Archive for May, 2009

Crabapple twitter for the week of 2009-05-31

  • Stepped on a wasp. Thank goodness for plantain spit poultices! #
  • Rest peacefully Juliette de Baïracli Levy. #

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Crabapple twitter for the week of 2009-05-24

  • Late frost. #
  • Off to cover the frost-tender plants! #
  • Our neighbor’s eggs with seven herbs from the garden. (Savory, parsley, marjoram, thyme, oregano, tarragon, sage.) Good morning! #
  • Surprised at the extent of the frost damage on my spearmint. #

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Crabapple twitter for the week of 2009-05-17

  • Frustrated that the USDA plants site is down. #
  • At an herbal consult last week… Client: Can I make my tinctures with moonshine? Me: Why not? (I love being an herbalist in West Virginia.) #
  • So glad Matt Wood included tuliptree in the New World volume of the Earthwise Herbal! #
  • Wondering where the hops will climb, now that they’ve reached the porch roof… #
  • Trying to fix my poor hacked blog. (Thanks, Ellen, for letting me know!) #
  • On my way up the mountain with plant-geeky friends! #
  • So excited about the lovely calamus patch I found on the mountain today! #
  • Our neighbor’s eggs with our other neighbor’s scallions and a morel from yesterday’s walk on the mountain. #
  • The boy is an ice-cream-making fiend. This time: rose petal. #


Crabapple twitter for the week of 2009-05-10

  • Glad to find so much chicory in the barnyard this year. #
  • Feeding my little tomato and pepper seedlings some well-rotted cow manure. #
  • Braised beef heart is lovely on a cool, rainy day. #
  • Oh, my, bamboo shoot season is here in earnest! Here’s what I did with them last year: (That and some mustard pickles.) #
  • Off to the farmers market! #


Crabapple twitter for the week of 2009-05-03

  • Dandelions, dandelions, dandelions. Wine, syrup, oil, tincture… yum! #
  • Redbud! Dogwood! Honeysuckle! Glory be to springtime! #
  • Trying to find the time to write a real blogpost. #
  • Out of homemade sourdough… making rolled up “sandwiches” with huge spinach leaves. Yum! #
  • Brought my tomato seedlings inside. (That wind is fierce!) #
  • Ethicurean’s “Aporkalypse now!”: #
  • Theorizing the obvious about swine flu, Mexico, and antibiotics. #


Mexico, flu, antibiotics, and death.

Everyone seems to wonder why people are dying from the “swine flu” in Mexico, but not in other countries where the virus has been confirmed. (The one US death was a little boy visiting from Mexico with unidentified “underlying health issues.”)

I have a theory. Or an idea. Or a question.

It is common practice in Mexico to self-medicate with antibiotics at the first sign of illness. (Antibiotics are widely available there without a prescription.)

Antibiotics kill bacteria, including commensal bacteria. 

Commensal bacteria are an important component of the human immune system.

So, are people who self-prescribe antibiotics for a viral illness compromising their immune reponse to that illness?



(If you’re interested in coverage of swine flu, especially as it relates to factory farming, check out The Ethicurean‘s Aporkalypse Now series.)

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