1 2 3 kitchen/domestic bins and at right-angles are the A1 A2 A3 annual bins which take the more noxious crap - thistles, dandelions, couch grass - in the pious hope that 3 years of microbial activity will kill them. About a month ago The Beloved bought some fancy seed potatoes which have been chitting in the back-porch. They'd better get in the ground soon, or I'll eat 'em. Accordingly TB started to clear a square of ground that once-had-been a spud-bed but had been fallowed for several years and was now a sleeping-beauty of brambles and nettles. Cleaning that generated a whole hape of 'dirt': dockens, dandelions, buttercups and rank grasses which meant I had to turn the dreaded annual bins to make room for this year's weeds.
Now that's all the background. The point I want to make is that the rake is an amazing tool for removing weeds. Gardeners know this and have long since ceased to reflect upon the fact. Non-gardeners won't care. Struggle-gardeners like myself get better and better at making the tool sing, or at least zinnng through a flower-bed or seed-bed. The deft final twist that throws the weeds together and leaves the good earth in place - wonderful. But without our hands there would never be any gardeners - you cannot garden with hooves: damned hard to hold a rake for starters. The down on the knees gardening that you need to do at some stage really needs those fingers to separate the
handful for the bad weed-bucket.
One final thing about gardening and handwashing - don't! Even with gloves your hands take a pounding when gardening. They are designed by about 10 million years of evolution to work, and work hard, grubbing and rubbing, pushing and shoving; grasping and pinching. Young apes, humans included, have remarkable powers of regeneration in the skin of the hands. Didn't need, or get, soap or detergent; yet a good night's sleep and the hands were ready for the fray the next day. They have a natural protective lube . . . which along with everything else as we age, dries out and becomes less fit for function. Soap and, heaven forbid, hand-cream screws up the homeostatic feedback loop that keeps the the palms and finger pads protected. In short order nothing works without hand-cream and the share-holders at Johnson & Johnson spring happy capers all the way to the bank. If you get sick from eating your dinner with earth-dirty hands, I will eat my