Poison Ivy and Photos for Kevin

When I first moved to New Hampshire, one thing that delighted me was that there was so much less poison ivy than where I grew up in Connecticut. Avoiding poison ivy was nearly impossible in my childhood world, much as I tried. Consequently, I had many bouts of poison ivy as a child, including one case where I puffed up from head to toe because a neighbor had burned some poison ivy in his leaf pile and I had gotten downwind of the smoke.

When I arrived in Meriden twenty seven years ago, it was rare to see poison ivy. Between vigilance about avoiding what little poison ivy there was and this general lack of poison ivy, I had many years free of poison ivy problems.

But not anymore. Poison ivy is spreading like wildfire throughout the region. Here at the farm, there is more and more poison ivy in the hedgerows. And despite my best efforts to avoid contact with the plant, I have gotten poison ivy a lot the last few growing seasons. In fact, I have a bad case of poison ivy right now. I seem to get it from the dogs’ fur. They run through the poison ivy and when I pet them, I get poison ivy.

Right now my glass of water is dosed with liberal amounts of Healthy Coat, Breathe, and Outburst. The Healthy Coat and Breathe are excellent for any situation of skin irritation or allergic type reaction like my reaction to poison ivy. Outburst helps with any kind of explosive situation and I consider poison ivy to fit this bill. The Angels also suggested it would be good for me to work with Flee Free more. This helps both animals and people to rebuff all sorts of irritants and pests. They said it would help increase my poison ivy threshold. Will report back.

Sadly, I am steering clear of love fests with Riley and May May in order not to get more poison ivy. They are acting understandably confused by this. I will ask the Angels for some ideas about what I can do about the poison ivy patches the dogs run through most frequently. I would welcome your suggestions too. I am hoping for a non toxic, earth friendly spray that kills the poison ivy but does not hurt anything else. Yeah, yeah, I know. What can I say but “Hope springs eternal”. And you are right. In the fifties, I would have bought swamp land in Florida.

Jim heard on the Vermont public radio yesterday that the reason poison ivy is spreading like mad is that, like most plants, it thrives on the increased CO2 build up of global warming, but that with poison ivy, the CO2 build up also seems to make poison ivy more virulent. It’s just so nice to know that signs of global warming are all around us.

I sit here trying not to scratch and also trying to accept that global warming is a necessary learning lesson for humanity. If I talk with the Angels, they calm me down and help me see that it IS all for learning. As you already know, when I sit with the Elementals, the mood is a bit different.

Speaking of my partners, I have had unusual instructions this year. The greenhouse is full of plants ready for planting, but nothing has been transplanted into the Venus Garden, the main vegetable garden, or the Cherokee Trail of Tears garden spaces yet. My guidance is that it will be planting time all next week, several weeks after things usually go into these gardens.

This could simply be the Angels way to keep me sane. Lizzy graduates from college on Saturday and I am cooking for three different gala events this weekend. This doesn’t exactly leave time for transplanting several hundred heads of lettuce and every other plant baby awaiting life in the soil.

So the next couple of days I will be cooking not planting. I think Lizzy will be glad to see me at Bennington on Friday with dirt free fingernails and my gardening pants retired for a few days. Will also try hard not to look like a poison ivy test volunteer.

And now, I need to go fill up my water bottle with my Flower Essence friends from the Animal Wellness Collection.

PS Vicki’s husband Kevin is doing an oral history project about Green Hope Farm. This has given us a chance to boggle his mind with our stories. Today he wanted photos of life in the office. We took some action shots of us reading the alumni magazine of the school where he teaches. He is on the cover of this edition of the magazine. Since we all have the sense of humor of students in junior high, we thought it was so funny to take these shots of us reading the magazine.


Kevin is the guy on the cover wearing sunglasses. He is responsible for Vicki’s big belly. Baby due in October.


Birthday girl Patricia on left ( her birthday was yesterday) and new Jane have a Kevin moment.

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