Homemade hand and face cream. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Using COVID-19 downtime in the garden

David will quote an old Farsi saying: “Lick up the honey and ask no questions.”

By Mary Lowther

David will quote an old Farsi saying: “Lick up the honey and ask no questions.” The timing of this present enforced isolation period coincides nicely with a busy gardening season, so I’m using this shut-down as an excuse to spend most of my time in the garden.

Although Country Grocer plans to keep their shelves stocked as much as possible, I won’t be going there or anywhere else for awhile, so my biggest concern is getting fresh vegetables onto our plates. Fortunately I’ve saved pea and bean seeds, squash, canned tomatoes, pickles and jams from last year as well as seeds that I can sprout. Pea shoots and sunflower sprouts make dandy greens when grown in flats of soil in a sunny window. We still have leeks, spring onions and overwintered kale and what looks like cabbage growing in the garden.

Wild greens like dandelions will be sprouting soon, but I think I’ll grow my own this year and sow them again in the fall with a few other greens like spinach and see if they sprout early next spring. Slugs don’t seem to like dandelions.

Studies have shown that digging outside in the dirt exposes us to immune-boosting friendly bacteria, and the fresh air and exercise can only make us more resilient to disease.

In the meantime, since many of us cannot leave our homes for groceries, an online farmer’s market will do their best to deliver food to your home, using a sliding scale fee based on the ability of customers. Customers place orders from Friday at noon until Tuesday at midnight, and on Wednesday orders are harvested. Please contact Cow-op.ca for more information.

I make my own face and hand cream to use after gardening, and these days since I’m washing my hands more frequently, I use the cream after every wash to prevent skin breakdown. Here’s the recipe:

Hand and face cream

1 ¾ cups oil (I use a combination of various oils)

¼ cup grated beeswax

2 tablespoons glycerine

1 ½ cup green tea

2 teaspoons borax

¼ teaspoon oolichan grease (see note) or other fish oil

½ teaspoon lecithin granules

30 drops of your favourite essential oil (I like grapefruit)

Directions: Heat the oil, beeswax and glycerine in a double boiler until beeswax is melted. Remove from heat and stir in lecithin. In a separate bowl dissolve the borax into the green tea. Join both liquids together in the bowl, add the oolichan grease or fish oil plus the essential oils and whisk until fluffy. Pour into jars. I keep one out for use, give some to the kids and store the rest in the fridge.

Note: oolichan grease is fermented fish oil.

Please contact mary_lowther@yahoo.ca with questions and suggestions since I need all the help I can get.

Columngardening

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan schools being stymied by outdated student contact info

If you haven’t heard from the school by week’s end, get in touch

Sweet treat helps make Chemainus Health Care Centre workers feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

Cowichan Valley food banks reopen on a limited basis

CMS handing out hampers, Basket Society doing hampers and sandwiches

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

COVID-19 essential workers can apply for B.C. pre-school child care

Parent referral opens, providers offered emergency funding

Most abiding by COVID-19 rules, back fines, arrests of those who aren’t: poll

But 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures

Walkers, grocery store customers courteous with physical distancing in B.C.

Some cyclists also acknowledge each other and walkers as well on a wide trail

B.C. worker advocate group calls for more sick days, protected medical leave

COVID-19 highlights need for changes to workers legislation: Retail Action Network

Most Read