and then my daughter got up and whined "I don't feel good! I feel like I'm going to puke!"  So far my daughter seems to be feeling better and although I didn't go to work today I'm guessing after 24 hours my boss is better.  Still ... germs ... ugh.  And yesterday was my 5 week mark of stall rest and I thought I would be feeling up to jogging on Tuesday because I was almost to 5 weeks and I figured I could carry a basket of groceries now instead of pushing a cart on Wednesday ... and well ... neither was a good idea because now my sacrum hurts again and does the area where my L4 is.  Not as bad as when it first happened of course, but I feel set back a bit.  I guess they say 6 weeks for a reason.  Just like they say don't lift anything over 10 pounds even though you think you're strong so it should be 20 pounds you are just like everyone else and it needs to be just 10 pounds.  For 6 weeks.  Not just under 5.  Sigh.

So much hand washing and going to bring some Clorox bleach wipes to work on Monday to clean because the Clorox Green Works wipes apparently do not disinfect.  Yes, this is a conundrum for me.  Here I am trying to live naturally with my organic garden and my "pesticide free zone" sign for my garden and my must-learn-how-to-cook-from-scratch to keep out all the weird additives in commercial food that I think are bad for people and bad for the Earth and just wrong all around and I will not support those industries ... blah blah blah ... and then I go and clean everything to death (literally) with bleach when someone is sick.  But I'm not completely unjustified in doing this.  Although my fellow hippie-organic types say it just makes the immune system stronger to be exposed to virus and bacteria, that only applies if you actually have a healthy immune system to start with. And I have a compromised immune system from rheumatoid arthritis to begin with and when I'm taking my arthritis meds it is way more compromised. 

Many naive people have said that I should just go natural and change my diet and take supplements.  Well, I do that but when I'm completely crippled by a huge flare-up I have to take the medication.  That's why they make the medication.  If changing your diet and supplements worked for severe rheumatoid arthritis there would be no need for the hard-core medications.  Sadly, the marketing demon that is drug companies is not so powerful they could wipe out simple natural things that work, the truth is that natural things don't work when it is severe.  And these medicines were not just created to make money - they were created because there is a need for something to help crippling illnesses that for thousands of years meant early death and disability for people like me.

So, it's a conundrum.  I could die from things like e-coli and salmonella where other people would just get sick.  So, of course I want to clean things with bleach when there is raw meat or sick people around.  But I also know it is not good for the environment in the long run so I'm trying to find a balance.  There are apparently EPA approved "natural" disinfectants but I'll have to do a little research to find out what they are and if they are effective since the "green cleaners" in general are not.

Back in the land of organic gardening I planted some potatoes a few days ago that had started to sprout in my pantry because I forgot to use them in time.  I got some Spring bulbs planted in pots on our porch, my carrots that I planted in fall right before the first frost are sprouted and starting to grow.  I need to get out there and put out this organic slug bait around that raised bed pretty soon because as it warms up the slugs will be out in droves.  The carrots are planted in a raised bed in the Secret Garden which is on our property surrounded by a tall fence so I don't think the bunnies will get to them.  I'm pretty sure the bunnies will leave the potatoes alone and the pumpkins that I'm going to plant in April so I'm not worried about those being in the community garden in the lot behind our house.  But as soon as the potatoes start to sprout above ground I need to be pro-active and spray them with a mixture of water, baking soda and horticultural oil because powdery mildew is a huge problem with my tubers and squashes back in the community garden and so far my research all says that it can not be stopped or cured once it has taken hold of the plant, but it can be prevented.  So prevention this year it is!

We have also had our compost bin for a year now so I need to check and see if the stuff at the bottom is ready to use and I need to get a compost thermometer to make sure it gets to the right heat to kill off the bad bacteria but not so hot it kills off the beneficial stuff.  Ah composting - it is a complex science all of itself and I think it is so cool!

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