Lately, our family has been so very sick with one thing after another and it has become more than just an annoyance. We made a list of potential issues that could be affecting us:
- Dirt: We had a yard full of it and dogs and cats coming through all the time. Many of the parasites that the boys pick up are from dog poo, so we knew that was definitely an issue. Shoes was an obvious solution to us, but it’s very, very hard to get children to wear them all the time. Especially my children, since they have the same aversion to shoes that I do.
- Water: This is a possible issue. We don’t drink tap water, which varies drastically in quality depending on when they feel like dropping chlorine tabs into the tank. Some stuff, like giardia, which we recently had, is not killed by chlorine. We buy purified water but let’s face it, there’s no guarantee those five gallon jugs are anything but tap water and since we keep getting things like giardia, I was getting suspicious.
- Food: We eat a lot of salads and lettuce is supposed to be one of the most easily contaminated and hardest to clean veggies around here. I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about how fields are watered with raw sewage (which would explain the giant carrots available here) and I always peel what I can and soak things in bleach water. But maybe it’s not enough.
So, with those three big factors (there are other smaller ones, too, which we’ll be working on), Irving and I sat down and figured out how to combat them. Our first move was to eliminate the dirt issue. We did the concrete which you saw in the last post. We still have some dirt, but not much and once the lawn is in and the flowerbeds planted, there will no walking on it.
The concrete is easy to hose down and has made cleaning the bathroom easier, too, since I can actually just hose that down, too. In addition, we are putting in a gate to keep dogs out. We can’t do much about the cats yet, since they run around the top of the wall, but I’m not so worried about them since they do tend to stay up high.
We also invested in a water filter. I want one for the whole house eventually, but for now, we have one that attaches to the kitchen sink and we can use it or switch easily to regular water for other tasks. That eliminates my worry about potentially contaminated water and the most likely source of giardia.
Finally, I am setting up a container garden and using a ton of ideas from Pinterest to start growing the most dangerous foods myself. That will allow me to ensure that they are grown safely. I’m starting with a wall garden for lettuce, but herbs, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and other veggies will be close behind.
While we have other ideas in mind, these are fairly easy to implement (well, most have already been implemented) and if nothing else, at least now we don’t have dirt in the house all the time! And happier kids, since they have more space to play. Hopefully we will see an overall improvement in health, as well.