January 13, 2011
Hi Folks !
I was going to write about something else this week,
but with all the events occurring in the country and around the world,
I have changed my mind.
This is about preparing:
My friends and family have been hearing me spout for two years or longer,
some think I am nuts, some think I am prudent. Par for the course…
The way I look at it, is the childhood “stone soup” story.
Somebody will have a kitchen and fuel, and utensils, somebody will have carrots etc.
The communal meal.
For one it is fun, it is educational for children as they love to be hearing stories from adults.
Good community, good help for some, good company for the lonely winter.
Everyone gets their fill.
I built a HUGE addition on my home, so that we could all live here if push comes to shove.
Went from a small 26×37 one story log cabin to a 2.5 story 5600 ft2 with an upstairs master bedroom that is 30′x 30′ 18′ high ceiling, and 4 car under garage. massive 10x 20 office, and 10×20 master bath.
I could fit quite a few people here, good for visits and holidays, and if someone needs shelter/hand up.
The neighbors wondered if I was building a dance hall or a church :)
While I am preparing and storing, I can guess that it probably wont BE enough.
I am discouraged at the quality of food at the stores,
the prices are crazy, you need a loan to buy a steak.
Will it get worse ?
In the short term yes,
The massive printing of clownbuks combined with the reduction of US oil production will make fuels skyrocket.
Just as in a weather event, and in a crisis the stores are empty,
they will be totally empty in 3 days with no fuel to deliver.
While we will have fuel it will cost a fortune, and that will be reflected in food delivery costs, and ultimately transferred to we the consumer.
How high ?
I will answer with a question, Does it matter ?
Only the foolish can argue against the fact that all costs of everything will go up.
It has done that MY entire lifetime, regardless of economy.
We can argue philosophical points and various reasons that we pretend to know about,
but it is a waste of breath.
The reality is everything goes up, we have allowed “the system” to make it this way,
and have given the power of the purse to people we have no accountability from nor power over.
Your vote can modify that.
Every Generation, has the same struggle to “get ahead”, and we even let them tax what we are able to gather and pass on via the estate taxes. Granted most of us do not trigger the tax threshold, but WHY should there BE a threshold in the first place ?
Every family strives to make the next generation better off than we were. Passing assetts on, is Part of that.
You can attempt to live outside of “the system” but there are realistic facts you can’t avoid.
Taxes being one of them.
You can reduce your bills to zero, and STILL have a hefty tax bill every year especially if you own property.
( You are supporting Teacher’s unions and an amazing number of “guidance” councilors !IMHO, we could disband schools give each student 50K a YEAR ! for private schools and MAJORLY reduce property taxes !)
So you need an income to meet the tax obligation, which incurs yet more taxes.
A vicious circle, and WHY we have opposing parties,
in an attempt to get some sort of equitable representation.
NONE of that will alter our need to eat and have “healthy” food, and everyday things we consume.
Methods of preparation:
Believe it or not, I first heard about what I will call “The Mormon Method” way back in the 60′s. It was the Osmond family, notably Donnie and Marie when on talk shows they would talk about family life. I first heard about their using a three year storage and rotation. Makes sense, Prudent, and built in savings and preparedness.
I also read a book, “Cheaper by the Dozen” the story of the Gilbraith family.
THAT book is a delightful read, and has stuck with me my whole life. It influenced me in many ways.
Two favorite vignettes are when father, who is an industrial efficiency expert, demonstrates the proper and expected way to take a bath, so that all 12 could be washed and ready for bed or school in a reasonable amount of time.
The other story was that it was known, even then, how much time one spends in each room of the house. A surprising amount of time of our lives, is spent in the bathroom, and as such father would use the inside of the bathroom door for educational purposes, posting notes, sayings, and my favorite -a piece of graph paper with one million squares so that they would see and remember what a MILLION looks like. I took that to heart.
Later in my life, my goal was to read the bible cover to cover and at least comprehend it. I kept and keep a copy of the bible next to the readers digests, and have since read it from cover to cover MANY times !
It is a copy, the family bible is elsewhere. I don’t care who may find it offensive or not, my goal was to read know and understand it. It worked, and over the years a surprising number of study hours has accumulated. Which lead to more study, so I consider it a useful practice for study. I did the same with Unix manuals when attempting to master Unix. It works. try it.
( I found it rather amusing when at gitmo the prisoners were outraged that their book was found on the back of a toilet- at least they were allowed the book, and considering time spent, a good place to read) The book is an object, the holiness is in the words and intent, in your hearts and minds.
In all honesty, I started that practice “in self defense” and for practical purposes. I had noticed, after many years, that when I was “astray” and not living properly or as the good Lord intended, that I would end up stranded on the road. Not just stranded but facing MILES of walking.
Amusing to me now, it was NOT at the time. I literally walked hundreds of miles with frequency and involuntary, no matter what I did or prepared for if I was not paying attention to my spiritual life I would inevitably find myself walking in all weather. It took me quite a while to catch on too.
The last time years ago, was a 20 mile walk that started in the wee hours of the morning and ended late in the afternoon crawling the last few steps to the door, as the boots I had on, the nails had worked thru the heels. Blisters and sores galore, I slept for a week. Make no mistake He will find a way to get your attention, lol I was kinda thick headed. So if you see a guy walking along a deserted road, flailing his arms and seemingly arguing with himself, you will know that I am having it out, or rather being instructed *) ,
but let me tell you, I DO everything in my power NOT to be in that situation !
Ok, The way I look at it, you want at least a three year supply of the normal stuff you consume.
An adult male under stress and physical work can consume 2,000 to 2500+ calories a day, an adult female 1,800 to 2,000+ Under 1,000 calories and your body goes into starvation mode and stores energy, if the exertion and stress continues, those stores are used up and muscle is broken down for energy. No such thing as ‘empty calories” everything has some caloric value. The quality of the vitamins and amino acids in “good” food, most likely has effect on your longevity, or development as a child. There are also studies that clearly show that a low caloric intake does effect your longevity – it extends your life so long as you get the vitimins, minerals and building blocks your body needs.
Water is essential, everybody needs a liter a day or more- it should be clean and microbe free. You want scent and detergent free chlorine bleach for use in water purification. Many gallon jugs, you use two or three drops per gallon and let stand for a while.
Go to a scientific supply house:
http://www.labdepotinc.com/c-534-glassware-kits.php <– what I am talking about, you can take mud water from a tire rut, boil it and condense the steam to end up with
Clean drinkable distilled water. While it’s all glass and breakable, it is perfect for taking nasty unknown water source, and making drinkable water !
Look for the coming LED 102 where I will outline another method for killing the microbes using UV LEDs ! Caution has to be taken when using UV or you can go blind and it doesn’t eliminate the microbe, it just destroys it’s reproduction genetics, Distilling is the ONLY way to remove everything from water.
Boiling only Kills microbes, you can still have a reaction to the dead microbe in your system. !
The easiest thing is to take your grocery receipts for the last year, and make a list of the things you buy and maybe even a tally.
Most don’t save receipts, I save everything so it is easy for me.
Besides the obvious canned goods of every vegetable you eat, Really, list out the things you LIKE to eat even the “goodies” comfort food.
Maybe even list out the things you would LIKE such as baking and desserts supplies, even if you don’t do it now, you could always trade items.
If you are reading this you are using a computer, I STRONGLY recommend creating either a webpage or a spreadsheet.
List out your inventory AND it’s location and date. So you can EAT from your larder, track what you use and replace that when you find sales.
For a few hours work, you can save significant $ on your food and supplies !
Meats are a difficult thing to store long term, my recent experiment of 2 frozen turkeys was successful I bought them at $0.72 cents a pound last year, (1.29 a pound this year !) and put them in the freezer and took one out thanksgiving, it was fine, moist and even the little temp pop out worked, no part was freezer burnt, so you can get a year in a good freezer. I also had no long term power outages, critical to think about if you have a chest freezer with a years supply. (A small FULL chest freezer will add $10 a month on your electric bill)
I even had corn on the cob that I blanched and froze during the summer, that’s good for 6 month to a year.
So to be safe, I’d say meats are good for 6 months to a year, beyond that and they are probably good only for stews.
There are MANY books and websites on the subject of storage including emergency essentials- our advertiser, read up, this is not an attempt to replace that info.
Think about bread. The staff of life, hated by many of the modern diets and carb counters, I have always felt it rounds out a meal.
Personally I go thru a loaf a week. Sandwiches and dinners. I like to bake and so now bake my own bread. takes about 2 hours, a decent Sunday project.
Bread machines I suppose make it easier, I never tried one. you can add in dried fruits for added nutrition, or roll the dough out and add cinnamon and brown sugar or other fillings and roll it back up for fun breads. There’s a bazillion and ethnic varieties of bread, get creative.
More to the point, is bread yeast. I found that you can produce your own yeast much like a sourdough starter, so you can eliminate
Buying of yeast. I suppose you could even dry out a batch you grow, and store that for later use, although I haven’t tried it yet.
Care must be taken with the starter brews as you are essentially mold growing. White yeasty smelling solutions are fine, but any color change or smell is indication of a bacteria living in the mold. (the same is true of molds you find in walls and basements. the white stuff is “healthy” any other color, orange to black, means a bacteria has infected it, and could be VERY nasty for you. ( Basement cleaning: 50/50 bleach and water solution wets it down will neutralize it so you can clean it up, wear a good mask and don’t raise dust including vacuum dust, you can infect your household vac if you use it for this purpose) )
bacteria in a yeast or sourdough starter, means throw it in the mulch pile ! and start over.
http://www.selinanaturally.com/Celtic-Sea-Salt-Brand-Sea-Salt-C3.aspx Better than heart attack salt, it has minerals as well
http://beprepared.com/category.asp?c=79&name=Superpails&start=0&bhcd2=1294956920 <–5 gallon pails a great value, and great food.
So you will have a three year DATED supply of food. Cans, and jars. the cooler you store it the longer it lasts. It cannot freeze. And cannot heat up in summer.
Metal or glass or airtight plastic containers only, NO cardboard. and if YOU put it in a jar, dip the jar after filling, the lid in paraffin to wax seal it.
You will want say, a ten year supply of canning jars lids and the screw tops. A worthy investment even if you don’t grow your own food.
Tomato sauce is good for a year, as are most other veggies even if only boiled and not pressure cooked.
You want other things like salt, sugar, oils, and especially spices. Powered chocolate, shortening, baking power and baking soda. Gelatin.
Flavorings like extracts although you can make them your self.
Besides food, you want soaps, paper goods, and other household cleaners. you can make most of the cleaners your self with a combination of soap ammonia, white vinegar, and bleach, not necessarily in the same container, and be careful of some mixtures as the chemical reaction is HEAT IE: A guy got caught here after burning his house down, he had drilled cavities in his roof and put drano, mixed with rain it produced enough heat to catch the roof on fire. other concoctions produce toxic fumes: bleach with too much soap produces chlorine gas deadly in concentration. However a batch mixed up for window or task cleaning that gets used up is FINE.
If you read the ingredients of your favorite brand of cleaner you can easily see that you can mix it up yourself from the raw chemicals,
I wouldn’t try some of the heavy duty cleaners but simple stuff is fine and in the long term healthier for you and the house.
So Bleach, vinegar and ammonia and soaps in bulk will preserve your lifestyle and keep everything clean.
Shaving creams and razor blades. I still have an old double trac ultra razor and a bazillion blades, I can get SEVERAL months on a blade by simply shaving IN the shower, it also saves 15 minutes of time that way too, the heat of the shower makes the beard softer and easier to cut, so it doesn’t really matter how sharp the razor is. I have gone 6 month to a YEAR on a single blade, and that is good as they don’t make my brand anymore so I’d have to switch.
The cheap plastic throw aways are a waste of money if you ask me.
A good alternative would be the old straight razor nobody uses anymore they can be sharpened easily and stropped to wicked sharp. Razors and blades could be a good barter item when the SHTF
I will admit that when I first change the blade I will take the time to shave at the sink, as it is a pleasure to get a good close shave and have some mirror time…..
Toilet Paper, TP, bumduster, whatever you call it, it is a modern comfort if you consider the alternative.
My History teacher told me this story. He is left handed. He taught in Africa as a youth. At the dinner table they didn’t use forks and knives like we do so he was happily eating and looked up and folks were obviously grossed out at him.
He later learned that the left hand is used for wiping, the right for eating. ahh cultural differences are wonderful to learn.
I prefer scott tissue, it has more on a roll, and hence the roll lasts longer., It is not as soft at the other brands, but works fine.
I found the other brands are expensive, and don’t last as long, a double whammy. The other consideration is the septic tank, white tissue breaks down and doesn’t inhibit bacterial growth necessary for the tank. Colors, perfumes and thickness can cause tank issues.
The alternatives are not pleasant, rags that are washed not a fun chore, bare hands that are washed, almost any other paper is NOT suitable to flush on a septic tank, and paper napkins can clog the toilet and drainpipe as well as the tank. thin cheapo paper napkins are the best alternative if care is taken not to clog the toilet and pipe. the hand while not the norm here, is perfectly acceptable, as long as you wash and clean under fingernails It would make sense to keep a NORM and use only the left, so the right is for eating…..Probably why we shake hands with the right as well.
otherwise, normally you go thru a roll per person a week. 3 years is 156 rolls per person. a considerable space for a family of 12 !
I could imagine a scenario where TP is a major barter item, if not a valued gift. So stock UP !!
Boots, shoes, walking/hiking shoes for adults are prudent buys. Most are plastic made in china these days, and not repairable even IF you could find a cobbler.
I go thru a pair of shoes and boots a year, faster if working or walking more. Sadly even putting in cardboard for holes worn thru soles is not possible as the upper most likely separates from the sole first, they make them so cheap these days. Tall rubber boots for wet and mud only last a season.
Proper sized shoes are essential for children, Gait issues can arise, and deformed feet were the norm 75 years ago because shoes were not affordable. My father had badly deformed feet from wearing whatever was available. So even if you don’t have children, purchasing a pair or a few pairs in different sizes will be a great gift to a child during hard times.
Socks are pretty much the same issue, they are throw away items once a hole appears. a LARGE supply of white tube socks kept tucked away will be a boon during hard times, I say white as they are the best for walking as the dye in other colors can aggravate blister infections, if you really needed a color, you could always dye them to suit your requirement.
I save old socks as they make great cleaning rags and are adsorbent for messes and oils. washed and stored, I tie them in a knot to tell the difference.
Underwear, was invented to save clothing…obviously. as such they too have become the norm and are throw away items. They don’t last too long, and the waistband breaks down in bleached water, nothing worse than a loose fitting pair !
I buy all my clothes shirts, pants, underwear, tee shirts, and socks in two week supplies. I found it more efficient to do laundry every two weeks rather than every week, and it gives me a good time buffer as to WHEN laundry day is. On the off weeks, towels, and bedding and other material are cleaned easily without being married to the laundry room.
I bought a 5 gal pump bottle for soap years ago at a bulk store, I buy soaps whatever is on sale, and use a funnel to dump into the bulk container It makes it easier to measure it as two pump strokes is generally enough soap for a load. A bluish tint on the dryer walls is an indicator of using too much soap. It is said we use altogether too much soap as they are majorly concentrated these days. I also buy the any color bleach liquids too, I like to run things with a dab of bleach to get things really clean. So color safe bleach is a great invention. I don’t use softeners at all, and dryer sheets sparingly, and even reuse them until they begin to disintegrate. A dryer sheet makes a good drawer scent freshener. Although I wonder about all the chemicals in them.
I wear my clothes until they are rags, and wear those for messy jobs like painting. no lack of rags around here for cleanups.
I save ALL denim, as you can make all sorts of things from the material.
Dress black pants and dress white shirts 10 of each, make a two week work uniform, albeit boring, but easily to clean on the weekend and frees a LOT of time for other things. They are easy on the road too as hotel laundry generally can do them easily and they come back fine.
Everything else is flannel or cotton, I save what I can, to be made into simple blankets later.
Suits I will wear until semi ratty, although my belly tends to outgrow them first ,
I give those away to shelters as good work clothes gives a person the first step.
I have the same jackets I have had for years, winter, fall/spring, summer.
Leather jackets last for many years as do denim.
If I need a jacket I look at goodwill first. For preparedness I would suggest a good fluffy down jacket for subzero weather, and a good pair of leggings. A “monkey suit” insulated carhart although $70-80$ is the best investment you can make for outdoor work/survival added with a jacket or two you will be warm in most conditions.
Even if you don’t drink, alcohol is a valuable barter item, Wines for cooking, whiskey and vodka can be used as antiseptics and mixed with medicines or herbs mixed with them to MAKE medicines. Vitamins, medicines, first aid and advanced items, should be inventoried from your current medicine cabinet you can store them in the freezer or fridge for extended life, talk to your pharmacist as some compounds break down into undesirable chemicals over time. Any special medicine you need for ongoing conditions. Use caution, education, and extreme judgment here, you don’t want to do more harm than good,
Children are NOT just small adults they require special consideration with ANY medicine.
Multiple bottles of hydrogen peroxide, alcohol (remember it is Flammable !) Vaseline tubs, creams, Noxzema for cleaning and good for sunburn. many cartons of Epsom salts. Scent paks and bars for baths, skin so soft from Avon not only a good bath material it is great mosquito repellent ! Poison ivy soaps calamine lotion, Benadryl, triple antibiotic creams.
Multi paks of screwdrivers are barter items, and we all know when you need one, you can’t FIND one. Just about every handtool in your toolbox would be good doubled or quadrupled for many years of tool availability. Blades, and other consumable parts and pieces are good investments even in good times as tools go out of fashion and no longer produced.
Fasteners like screws and nails in varying sizes are cheap in 25 & 50 pound boxes. I don’t recommend keeping caulking on hand as it cures over time. Same with paints and thinners, find a local recycle paint place, the latest fad is to mix paints together to make grey paint for resale. Consider using grey, black or white, where possible,as they are cheaper colors and easily made in bulk.
Sewing tools, needles, threads in every color, yarns, hooks and knitting needles are valuable, pattern making and patterns are useful. Bolts of materials can always be found for some purpose. stuffing materials, buttons, zippers, Velcro.
Various glues and adhesives, Bondo for car patching, fiberglas materials, resins that you mix to make, Consider tires enough to last 10 years, or the life of the vehicle. Oil and fuel filters as well as the oil itself. Washer fluid (you can make yourself with a little antifreeze. antifreeze, cleaners, air filters. Use your judgment, most are hazardous materials, and you have to LIKE to do the work. It can extend the life of your vehicle, and save a few bucks.
I don’t drink coffee nor tea but I keep them on hand for visitors. Coffee could be a poor mans gold in tough times. snacks, creams, candies, peppermint can be used to settle stomachs, more than just comfort they can be portable energy. Energy bars and powdered shakes, while I am not a fan of sports drinks, some are useful during illness especially Gatorade. Any of the electrolyte balancers in liquid or powered form.
HATS, GLOVES, and MITTENS There’s no such thing as enough gloves as when working you go thru dozens of pairs.
Kleenex for those who use it.
Tooth brushes-MANY, I include them as comfort as you can live without them, none of us change them as often as we should, we WOULD miss them if we had the choice of $5 toothbrush or food.. tooth paste many tubes (does it EVER go bad ? it may dry out but still useable) MANY rolls of dental floss, can even be used as thread for rugged repairs, even wound stitches. Mouthwash, although you can make your own.
Fuzzy material for making critters for children, or whole stuffed animals you find cheap. Decks of cards can always be used for time wasters/amusement
Books and paperbacks. I am lost without a book to read, my personal library is 6,000 volumes and growing, many reference books they are good trading and good knowledge, analog entertainment. Book sales are everywhere, libraries regularly change inventory, yard sales etc.
Portable radios, keychain lights, flashlights-you can never have enough flashlights, at least one for each room. At least one headlamp for each person and dozens of rechargeable batteries. a large battery charger as well as a solar power charger.
Blocks and blocks of paraffin, for candle making and sealing of jars, even waxing boots for waterproofing. Wicks if you make candles. Good candles are the large jar type votive candles, they are made to last 7-14 days 24/7. another good candle is the paschal candle made for churches the plain white 3-4 foot tall, if used with a “follower” to make an efficient pool of wax, these will last a LONG time if used nightly and kept from breezes.
Here is a good source: http://www.cathedralcandle.com/use_care.cfm and
http://www.churchcandlesonline.com/blank-paschal-candles-p-286.html?osCsid=e3670fbbf4f4d67b1c78bc56e7e4141e <–a favorite source… http://newcart.candlesandsupplies.com/Store/Products/Candles/PID-RM-BP.aspx
Finally, home grown food.
Chickens are easy, a good husbandry chore for kids, you get eggs and chicken for the pot.
My only reluctance is the wisdom of allowing bazillions of people living in a city to have animals on small plots of land.
Portland Maine recently passed a law allowing chickens within city limits.
If you think about it, the flu generally comes from third world countries where people live in close vicinity to their animals. It gives the virus the chance to bounce between species. Are we setting ourselves up for a superbug ? I read today of a Genetically modified Chicken that is resistant to the flu, so that may be an option.
Chickens that are free range and feed on bugs yield rich eggs and meat.
On a farm all the animals are far away from the farmhouse. Separate environments.
Beyond that, chickens and pigs and even a beef cow are easy keeping, and worth the investment. You will want a vet and shots, and proper care and feed. Grain fed is always better than garbage fed for good meat production. You also avoid all the antibiotics they feed them to fatten them up, so when you get sick, the antibiotics WORK for you ! Short of keeping them yourself, a deal with a farmer, or someone with land could be very useful for good healthy meat.
A victory garden of food is well worth the time and trouble. a Good family enterprise, it teaches many lessons.
A good supply of manure well rotted, is a good start, as is a compost pile, bin or bucket. you can take any previously edible food or liquid and dump it in the compost, well turned every day or week, maybe even add lime and other dressings, you will not have a smell nor flies.
a good rodent and small animal fence will help a lot for small gardens, otherwise a bit of overplanting will help your local wildlife. An investment in one of these is well worth it:
makes a good annoying meat-on-a-truck salesmen repellent too !
Seed: with the new food law, you may want to get some of these seeds right away before they are outlawed.
When buying seed, you want what is called heritage or heirloom seeds, they are open-pollinated and non-hybrid meaning if you plant a few extra plants and let them mature until their seed cycle, you can harvest the seed to use perpetually. You can even grow them JUST for seed to trade. Most are not genetically modified, as in nobody spliced in genes to make a better plant, so you may get some oddballs, and at times have bug or disease issues, but that IS part of gardening anyway. Rotation and/or clean pots eliminates most of it. As does the fallow period of letting a field ‘rest”.
Part of the food law issue is that it helps just the big agro business. food safety not so much. most food will pick up e-coli if you water it regularly with infected water. However, most of us don’t use HUMAN manure for fertilizer.
( if you think about it China DOES, you don’t hear of massive deaths there WHY ? )
We wash our hands before handling food, and wash the food. It’s the raw foods that are the main issue, and feces infected water use. Almost all of the infected food cases come from outside the US where the darn law doesn’t reach anyway. YES, there are animal strains of e-coli as well, so, dropped food must be washed and it makes sense anyway to use WELL rotted manure or burn roots and have e-coli and other issues.
The BIG deal with the food law is that it sets us up to be regulated by the UN or other powers, and inserts more disincentives to be growing locally thereby making us dependent on imports they regulate aka tax. It sets the big agro companies up for continued profit as they sell the hybrid seed that is sterile, you would be lucky to get a second generation to sprout from a hybrid veggie that has seeds, and you would most likely NOT get a third generation to sprout. There may also be issues with genetically modified seed. At any rate in farm country, it cross pollinates and can render your crop a hybrid of sorts and carries with it whatever issues they did not foresee in the labs.
While some of that science of food has merit, we DO produce the largest yields and regularly, it has also killed the small farm, and made huge populations dependent on stores and a few source large scale farms.
They accept “diversity” in everything except our food as they want to control that as well. It will result in even more hunger in the world, and criminalize the local farm stand or even neighbors exchanging fruits of their labor. More importantly it will set us up so that some “world” dept of agro will tell us what we can and cannot grow. Causing even more strife.
No give me millions of backyard victory gardens, with literally TONS of food produced.
We have been doing it since the country was founded.
I have never heard of a massive outbreak of ANY disease nor even a small outbreak because neighbors exchanged crops.
Tell your senator and representative to repeal this offensive law, it should be unconstitutional at the least.
My favorite sources for heirloom and non-hybrid seeds:
Simply grow an extra row or two for seed bearing, and you will have seeds for trade and food perpetually !
There ARE families that have been passing seeds down for generations, where did you think the MANY varieties of tomato come from !!
You don’t need land, you can grow in containers, 5 gallon buckets, plant pots, even simple soil filled garbage bags. You can grow on balconies, rooftops, in garages and inside the house using new LED lamps. For LED the Blue light strip in LED 101, is good for plant growth and leaf building. The RED strip mimics the red wavelengths of late summer and tells the plant to grow it’s fruit. simply mimic the almanac of hours of light and day, and you can have fresh tomatoes year round ! Use led, battery and a solar panel, and it costs zippo after equipment investment.
At the very least, your garden can grow the expensive herbs and spices. you could save a fortune. Chive, basil, chamomile for tea, rosemary, thyme, sage, and parsley is the easiest to grow. I always plant radish just to get something to harvest early. You can even grow the medicinal herbs and learn to make your own extracts.
Just have good prepared soil, and use as little pesticides as possible. You can use MANY organic methods to keep bugs and disease down and sometimes simply hand squashing the bug and it’s eggs is just as effective. ( they release panic pheremons and others stay away ! you could even gather a bunch an puree’ them and spread that ! )
Just remember that whatever you use, it ends up INSIDE the plant and eventually in our water.
Rotten manure and fish “tea” is a great thing for plants when getting them growing, you can buy it or make it yourself. Simply cut back several weeks before harvest, or when fruit begins to appear.
Don’t forget flowers, some are edible like the pansy, all are great dried in hand made arrangements, great personal gifts.
I don’t have a lawn. I go for walks inthe fields and note where wildflowers are, and come back in the fall and harvest seedheads. I spread them around the yard and I have free flowers all summer long. It’s also a great excuse not to have to mow the “lawn” A bit more bugs, but color firing off all the way to fall is worth it, A simple walk in the yard and I have a boquet for the table or a friend. No fiddling with gas, a noisy mower, maintainence of motor, raking clippings, although I do rake in fall and spring for tree leaves and yard chaff.
Fruit trees can be ornamental and provide food. most take 3-5 years to bear fruit and most grow everywhere you can buy local.
Nut trees and even acorns from oaks can be roasted and a high protein snack
The black walnut tree produces the valuable walnut AND the first 16 feet of log, is highly valuable as a veneer wood planting the black walnut would be a boon for your grandchildren to cash in, several thousands for the first two 8 foot logs.
Up here gardens attract all sorts of edible “nuisance” critters including deer, and after checking with the warden, you can harvest them too !
Around this time of year the great entertainment of the season is when the seed catalogs begin to arrive, many a conversation and dreams are started as people plan their master garden, next month the first of the seedlings are sprouted, and so begins the great renewal and hope for the next season of life.
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