Planting a home garden can become a disadvantage due to contamination of food if some basic points are not respected.
Having a home garden is a hobby that has won many adherents in recent years, not only among people owning a small field, but also in limited areas such as terraces and balconies. More for entertainment than necessity, although it may help save on shopping, have a garden at home has become a hobby with benefits if done properly to avoid food contamination.
Use time on a task that it will benefit or see grow their own vegetables are some of the attractions of this activity involving children and adults. However, one of the aspects that motivated to enter the world of horticulture is to get fresh, tasty and natural products that no one else has stepped in and free themselves of large farms chemicals. The goal is to get home vegetables and vegetables and therefore healthier. However, this statement so logical a priori, may become contrary if not taken into account factors that make a healthy garden into a source of food contamination.
Physical or chemical contaminants arising from the nature of the soil or misapplication of horticultural products, or other biological as fungi and microorganisms, whose development is more favorable in plants and damaged fruit can become a vegetable or homemade vegetable in a way of food poisoning.
The main factors to plan and develop a home garden are:
- The floor . Often be filled construction and therefore may contain substances not recommended. Also remains of detergents, industrial oils or previous pesticide treatments can contaminate it . If the garden is extensive, it is imperative that a professional conduct an analysis to dictate their suitability as growing media, as well as indicating how to improve it if necessary. For a soil is considered suitable for cultivation should be deep, airy, well drained, but able to retain water, rich in organic matter and minerals, non – saline and neutral pH nutrients. If far away from this model, it is preferable to use special filling substrate for horticulture and perform, if you work in small areas, raised beds on the ground.These banks cultivation can be delimited by stone blocks, wooden fences, or sleepers. In the latter case ecological preferable because they have not received tarred treatments. In addition, it is essential that the soil is not infected by fungi, bacteria, insects or nematodes, a common occurrence in cultivated soil, which must be disinfected regularly using suitable chemicals for non-professional horticulture or alternative procedures, such as ecological solarization process, in which the free culture surface is covered with transparent sheets and thin plastic.
- Location . A good choice of location for the garden, well ventilated and sunny most of the day, be planted is essential not only to enhance the performance of work, but to ensure a healthy and free harvest rot. Excessive humidity and lack of ventilation favor the development of molds and bacteria that can be harmful to health. Some fruits, like zucchini or melons, need fat in contact with the soil, hence the need to pave the way in this area to prevent accumulation of water irrigation and even put them on a bed of straw or twigs.
- Utensils and tools . They should be kept clean and in good condition. Before saving, will have to withdraw land carefully and dry them. Cutting tools should be maintained sharp to avoid inaccurate cuts and tears that generate problems in plant tissues.
- Seeds and seedlings . When varieties of plants to be cultivated are chosen, you must learn before their requirements, especially in terms of need for water and sun. The choice must be adapted to the availability of each. Purchase seeds and seedlings in expert centers ensure product quality.
- Irrigation water . It is convenient to use the network of drinking water , as it will ensure their good health status. If this is not possible, many orchards have a water tank or water collection tank. The risk is that the water is contaminated by the material storage container, which will bring you no foreign substances, or by decomposing it drowned a small animal such as a mouse itself. Also well water should be analyzed to know its composition. The uncontrolled irrigation water is a major source of pollution, so it should be monitored continuously and ensure keep it in good sanitary conditions.
- Containers, window boxes or pots . They are used as containers to plan orchards in small areas or on terraces and balconies. It is the most popular choice in cities. In addition to their size, you have to look at the material. Some ceramic clay pots, especially vitrified or decorated with paintings could transmit farmland unwanted substances, such as certain heavy metals .
- Pests and plant diseases . As a general rule, a pest or disease developed in a crop plant affect product quality and wholesomeness as food, so be priority avoid both pests and diseases. It is interesting to learn in each case, depending on the plant variety, its most common to detect alterations. If the pest or disease has developed, reference should be made as soon aspossible to a specialist center (garden center or agricultural cooperative) to diagnose the problem and fight it . Plant tissue destruction will origin of other secondary contaminations by microorganisms. In some cases, must be removed from the growing area or damaged plants remains.
- Fertilizers and crop protection products . Homemade organic fertilizers may contain significant bioburden contaminating the product. If necessary, treat the plant with plant protection products and should always follow the instructions of the manufacturer, especially in terms of quantity, mode of application and waiting period before consumption.
Some of the vegetables will be consumed raw, with no other sanitization process that washing. This should remove traces of dirt and dust, insects or other small animals, in addition to the potential burden of microorganisms. Therefore, it is advisable to add a few drops of suitable bleach for disinfection of food and drink, leave a few minutes and rinse thoroughly.
A garden at home carries a surplus in production: the harvest comes at a time and family employment is not sufficient for total consumption. The vegetables to which the inedible parts removed should be kept refrigerated. If storage is prolonged, it is preferable freezing, chopping and blanched (blanched in boiling water), then package and label (range, date …) to consumption off-season.
HUERTA and Toxoplasma
The practice of gardening can be a source of contamination of toxoplasma , therefore, you should use gloves when handling the earth and wash your hands after this task. A cat may deposit the parasite in the soil through their droppings. Another route of contamination is ingestion of contaminated food: poorly washed vegetables and raw meats poorly made. For its serious consequences, toxoplasmosis should be avoided, especially during pregnancy – ultrasound nyc published.