Gardening – the good, the bad and the itchy

In the good news column we have the square foot veg garden. The cold weather crops are growing visibly by the day and we just enjoyed our first spinach salad. For any who may be interested, the home-made dressing was a blend of red wine vinaigrette, honey mustard, minced garlic and fresh parsley, pepper, salt and olive oil. Delicious.

In the bad news column we have a freeze warning for tonight that may wipe out our 2010 peach crop. Our tree is pretty big and we don’t have any sprinkler system or other frost deterrent, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.

And the itchy? I decided to pull some weeks on our back hillside, at least around the perennials we put in earlier this spring. Imagine my delight when carpets of poison ivy started appearing under and around the taller weeds. I’ve never before gotten a rash, but THIS COULD BE IT!
As a public service, here are a few poison ivy tips…-Leaves of three, let it be. Leaves can be toothed or smooth, green or red.
-Urushiol is the “poison” oil – only because humans seem to be extra reactive. Animals are not affected and some even EAT poison ivy (goats, naturally)!
-Some people seem immune while some seem extra sensitive. It is not wise to push your luck.
-Wear skin protection – gloves, long sleeves, long pants- if not washed off of clothes the oil can last for years.
-If you think you touched poison ivy, washing with lots of cold water within 1/2 hour may prevent the rash. Hot water will open pores and let more oil be absorbed.
-DO NOT mow (esp with bare legs!) or burn poison ivy. Emergency room visits can result.

For more great info you can go to http://www.poison-ivy.org/ – if nothing else they have an incredibly graphic rash collection!

I think we need to get a goat.

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