Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Guidelines for managing a community garden

I remember when I lived in Wash DC, there were pretty large community gardens dotted around town. On Saturday, you could see people dragging hoses to their little plots, chatting, and generally having a great time.

There seems to be a little farmer in most people.

But growing communally, especially in dirty cities, can present health issues.

Now some researchers at the Univ of North Carolina have developed some guidelines for preventing unsafe practices.

Enter this in your browser... https://growingsafergardens.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/foodsafetywebcurriculum-10-24-12.pdf

For one thing, gardening means working with your hands--and unwashed hands can tranfer E. coli and other baddies to food. Since people gardening know they are not applying pesticides, they may not wash food thoroughly. So it's best to wash your hands before harvesting produce.

The researchers also wondered if these guidelines would alter behavior. They looked at 20 gardens--and even gave them hand soap to address the above issue.

Significant improvement was found not only in handwashing, but in assessing previous contamination of the ground and checking the safety of the water supply.

Now the scientists are considering other methods of education--such as webinars and YouTube videos--to see if additional improvements can be achieved.

Glad they are looking out.

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