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Foot Care Guide

Routine Foot Care: Daily Tips To Keep Your Feet Injury-Free

Routine Foot Care: Footwear Fundamentals

Too Much Time In Your Boots Can Mean Too Much Sweat And Odor

Treating Common Foot Issues
  • Dry/Cracked Skin
  • Blisters
  • Aches And Pains
  • Calluses
  • Fungus
  • As farmers, we spend a lot of time in our work boots. Those boots are usually well-insulated, which is great when you’re traversing a muddy field, but not so great when it comes to allowing your feet to breathe. This issue gets especially bad in summer, when your feet are likely sweating more than usual.

    While it’s great to do everything possible to prevent excessive sweat, it’s also true that sweat is a natural, unavoidable part of life.

    What you can do is prevent the build-up of moisture in your shoe, which leads to stinky feet and eventually stinky boots. Here are some tips to help.

    • Avoid foot powder. Many people automatically turn to foot powder to reduce foot sweat and odor, but most brands contain cornstarch, which becomes a breeding ground for fungus when it’s wet. Instead, try inserting activated charcoal, kitty litter, or another absorbent material into your shoe overnight to soak up odors.
    • Wear breathable materials. Unfortunately, the same materials that protect your feet from moisture can also trap the moisture from your own sweat inside your boots! However, some materials are definitely more breathable than others, even if they’re waterproof. Try wearing a boot with a natural, breathable surface material, such as natural leather. Synthetic, artificial membranes trap sweat and bacteria.
    • And breathable socks, too. Cotton is not your friend here. Cotton socks absorb sweat and trap moisture, among other problems. Instead, you want the type of socks that athletes wear – performance socks, heavier than cotton, but still made from natural materials such as merino wool.
    • Wash up often. This might seem obvious, but keeping your feet clean will definitely cut down on the stink. Wash your feet with a strong soap daily. For a treat, you can turn this into a miniature foot soak to give your muscles a break.
    • Foot deodorant. There are lots of natural products that can double as a foot deodorant, such as coconut oil, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and lavender essential oil.
    • Antimicrobial linings. In addition to buying boots with a breathable lining, you can look for a pair with an antimicrobial lining, which kills the bacteria that cause odor.
    • Change your socks. No, it’s not excessive to change your socks more than once a day. Changing your socks is a quick and effective way to get rid of sweat and odor, since that’s where the sweat usually begins. So if you’re feeling icky, change ‘em out.
    • Alternate boots. If you can swing a second pair of work boots, make sure to alternate them daily. Alternating your footwear is useful because it allows your shoes to fully dry out over a 24 hour period, which prevents the build-up of sweat and odor.
    • Dry your boots properly. After you’re done with work, store your boots in a light, ventilated area so that they can air out properly. Bacteria thrive in damp, dark areas, and bacteria = stink. If you don’t have a second pair of work boots, and they’re quite sweaty, try stuffing them with newspaper or invest in a boot dryer.
    Up Next:

    Treating Common Foot Issues: Dry/Cracked Skin

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    Fixes: Protecting Your Crops from Seasonal Frost and Freeze

    Frost and freeze can cause terrible damage to your crops, not to mention it has you feeling anxious about your crops the entire night. Luckily, there’s a way to protect your crops from falling victim to frost or freeze, but first, we’ll have a lesson in what these phenomena are in the first place.

    Frost and Freeze

    Freeze is what happens when the temperature in the environment is below water’s freezing point, which is 32 o F. Obviously, the water inside your crops and plants has the same freezing point, and so it freezes, causing the cells to burst. This leads to severe plant damage that can’t be fixed.

    Frost, on the other hand, occurs at a temperature that’s below freezing. The temperature of your crops reaches the freezing point, even if the temperature that surrounds your crops is approaching 32 o F. Since the surface of your plant crops is already at the freezing point, then any dew that forms will automatically turn into ice, causing distress to the plant. You may have seen frost in the form of hoarfrost, the feathery shape of crystals that cover your plants, and rime, which is what happens when dew from the plants turns into frost upon being released.

    How To Protect Your Crops

    You’ll need some mulch (make sure it’s organic), a mallet, row covers or sheets, wooden stakes and some containers of various sizes. An integral part of farming is not just taking effective measures when the temperatures go down, but predicting such conditions beforehand. Check a weather forecast for low nighttime temperatures and water your crops adequately a few days before the frost is expected to occur.

    Your crops will be less susceptible to harm from the cold if they’re well-watered and aren’t wilting. Since your soil will be nice and moist, your crops will stay well protected too. Spread your choice of organic variety mulch in a thick layer over the soil in case there isn’t any mulch placed already. If you’re trying to protect young plant crops from the frost, you can cover them with layers of light hay or mulch.

    Take your wooden stakes and place them into the soil while making sure that the tops of plants fall below the tips of the stakes. Use row covers or sheets to place them over the crops and wooden stakes but remember that your sheets shouldn’t touch the plants. Bring the sheets to the soil level and cover them with more soil to keep them from lifting and allowing the chill to enter. If you have smaller crops lying around individually, cover them with a container but place a small dish with water inside so that heat is provided.

    If you want, you can set up some lights (like fairy lights) under the protective sheets so they give off some heat to your crops. The next morning, you should remember to remove the row covers, sheets and containers from plants. That’s because sunshine will kick in soon, and leaving the covers on your crops would put them at the risk of overheating.

    Practice this effective routine every time you’re anticipating the frost to keep your crops protected. Happy Farming!


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