It is not often that I get truly sick. Sure, I sometimes have a runny nose and a sore throat, but rarely do I find myself incapacitated to the point of missing work and being stuck in bed or on the couch. The first two days and nights were the worst, I don’t think I would be exaggerating when I tell you I got maybe 3-4 hours of sleep total over a 48 hour period. There was fluid continually draining down my throat, which in turn was causing long bouts of nausea and severe indigestion, and I was having difficulty taking full breaths . Day three was a bit better – I was actually able to sleep, eat a bit, and started breathing better. I ended up going to a local minute clinic to get checked out. The flu season is kicking into high gear early this year, and they were all out of flu tests. So I don’t know if I have been dealing with true influenza or not, but regardless, it has not been fun.
That brings me up to the present. Day four and I am definitely starting to feel like an almost healthy human again. I now have a runny nose and a cough, my legs are still very achy and weak, but I am eating real portions of food, getting some of my energy back, and have been able to do some reading and catching up with some e-mails. I figured I should try and do some writing as well since my wife is watching the kids right now.
So while it was not my intention to share all the wonderful details of how I have been feeling for the last four days with you, it does give a good introduction to what I have been thinking about. When I was at the minute clinic, walking down aisle 11 to find an over the counter antacid, I realized how so many of us rely on corporate pharmaceuticals to heal us when we are ill. Even my family, who has a big backyard garden and does some wild foraging now again for food and medicinals; we still rely on the pharmacy for Ricolla cough drops, aspirin, antacids for heart burn, and a few other common medicines to see us through these times of ill health.
This brings me to the next bit that has been on my mind. About two years ago, I wrote this article, a short intro to growing culinary and medicinal herbs in permaculture plant guilds and wild foraging them from my favorite hiking spots. This last season saw a lot of those herbs come into maturity. We used a lot of the wild majoram as did the bees, the valerian grew to about 5 feet, and the borage has established itself as a self seeding annual. The sad part though is this, very few of the herbs that are growing and thriving in the gardens, ended up getting harvested and processed this last season. How I wish I would have had some valerian root a few nights ago to help me sleep. Or mullien, which grows wild in different parts of our gardens each year, could have helped with my respiratory troubles. I will not be too hard on myself about this, but take this as a lesson learned.
It is this time of year in the “Homesteading” blogosphere that you start seeing predictions and resolutions for the new year. I have never done this, and do not intend to make this a yearly topic except for this one time. I have a few goals for myself and our homestead that I would like to see happen this year.
1 – Eat more veggies! Hey, we are Urban Farmers right, so you would think we already eat enough of them. Well, we do eat a lot of veggies, but I want to eat more. I am not advocating a vegetarian diet, far from it, I just want to eat more of what we grow, and have my garden contribute to my overall health.
2 – Continue improving, expanding, harvesting, processing, and using the wonderful plants that grow in our backyard and neighborhood Pharmacopoeia. Whether that be plants that can be dried for teas, used in infusions, or macerated into salves, I hope, when the time arises, to be able to help heal myself with plants that I have helped to grow and harvest.
And with that, I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. I know the seed catalogs are coming in and we are all ready for winter to be done. Make sure to pick a few herbs for the garden this year and put some away to help keep you healthy! Peace & Cheers
….And now for something TRULY SICK!! Here is an animated cartoon made by Steve Cutts. Never in my life did I think a 3 ½ minute cartoon could so eloquently sum up MANs history and relationship with the Earth! Thanks to my buddy Warren Draper for posting this at his website!!!!