Re: [gardeners] Mother's Cooking was Seeds

George Shirley (
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 13:54:17

At 02:19 PM 1/16/98 -0500, you wrote:
>>> >I received the March edition of Kitchen Garden magazine yesterday, and a
>>> >photo of 'Lacinato' Kale (which I hadn't heard of before) shows a vial
>>> >upside down on a stick, balanced over the kale.  Caption says the "cotton
>>> >ball in the vial is soaked with camphor oil to repel cabbage looper
>>I wonder more about the camphor.  If memory serves, it's a pretty toxic.
>>Yup.  Just looked it up.  "Ingestion is harmful and may be
>>fatal";"Epileptiform seizures may be caused through all routes of
>>exposure"  TLV/TWA is 12 mg/m3, STEL 18 mg/m3, and PEL 2 mg/m3;
>>LD50 mouse (oral) is 1310 mg/kg.
>>Medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure: kidney disorders,
>>liver disorders, heart disorders, epilepsy.
>>Given the choice between handling camphor and acephate, I think I
>>might take the acephate.  But I think I'll stick to row cover.
>>Kay Lancaster
>Margaret, do you think the camphor exposure has anything to do with you
>being you (VBG)? I suppose it's akin to being dropped on one's head in
>infancy, or being victims of the hazards of ignorance to which we were all
>exposed at one time or another. Scary. Cheryl
There's a lot of truth to that. My mother used turpentine and "coal oil"
(kerosene) in her witches brews to cure whatever ailed us kids. Nothing
like being given turpentine mixed with sugar and lemon juice to sooth a
cough and then, to polish off the kid, they would put a mustard plaster on
your chest. Common treatment for a nail in the foot was to wrap the wound
with a rag soaked in kerosene or turpentine to "draw" the poison. I had a
ring worm on my wrist when I was about 8 or 9, the doc treated it first
with x-ray, the latest rage in treatments then, and then with a mercury
solution. One of the two killed the ringworm and 40 years later I had a
small skin cancer removed from the exact spot. 

It's a wonder some of us older folk are still around.