Saturday, January 30, 2010
Weeding and squatting
Weeding for prolonged periods in a fully flexed knee position, particularly with strapped kneelers, is dangerous. Popliteal artery occlusion, peroneal nerve compression and thrombophlebitis are all reported, particularly in Asian literature. I thought of this yesterday as I was weeding my permanent strawberry patch. It is a flat patch in the grassy orchard and Mother Nature's plants, consisting of various grasses, plantain ,dandelion,daisy,knotweed,speedwell and clover along with the worst, bindweed and quackgrass are a tough little bunch. I'm sure it is better to have an elevated strawberry bed or, strawberry rows, but one needs space for this. As it is, I will probably, after this patch crops in the late summer, dig the whole works up and select and replant the best plants. In the meantime I avoid a prolonged deep knee bend by going to another job every half hour or so, but it is darned hard to get up from the deep knee squat. I carry the burden of rectitude by using elbow grease rather than herbicides to deal with the unwanted. Some of he unwanted make good compost and the grasses can be used here and there to stamp into bald spots on the so-called lawn. The so-called lawn is mixed grasses so it doesn't mind added variety. So, vary your workload; don't stay too long in this squat position and know that kneeling for short intense periods is good for the soul as well as the strawberries.