Also, the seed starting bug has bitten, checking prices of peat cups in the stores and I’m appalled by the scalping prices. And peat is not really a renewable resource. So I feel back to a technique I read of years again. Using eggshells for stater cups. This is not without a mishap or three. I selected some of the larger farm eggs I have, then I gently (not gently enough with the first couple ) tapped them against the bottom of a coffee cup. I wanted to break a hole in the large end, big enough to pour the egg out into a hot skillet. After a few try’s I achieved moderate success! Yea me! Afterwards, I rinsed the inside of the shells and let them dry.
If you have a garden filled with vegetables, or you have decided to buy a lot because they’re on sale, then there’s a huge possibility that you’re thinking of what can be done to avoid your excess veggies from getting wasted.
For fruits, there are a lot of best juicers on the market, that it’s not that difficult to use them all because you can simply turn them into fruit juices. However, it’s a different case for veggies. Thankfully, there are a number of ways on how you can make good use of this, and here’s how.
American pioneers pushing westward had to save their own seeds for next year’s planting if they wanted to grow anything again. I applaud people who are learning to garden today, but if you don’t learn to save seeds and start your own seedlings from them next spring your gardening skills won’t help much in hard times when the cheap seeds and nursery plants sell out at the stores. Fortunately, many seeds are extremely easy to save if you just let them develop fully, watch for the right time to harvest and dry them out for next year.
I thought I would offer some suggestions for those who enjoy and use gardening as part of their preps. I don’t have a huge garden; as a matter of fact, it is fairly small in terms of square feet.
I did produce a tremendous amount of food out of that space last year as I concentrated on growing plants that produced a lot of food for the space involved. Here are my thoughts on plants that give best production for the space.
Let’s start with a comparison in the human vitamin world. The government gives us minimum daily values for nearly all vitamins. However, manufacturing companies sell vitamins in much higher doses then the minimum recommend by the government because taking the higher amount makes people feel better. Vitamin E comes to mind for me. I take 400 mg every day because it helps me with pain but the government states the daily value needed is only 15 – 30 mg. (Not sure these numbers are correct, I looked up the daily value stat up on the web and found many different values. I combined them all in the range I displayed here.)
All ‘preppers’ or ‘survivalist’ know that the only seeds you should be saving are from heirloom plants. But is that really accurate? I have a different point of view. There may come a time when you are faced with a barter opportunity and the only thing offered to you is hybrid seed. They may be carrots, green beans, squash or tomatoes or something else entirely. Do you turn down the barter because they are hybrid seeds? What if you no longer have any seeds from that vegetable?
My answer is “it depends.” The simple fact is some seeds saved from hybrid plants make very acceptable second generation plants able to produce good quality vegetables/fruit. The trick is if you don’t practice saving seeds from hybrid plants now, you won’t know which ones are viable and which aren’t.
Everyone knows that you need to practice your gardening skills now, before the world ends. However, how are you implementing that practice? Did you purchase your seedlings from a store? If you have bugs in your garden, do you reach for the Seven? If a plant dies, do you run to the store to get another one? Did you purchase commercial manure or garden soil to ‘plus up’ your soil this year?
As we all know, this isn’t sustainable. My idea of survival gardening is to take all necessary actions needed to overcome the need/desire to run to the store when I have a gardening problem. Running to the store won’t be possible when the world as we know it ends. Survival or sustainable gardening takes work (and planning), a bit of knowledge you may not currently have, and a different mindset. I propose a four prong approach for you to consider implementing.
I have been a Master Gardener for 26 years and I still have failures. It is natural. For example, my tarragon seedlings all died this year. My answer to that is to start them again or live without tarragon until next year.
For months, I have been wondering, just how in the world am I going to put meat on the table if, at some point, I have no attractants for deer or other creatures. I spent hours trying to figure out how I was going to do it and I thought that it was going to be impossible.
That is until I was in the garden the other day and I began to think about the deer that, when I do not put out Irish Spring and other soaps to repel them, come through my land. My mind kept focusing on the fact that when they are not repelled and therefore find a reason to hang around, such as foraging through my garden to eat every tasty thing in sight, they become the pest that I most do not want to have around.
After posting a photo of my new raised bed garden frames in last weeks “what did you do to prep this week” post, I received several emails from readers asking if I had built my frames using treated lumber and they then proceeded to inform me of the health risks involved with the use of treated wood in my garden.
One readers email gave a dire warning to the effect that I would surely die from the first bite of produce taken from the garden if treated lumber was used to construct the frames because arsenic would leach into the surrounding soil and into my food, then kill me when I ate it…
I would like to thank you for your concern, it is appreciated and noted. And to answer the question, yes, my new raised garden bed frames were built using treated lumber but I’m not concerned about it… not even a little bit.