Potato Grow Boxes

pbox13This year I was going to plant “garbage can potatoes”.  If you haven’t heard of this method it goes like this: plant potatoes in a garbage can, add 8 inches of dirt and when the plant grows out of the dirt and is 8 inches tall, add another 8 inches of soil and so on.  This method is supposed to yield about 50 pounds of potatoes in the garbage can.  An alternate method is to use old tires, a bucket, or a large trench that you continually add soil to.

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Survival Seeds in a Can-9 Years Later

"Vintage" 2000 Nitro Pak Survival Garden Seed Can
"Vintage" 2000 Nitro Pak Survival Garden Seed Can

I, like some of you, have in the past purchased canned or packed “survival seeds” that are advertised as if they can be saved and planted when disaster hits.  Mine came from Nitro Pak Preparedness Center and were packed for 2000 (yep, that’s 9 years ago).  We didn’t get into the Y2K scare, so it’s really just coincidence that that is the year they were packed for, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one that has a can or two of these seeds sitting on the food room shelf waiting to plant them until I “need” them.  They are non-hybrid seeds, meaning they produce seed that will grow the same plant it came from when it is planted, so you are supposed to be able to harvest your seeds and grow more food next year with it.

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Skills as a prep

A few weeks ago a guest author on a popular preparation blog discussed the value of gardening as a resource. He put forth the opinion that while he enjoys gardening as a pastime, the decision as to whether to engage in it should be based solely around time and cost. Citing the inability to move a garden in an emergency and the amount of labor required to get to harvest, he concluded that it is better to save your seeds for a bug-out and expend today’s efforts and money on a trip to the grocery store. “It’s all about time,” he says, “not a skill or desire.”

A few weeks ago a guest author on a popular preparation blog discussed the value of gardening as a resource. He put forth the opinion that while he enjoys gardening as a pastime, the decision as to whether to engage in it should be based solely around time and cost. Citing the inability to move a garden in an emergency and the amount of labor required to get to harvest, he concluded that it is better to save your seeds for a bug-out and expend today’s efforts and money on a trip to the grocery store. “It’s all about time,” he says, “not a skill or desire.” Continue reading “Skills as a prep”

Self Reliance Class April 7th in Spanish Fork

Taught by Debbie Kent who is a preparedness/food storage specialist in her stake in California. Debbie has taught numerous classes on every aspect of preparedness and has consented to share the latest up to date methods and ideas on how we can each secure what we need for the future.

Self Reliance Class “On the Road to Preparedness”

Taught by Debbie Kent who is a preparedness/food storage specialist in her stake in California. Debbie has taught numerous classes on every aspect of preparedness and has consented to share the latest up to date methods and ideas on how we can each secure what we need for the future.

Tuesday April 7th at 7:00 p.m.

Spanish Fork South Stake House
1240 South 1158 East
Spanish Fork, UT

Here is the PDF handout for the class. [Download not found]

Gardening resources (local and mail-order)

Gardening in Utah can be a wonderfully enjoyable and productive experience. Knowing how to get started however can be a major deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are a number of local resources we can rely upon in order to help us to get started on the path to productive, self-sufficient gardening.

Gardening in Utah can be a wonderfully enjoyable and productive experience. Knowing how to get started however can be a major deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are a number of local resources we can rely upon in order to help us to get started on the path to productive, self-sufficient gardening.

After doing some research myself, here’s my garden fertilized and tilled, ready for the first planting next week:

2009_garden_ready
If you are interested in getting started, keep reading for some recommendations on local resources.
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Starts for the Spring garden

Ten days and counting. Boy do I have spring-fever. We planted lettuce, broccoli, carrots and two kinds of peas Monday night in our starter trays and by this morning they had already sprouted and pushed their heads up through the soil. I will be moving them outside on the fourteenth. I tried two approaches to see which would perform better. Half the seeds went in a 72 cup Jiffy Greenhouse Kit and the other half went in biodegradable peat pots filled with seed-starting potting soil and covered with cellophane.

I found the Jiffy Greenhouse Kit cumbersome, but it does appear to be performing better than the pots I filled with soil by hand. The peat pellets in the kit are compressed and dehydrated and come as small wafers. Before use, you must rehydrate them with an eighth a cup of water and slice open the top of the fabric that holds them together so that you can get the seed inside. The raised plastic lid also appears to be regulating the humidity better than the cellophane on the others. The cellophane is also going to have to be removed once shoots get much higher than the edge of the peat pots.

The only real obstacle that I foresee is distinguishing between each of the plants while they are young as my toddler has removed my markers.

Adding to your long term supply using dehydration

Someone sent me these great videos on dehydrating food and using it in your food storage. The woman in the presentation is very knowledgeable about the subject and shows the correct way to dehydrate, store and use your food while helping to avoid some of the common pitfalls along the way.

These videos have changed the way I think about dehydrating food at home. Many of the tips about using oxygen absorbers, buying buckets, etc. are useful for other types of food storage as well.

Give them a thorough watching, take notes and let us know what you think.

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Home Gardening Course in North Mapleton

MAPLETON NORTH STAKE HOME GARDENING COURSE

Saturday, February 7 – March 14, 2009 –

Be prepared to grow large crops of delicious fruits and vegetables in your own garden. In this six week (2 hrs. a wk.) course you will learn all the basic principles and practical gardening methods which make home gardening easy, enjoyable and productive: including varieties, planning, planting, soils, mulching, tilling, control of weeds, insects, and other pests, climate, watering, fertilizing, pruning, and fruit tree culture. You will come away with a “green thumb”.

The instructor, Gordon Wells, is the author of Successful Home Gardening, the 120 page textbook, which is free to all students. He has a Masters Degree in Agriculture from University of California, Davis and has taught home gardening for many years. (For questions about this class call 423-2655.)

When:

Saturday, Feb. 7 – Mar. 14, 2009 (6 classes)

Time:

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Location:

1600 North Main in Mapleton

Gardening: Getting Ready for the Season

pottingsoilAll the authors on this site are avid gardeners and like any gathering of gardeners, we all have different approaches, best practices and preferences. This planting season will be the first one that we’ve had this site running so you can expect a lot of posts from us on our gardens! Each of us will be writing posts showing you how we grow our gardens and we’ll hopefully have some great guest author posts as well.

pottingsoilAll the authors on this site are avid gardeners and like any gathering of gardeners, we all have different approaches, best practices and preferences. This planting season will be the first one that we’ve had this site running so you can expect a lot of posts from us on our gardens! Each of us will be writing posts showing you how we grow our gardens and we’ll hopefully have some great guest author posts as well.

The New Year brings many exciting opportunities – one of the most exciting for me is the opportunity to start a fresh new garden! It’s hard to sit patiently by and wait for Spring to kick Old Man Winter’s behind so we can get out there and start turning the ground and planting. The best way to pass the time is to strategize: Are you going to plant more or different crops from last year? What plants would you like to put in? How will you lay out the garden? Are you going to use the same gardening approach as last year, or try something new?

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Prepping for Prepping

Prepping – it’s an endless activity that has few rewards, and those rewards often are not close in payout to the amount of time and effort that went into them. The interim rewards in prepping include not having to run to the store constantly to keep your food stocked. When you’re a Prepper your grocery store is in your own house, going to an actual store is akin to going to a warehouse to get resupplied. The other reward is great personal satisfaction and comfort in knowing that you are ready for anything – well, almost ready – there’s ALWAYS something else that can be done. The big payoff rarely comes for a Prepper – and that is when things get bad enough that you’re able to make it through it solely because you were prepped. This lifestyle, with it’s small rewards and rare big payoff, can be tiring – even overwhelming at times.

Prepping – it’s an endless activity that has few rewards, and those rewards often are not close in payout to the amount of time and effort that went into them. The interim rewards in prepping include not having to run to the store constantly to keep your food stocked. When you’re a Prepper your grocery store is in your own house, going to an actual store is akin to going to a warehouse to get resupplied. The other reward is great personal satisfaction and comfort in knowing that you are ready for anything – well, almost ready – there’s ALWAYS something else that can be done. The big payoff rarely comes for a Prepper – and that is when things get bad enough that you’re able to make it through it solely because you were prepped. This lifestyle, with it’s small rewards and rare big payoff, can be tiring – even overwhelming at times.

Continue reading “Prepping for Prepping”