You’ve survived another weekend after the Zombie Apocalypse. I hope supplies are holding out and no z’s have found your location.
Now you’ve been officially initiated into the Zombie Apocalypse Farmer Corps (ZAF). If you attended the first class but did not pre-pay for the entire course, be sure to contact me and let me know if you’ll be back for next week’s discussion on tools and fortifications! 304-843-1170 or Karen.Cox@mail.wvu.edu.
Have you gotten your survival garden laid out? I hope you’ve picked a place where you’ll be safe while planting, weeding, and picking. If you need more materials to get your garden started we have lots more. Bring back your bags, or any container you have, and load up at the next class! You want this pile of debris to be deep, 3-8 inches deep! Remember, you can use anything other than meat and dairy, but cover up a thin layer of veggie scraps with a thick brown layer to prevent the stench! By the way, this will look awesome as newly planted grave for Halloween; just sprinkle the top lovingly with a bag of compost until no ‘ingredients’ can be seen.
Something we forgot to discuss in class was another danger to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse in an urban area. Not only is the population higher and thus more dangerous for zombie interaction, we also have to worry about finding good soil that hasn’t been polluted by mistakes of our past. Don’t garden where anyone has dumped oil or other vehicle fluids. These things pollute the soil with poisons and should be properly recycled while the living still rule.
Another problem, especially when gardening close to an older home is lead paint. The dust that comes off cracked lead paint is more dangerous than the paint itself because it can get into your lungs and go straight to your blood stream. It can also land on your beautiful fresh veggies. If you’re gardening near an old house it would be helpful to test the soil for lead. Not to worry if those testing facilities have been overrun by zombies, plants don’t take up lead or most other harmful soil pollutants related to old housing areas. Using our sheet composting method or a raised bed actually buries the old dust and paint chips that have come off the house over the years. Be sure to check out your ZAF handbook for more information!
If there is a danger of lead dust or other toxic soil pollutants take these very simple steps:
1) Always wear gloves. This not only protects your skin, but will help keep you clean when water is a highly sought after resource.
2) Always wash your hands and clothes after working in the garden. If the washer is off set these clothes aside as “zombie gardening clothes” and keep them away from small children and new or soon to be moms.
3) Always wash your hands after gardening; oops did I already say this? That must be because it’s important. Even if you have those awesome yellow Zombie Apocalypse Farmer Corp’s gloves you got at the first class, you still need to wash your hands.
4) Always wash your food before eating it. After all, even if there isn’t lead dust on the food, a zombie may have drooled on it. YUCK! This is a good idea even if you get your veggies from the local Farmers Market or the grocery store. Who knows what that head of lettuce or carrot bumped up against from the farm, to the packing plant, to the truck, to the store, to the shelf, and finally to your home. One single contaminated hand can cause major problems.
5) Finally, I repeat: Always wash your hands and thoroughly rinse your fruit and veggies!
See you Thursday! Don’t forget to bring your gloves and your ZAF handbook!
Your Zombie Preparedness Expert,
WVU Extension Service, Marshall County