barter, canned meats, cool weather crops, evaporated milk, farmers almanac, heirloom seeds, last freeze date, plant in plastic containers, plastic containers, saving seeds, seed barter, straw, straw for gardening, straw insulation, straw retains moisture, survival gardening, warm weather crops
I guess I’m not alone on seeing the implications of the birth of the North American Union . We don’t stand alone on the Creator endowed rights to protect ourselves with the weapons of our choice, but when the North American Union is fully in place your unalienable rights will be gone. Remember you have no rights as a U.S. citizen, only privileges. Keep your powder dry and stock-up while you can or join the slaves that will result. Better yet, strength is in numbers; form or join a militia for defense and start will people of like mind.
For the majority of us, money is tight, I love to re-cycle trash into useful items. One conversion is 2 liter soda bottles to start new plants in, it beats the cost of buying peat-cups. This idea doesn’t work well with row crops, but does with melons, squash, globe artichokes, tomatoes and peppers, and works quite well. With the cap still on the plastic bottle, use a knife to start a hole and continue with scissors to divide the bottle nearly in half, throw out the top portion with the cap. Turn the bottom section upside down and using the knife put drainage holes in the bottom. Turn the bottom back to being the bottom and fill with dirt to 2 inches from the top. Pack the dirt down, put in the seed, and cover to the right depth as directed by the seed packet. My soil has a lot of clay in it, so before I start I take a bucket outside, fill it part way with dirt and top it off with peat moss and mix the two materials well. This helps break up the clay and makes it easier for the plant to sprout through the dirt. Keep the soil wet enough for the seeds to sprout.
When the new seedlings have a second generation of new growth, you can transplant them to the garden. Just make sure that you are past the last freeze date for your area. Here is an example for Dublin, New Hampshire . But the form will work for anywhere; drop about quarter of the way down the page and you will see (along the left) “Location” put in your city and state and do a search. Prior to the last ‘frost free date’ you can still plant cool weather crops in the same fashion, examples are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, and row crops to plant; peas, onions, garlic, radishes, potatoes, carrots and spinach to name a few. Cool weather crops can take a freeze, but usually not below 28 degrees F. In my area (6,000 foot elevation in southern New Mexico), I can harvest fresh spinach from a fall planting until it goes to seed in the early summer of the next year, by taking the leaves only.
If it is safe to plant, (check 10 day weather) take the seedlings outside and with scissors cut the plastic into four sections to a point near the bottom. Then cut diagonal cuts until the plastic is about to fall away. Prepare the hole in your garden area and remove the plant and place it where it will continue to grow. I remove the plant as low as I can from within the plastic container, making sure not to expose the roots to the air. Besure and water the plant after transplanting it. Part of surviving the coming years is to grow fresh vegetables so that you get the maximum nutrition from the foods you eat.
PS: April 21: If you have followed the above, you are probably ready to transplant. Make the hole to transplant a bit bigger and deeper than what you need, you can always put some dirt back. Depending on how well you remove the plant from the plastic 2 liter soda container, the bottom may have large ridges, level them off before transplanting, you don’t want air or a cavity with air, under the plant as it may damage the roots. I usually just crush them flat. Place the plant in the hole, pack the dirt around it tight, and be sure and water it. There are commercial products that contain B-1 to help in the transplanting, I never bother using them.
Saving your own seed, if it is heirloom seed, is another practice that saves money. Here are two videos that show you how. I don’t freeze the seed. I don’t save seed on winter squash as they have a tendancy to crossbreed. But in an emergency, I would use them anyway. Seed would also make good barter items.
The time to start gardening is now. If you have a house with land it really is time to start because it gets the soil ready for a time when you will have to depend on gardening for food. You will also have the needed tools and if you garden organically you will have worms to do part of the work for you. If you live in an apartment you can still garden in pots or join a community garden in your area.
If you live in a dry climate, purchase a bail of straw, putting down straw adds organic material as it rots and keeps the soil moist a lot longer. Spread the straw out around your plants trying to avoid the furrows where you are going to water. It you fill the furrows you will have to water using a sprinkler. In the early spring, straw around your warm weather crops (squash, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers etc. ) will help protect them from cold temperatures, an organic insulation.
Canned Milk and Meats
Canned condensed milk should last over a year in storage, but be sure and turn the can over and look at the ‘Best by’ date, if you don’t you may end up with yellow water instead of milk when you open it. The solid matter in the milk will sink to the bottom and form a crust which is hard to dissolve back into the milk. The worst offenders are the large supermarkets, where as long as it is still good it ends up on the shelves. The same is true with sticks of summer sausage; another emergency food that stores well, but check the ‘Best by’ date before you purchase for storage.
Canned meats will usually last for 6 years in the can. Stuff like tuna, salmon, crab, shrimp, and canned hams that don’t need refrigeration. I recently purchased 2 – 1lb DAK hams with a best by date of June 28, 2016 on the bottom . I took the only two on the shelf. They will last longer, unlike milk that tends to separate the ham will continue to be edible for a few years after the ‘best by’ date.