Well, it is March and everyone in my house is feeling better after the last round with viral infections. I swear I coughed so much last week that I actually lost weight. My abs are still tight!
Today we are dealing with another problem. Our local CAFO spread manure in the field behind our property on Monday. We had a lot of snow up there and things warmed up pretty fast Monday evening and Tuesday. Well, Tuesday morning I got up, used the potty, washed my hands and smelled - you guessed it - poop soup in my water! The stuff coming out of my tap was brown, stank and left an oily residue on my hands. I used Purel (gel hand sanitizer that we generally only use for camping) but my hands still stank at 3:00 that afternoon. We had the DEC and the Dept. of Health out here this week and are waiting to find out what happened and whether or not the farmer was in compliance with his CAFO agreement. After doing some research, I suspect that even if he was within his general CAFO regs that he did not follow winter spreading guidelines which require CAFOs to consider precipitation and temperature forecasts, slope of the land and proximity to running water when manure is spread in winter.
Regardless of whether the farmer was right or wrong, I can't shower, wash dishes, do laundry, bathe my kids, cook, dye, paint, brush my teeth or even water the dog with what is in my well right now. Talk about being totally out of commission. AARGH! Luckily, we live close to some very supportive friends and family so we are getting fed and bathed and my friend, Chelise, even brought us a big chunk of her water storage. We have about 30 recycled juice bottles filled with water lined up under the kitchen window and are reserching to determine what kind of water filtering system we will need to put in to prevent this type of disaster in the future. So much for that tax return I was getting all excited about. Looks like our Spring educational trip will end up being a lesson in installing filtration systems.
If you are wondering what a CAFO is and how I feel about living near one, you should read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver is my favorite living novelist and she also happens to be a scientist. Her book is about American foodways and how our habits are endangering our long term well being. Also, you should look at these photos to see what was spread on the field and was slipping down our yard and into the St. Regis River on Tuesday afternoon. BTW - in case anyone gets hot headed about my daughters investigative reporter photography - she didn't have to leave our property to get the photos.