Down and Dirty with Rachel

Nov 17, 2023 | Experiences, Information

Fire the weathermen. Hire my knee. The other evening, my knee was swollen, which is a good predictor of rain. Apple Weather had clear skies the entire following day. It sprinkled on me when I was running the next morning. I once impressed a host sister in Morocco when I told her there would be wind or rain the next day. We got both. I acquired the skill most often associated with gramps and grannies sitting in rockers on their porches at age fifteen, when I tore my ACL. Any doubts I had about their ability to predict the weather fell away.

Our environment affects our bodies in ways both good and bad. I am listening to a podcast mini-series, Body Electric, on how technology has changed our bodies. The average person today has bone density half that of people from hunter-gatherer societies. Myopia is becoming an increasing problem as more people, especially children, do near work and spend time on screens. It is not just our bodies, but also our minds. Most people will feel much more relaxed and energized after a stroll through the woods than a day sitting in front of a computer.

Yet, if we pay attention to what we see and feel, we can use these influences to our benefit. An old wives’ tale goes that when there are contrails in the sky, it will rain in the next few days. My observations have corroborated this rather new old wives’ tale. In the garden, pay attention to what your plants tell you. They are the best indicators if they are getting too much, too little, or the right amount of water. Watch where the sun and shade fall throughout the day and year. This will help with your plant selection. Each place is different.

When someone asks me if a garden practice is a good idea, often my response is, “If it has been working for you, keep doing it.” Pay attention to yourself as well. You want a garden that makes you happy and relaxes you. If your knees creak every time, you get down to tend a bed, it may be time for raised beds. The knees don’t lie.

Last month’s puzzler:

There is, in the English language, a 7-letter word that contains 9 words without rearranging any of the letters.  What is the word? (Adapted from Car Talk.)

Last month’s answer:

Therein (The, he, there, her, ere, in, here, rein, therein)

This Month’s Puzzler:

A group of people are in a room. Everyone is wearing either an orange or an indigo birthday hat. Each person can see the other people’s hats but not their own. One of them shouts, “If you can see at least 6 orange hats and at least 6 indigo hats, raise your glass!” Exactly 12 people raise their glasses.

How many people are in the room? (From Cuemath via The Guardian)


Rachel Zweig is our Sandoval County Agriculture and Extension Agent