Allergies. Lots of Allergies.

I’ve always had typical allergies to plant secretions and pollen.  Nothing surprising there.

But in high school, I developed an allergy to chlorine, the kind of chlorine they put in swimming pools and bleach.  This came about due to several years of frequent, repeated exposure to bleach in the sinks at the animal shelter where I volunteered; the sinks were deep enough that rubber gloves were pretty pointless (you’d just fill up the gloves with water), so most of us went without.  This allergy has progressed over the years to where even casual exposure – bleached hotel towels, touching bleached counter-tops, etc. – results in a itchy, bumpy rash on my hands and feet.

That instigated my first foray into alternative cleansers: vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, baking soda.

Starting in college, I began developing allergies to something(s) in laundry detergent.  I’d switch brands, trending more and more toward “all-natural” detergents.  When I developed an allergy to the latest brand this summer, I said I’d had enough, and looked up how to make my own.

That has inspired my latest additions to my Farmers’ Market offerings.  I’ve put together 2-3 bottles or “kits” of the various cleaning supplies I keep at home: laundry detergent, window cleaner, all-purpose disinfectant cleaner, glue remover, and soft scrub.  The harshest ingredient in all of these is the borax in the laundry detergent.

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The ingredients in these cleaning supplies include vinegar, baking soda, Dawn (original blue) dish soap, borax, washing soda, coconut oil castile soap, water, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and olive oil.

I spent the afternoon aggravating my plant allergies (and racking up more mosquito bites) by pruning the raspberries.  Most of the second-year canes I pruned are making the trek to the Market tomorrow for the workshops.  I always feel like I’ve over-pruned after I finish cleaning out the second-year canes, but the next year’s harvest always puts lie to that feeling.

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Above: before pruning. Note the yellowed vegetation and thick undergrowth.

Below: after pruning. Note the deep green vegetation and light reaching the mulch underneath the canopy.

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Don’t forget, tomorrow’s the Farmers’ Market!  If you’re in the area, stop on by and pick up some produce, attend one of our raspberry patch workshops, or enter the raffle to win one of four container patches!

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