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When the temperatures soar into the triple digits, you know that you need to take it easy, but how do you know when you can keep going a few minutes longer, or when you need to call it quits and seek the shade? In this oppressive heat, you need to know the early warning signs of heat stroke, so you can get out of the hot weather and take steps to protect yourself.

Heat stroke is a serious danger, and it is not something you should ignore. If you experience any of these heat stroke warning signs, you need to seek help right away.

Dizziness and confusion – If you suddenly feel dizzy or experience feelings of confusion, you could be experiencing the early states of heat stroke. The excessive heat takes a toll on your entire body, including your brain.

A throbbing headache – Headaches are a common sign of heat stroke, and often this kind of pain is the first symptom. If it is hot out and you experience a sudden headache, it is time to head for the nearest air conditioner.

Muscle cramps – The sudden appearance of muscle cramps is another early sign of heat stroke, and another one you should not ignore. These muscle cramps can happen when you are working in the hot sun, or even when you are sitting still.

A lack of sweating – When you are working in the heat, sweating is normal, and you should be concerned if the sweating stops. Sweat is your body’s way of cooling itself off, and when you are unable to sweat, your body temperature could quickly reach dangerous levels.

Shallow breathing – As heat stroke progresses, you may experience rapid shallow breathing, with can lead to shortness of breath. You need to seek medical help right away if you experience this serious symptom of heat stroke.

Rapid heartbeat – If you are experiencing heat stroke, you might notice that your heart is beating faster than it should. Rapid heartbeat is one of the most serous signs of heat stroke, and it is one you should never ignore.

Working outside in the summer sun can be wonderful, but it is important to know when enough is enough. If triple digits are in the forecast, you need to pace yourself, limiting the amount of time you spend outside, drinking plenty of fluids, and seeking the shade, or the nearest air conditioned room, when you start to feel too hot.

If you experience any of the heat stroke symptoms listed above, it is important to seek help right away. Heat stroke can be very dangerous, and delaying treatment could have serious consequences.

by beconrad

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Preserving: Herbs in Oil

I’ve already discussed the main ways that you all can keep your harvest fresh for months to come but another product of your farm that I haven’t talked about is your herbs. I don’t give them much thought considering most of them grow so fast, but I still think that a proper preservation method should be available to everyone.

Even though it would be magical if you could simply store every kind of herb that comes your way, it’s not really possible. Even if you could do it, it’s impossible to retain the flavor and taste of soft herbs, such as mint and basil, if they’re frozen because they taste best when added fresh. Luckily, you can preserve most hard herbs by freezing them in oil.

If you’re wondering why you can’t just freeze the herbs as they are, it’s due to the burn and loss of flavor that it can cause. Plus, herbs are most commonly used in dishes like soups, roasts, and stews during the winter months, when you can’t really grow them in your garden.

With these dishes, you always need some oil to begin with, so having herb-infused oil to cook vegetables and meat lets the flavor fuse into every ingredient that you use. Now, here’s how you can freeze herbs such as oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme, in oil.

You’ll need to start by using the freshest herbs available so make sure to use ones that are freshly-picked from your garden. Clean the herbs thoroughly to remove any dirt and then place them on a towel so they dry indoors. Take the herbs and chop them finely if you prefer to. This can help the flavor fuse with the oil better but not to such a great extent. So if you prefer, you can freeze them in leaves with a bit of stem. Or, you can freeze a mix of whole and chopped herbs.

Take an ice cube tray and make sure that it comes with a cover so that it keeps the smell from affecting other items in your freezer. Place herbs in each division and fill them to about two-thirds of the height. Pour oil of your choice, such as olive oil, the extra virgin kind, or neutral canola oil. If you don’t have oil at hand or plan on cooking other kinds of dishes that don’t make use of oil, you can melt unsalted butter and pour it over the herbs. If you don’t have a cover for the frozen herbs, you can cover it with a layer of cling wrap and place the tray in the freezer for the night.

The next day, remove your cubes of oil and herbs and place them in plastic bags. Remember to label what herbs and oil were used on each Ziploc bag, and don’t store them all together to prevent smells and tastes from mixing. This is how you can preserve your hard herbs over the winter. Simply remove as many cubes as needed, and add them to your pan for an instant burst of flavor to your meal. You’re welcome. Happy Farming!

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