Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thinking About Spring

Spring is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. On days like today, when it is cold and dreary, I love to start planning my garden for the coming spring.

You know, I always tell everyone that they should keep a pantry. But the reality is that you cannot store enough food to feed your family forever. The pantry was the stop-gap measure between the abundance of fall and the starvation time of winter when nothing could grown. The pantry is the bandaid  used until the wound heals, be that wound from winter, job-loss, economic collapse or Lord knows what else. It was never intended to carry you forever.

So if the pantry is not suppossed to take care of you indefinately, it stands to reason that it should be able to care for you until you learn alternative ideas for food growing and processing, herbal medicine, etc. With that being said, this is a very good time to start thinking about planning your garden.

I buy seeds every year, but I also save seeds from plants I have grown the previous year. I seldom grow anything - flowers or vegetables - that  is a hybrid. I make a real efforr to grow only open-pollinated seeds, so that I can save the seeds from theose plants for the next years gardens.  Hybrid seeds are "one time growers " - open pollinated seeds can be saved and grown year after year.

Seeds have become quite expensive over the past couple of years, and they will continue to do so. I buy some from catalogs, but I buy a lot of seeds locally. I am especially fond of buying open pollinated seeds at the end of the season, when the seeds are 1/2 off or less. Seeds are dated for 1 year, but they actually are fine to grow for a long time after that with some basic care. You can just put the extra seed packets in a ziploc and freeze them and they will last several years. I would not spend any money at all on the "survival seed kits" you might see on the internet. You can easily buy all the seeds you need for a nice, simple, basic vegetable garden with some extra flowers for $20 or less, if you pay attention to prices.

Before you start buying seeds, think about how much room you have to plant. Will you plant in the ground  or in raised beds or containers? What kinds of vegetables do you like? Tomaotes, cucumbers, beans, corn, peas are all good staple vegetables and are very easy to grow. Will you be supplementing your food bill or will you want to grow enough to help fill your pantry?

There are a lot of really great older books available that are very helpful in discovering how to set up a garden. One of the most helpful books I've ever read is an very old book, originally published in the 1940's entitled "The Have More Plan". This great old book has really stood the test of time, ushering thousands of beginning gardeners and homesteaders into the basics of self-sufficiency. I have created a link on the right side of this gae where you can click and download a free copy. So download it, print it out if you'd like, and get ready for some fun reading. Have a great day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

National Sanctity of Life Day - Sunday Jan. 16th, 2011

This coming Sunday is National Sanctity of Life Day. How sad is it that we have to actually designate a day to consider the sanctity of life? According to Wikipedia,
"In a January 13, 1984 proclamation, President Ronald Reagan designated January 22, 1984 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The date was chosen to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized abortions in the United States.[1]

Reagan issued the proclamation annually thereafter, designating Sanctity of Human Life Day to be the third Sunday in January, which represents the closest Sunday to the original January 22 date. His successor, George H. W. Bush, continued the annual proclamation throughout his presidency. Bush's successor, Bill Clinton, discontinued the practice throughout his eight years in office, but Bush's son and Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, resumed the proclamation, and did so every year of his presidency."

The great American statesman, Daniel Webster understood how important it is to us both personally and as a country to guard against haphazardly disregarding basic, decency and human values when in 1852, he warned,

"If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity."

Mr. Webster was not talking about pro-life choices - indeed, such a concept would have reprehensible for he and his colleagues to even consider. Yet we, as individuals and as a nation consider it daily.

In the United States, roughly 3550 abortions are performed  PER DAY. That is equivalent to 148 children per hour, 2 or 3 children per minute.. Honestly, look at your son, daughter, grandchild or even favorite niece, nephoew or adorable baby in the stroller at the park  ~ can you look that child in the eye and still claim that abortion is a better choice?

This is commmon decency, folks. Let's put an end to the selfishness of abortion and work together to help women find better and more humane alternatives.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Economic Precipice video

Here's a little more information, plus some commentary of Tim's letter to Harry.

Heads Up, Folks - Even Washington is catching On...

Do you have a pantry area yet?
Apparently, the brink of economic collapse is on the minds of Washington, as well as those of us who have been watching the economy, as Majority Leader Harry Reid made a request for Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner to look into the possible effects of default by the United States.

Last Thursday, Secretary Geithner responded with  4 page letter to Majority Leader Reid, outlining dire consequences in the even of US default and  insisting that Reid pursuade Congress to raise the ceiling for the statutory debt ceiling. I would expect that Congress will raise the debt ceiling,, just to keep the economy more or less functional as long as possible. However, doing this means that we will begin to print even more money, which in turn will mean that inflation will continue to rise.

Do you still find economic collapse to be unlikely? Here's a link to the actual letter from Tim Geithner to Harry Reid, dated last Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.

Tim's Letter to Harry
Friends and family, sit down TODAY and make a list of what you think you may need to get through at least 6 weeks. Look at food, medications, cleaning supplies, paper wotels, toilet paper, laundry soap, batteries - everything.

Here's very good, basic tutorial, complete with Excel spreaaaadsheets, to help you get started.

3 Month Food Supply

Please take this seriously, folks. You cannot possibly loose anything by preparing. You could well loose everything if you don't.