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Gardening During Hard Times or Emergencies - You Can Feed Yourself!
Do you ever worry about always having to rely on getting seeds and fertilizer from the store? What would you do in a survival situation, if you could not go to a store to purchase these things?
Let's compare it to your food supply. What would you do about your store-purchased food? Many wise people buy more than they need of food items that store well, and create a "year's supply" of the essentials in their basement or other cool, dry place. This is the biblical answer. As you may remember, Joseph in Egypt saved grain for 7 years and then fed the whole Egyptian nation, as well as his own family and others, during the next 7 years of famine.
The same approach will work even better for gardening ? with both seeds and fertilizers. For about $25 you can buy the triple-sealed Garden In A Can from Mountain Valley Seeds, with enough non-hybrid seeds to grow a 1/2-acre garden! If these are stored in a cool dry place they will remain viable for a very long time. The website is www.mvseeds.com, and I highly recommend you get a can, or the smaller Garden in a Pouch for about $12.
And if natural mineral fertilizers are kept dry, they will store indefinitely while still maintaining their potency. Therefore I suggest you also buy and store enough Pre-Plant Mix and Weekly Feed to grow at least one year's garden. The formulas for mixing your own are in the Learn section of the Food For Everyone Foundation's website at www.growfood.com.
A rule of thumb for how much fertilizer you would need to store, in order to have your year's supply, is 6# of Pre-Plant and 12# of Weekly Feed per 30' soil-bed. Even though you will only feed some crops 4 or 5 times, remember that if you are really living out of your garden, you will be growing two or three crops, and doing it from March or April, right up until frost in October. Therefore, see the following chart for suggestions on how much to store, depending on the size of your garden.
GARDEN SIZE PRE-PLANT MIX WEEKLY FEED
20' X 30' (4 soil-beds) 25# 50#
40' X 65' (16 soil-beds) 100# 200#
50' X 100' (30 soil-beds) 200# 400#
Now, what can you do if the emergency goes beyond a year, and you've used up all your fertilizer? First off, don't expect the same quantity of production as you obtained with balanced mineral nutrients, but you can grow a healthy garden using manure tea. Here's how.
Get a large burlap bag and a 55-gallon barrel. Find cow or horse manure (chicken or turkey is twice as hot, so less will be needed), and fill the bag 2/3's full. Place the bag in the barrel and fill it with water. Let the manure soak or "steep" for 24 hours, then use the "tea" to water your vegetable plants. Replace the bag of manure in the barrel and let steep for 48 hours. Again, water with the tea, then dump the spent manure out and till into an unused portion of the garden. It has very little nutrient value, but can improve your soil tilth. Remember to plant a little further apart when doing this, because plants will be competing for less available nutrition. And every watering should be with the manure tea for your plants to thrive. You should expect to grow a smaller garden, and spend some time finding manure and hand-watering.
If manure just isn't available, save your kitchen scraps and human waste. Many countries do it all the time, so it's not the end of the world. And all clean, healthy plant residue should be saved and properly composted for re-use in the garden - again preferably as manure tea.
By the way, even 4 soil-beds, when properly worked and cared for, especially if combined with good seedling production, could produce a large amount of food. As an example, if only one crop was grown, you could produce 2,000# or more of tomatoes, or even cabbage - if you grew 3 crops. So is this approach cost effective? You do the math. Suppose you invest $50 in your year's supply of seeds and fertilizers. What will 2,000 pounds of vegetables be worth to your family during hard times? Think of Joseph in Egypt!
James B. (Jim) Kennard, the President of Food For Everyone Foundation, has a wealth of leadership, financial, business, teaching, and gardening training and experience upon which to draw in helping the Foundation to achieve its goals. He is a retired (CPA), practicing as managing partner in a Salt Lake City firm since 1972, and has also owned and successfully managed several different businesses, including hotels, shopping centers, apartments, and retail establishments during the past twenty five years.
Jim has been a Mittleider gardener for the past twenty-eight years, he is a Master Mittleider Gardening Instructor, and has taught classes and worked one-on-one with Dr. Jacob Mittleider on several gardening projects in the USA and abroad, in addition to conducting projects himself in Armenia, Madagascar, and Turkey. He grows a demonstration garden at Utah's Hogle Zoo, and assists gardeners around the world on the Foundation's website and the free Gardening Group. http://www.foodforeveryone.org
5 Pieces of Equipment Gardeners Cant Live Without
Gardening is fun and rewarding and may be considered a hobby, talent or both and sometimes it's just luck. Gardening is not as easy as it looks and involves dedication, time and consistency and many trials and errors. There are many aspects to maintaining a healthy garden, but some aspects are more important than others. An individual who likes to garden can have the knowledge to produce the best garden in the world, but without the right equipment and materials it just wouldn't be possible.
Flowers Wilting? Tips for Making Your Flowers Last Longer
We all know one disadvantage of flowers is that they don't last very long. While they are here they bring happiness and warmth to any dull decorating space. If your flowers are dieing awfully fast, then you may be using poor flower care routines. There are many little things that you can do to lengthen the life span of your flower arrangements and flower bouquets. Many florists and flower shops provide good information on how to care for your specific flower type. Read on for a few extra tidbits of information on expanding the time that you can enjoy your flowers.
External vs. Submersible Pumps. Which One Should You Use?
For many people, it's never been a question of whether to use a submersible pump vs. an external pump because most people have smaller ponds and are used to just using a submersible pump. They're easy to install, and are pretty reliable - so why even consider an external pump?
Composting and Composters: A Basic Introduction
Potting Benches: Beautiful and Practical
Do you love spending time outdoors in your garden creating beautiful floral arrangements that can be enjoyed by all? Do you spend more time gathering up your supplies than you actually do planting flowers? If so, you should consider enhancing your garden with a potting bench.
16 Lawn Mower Safety Tips
1. Always read the instruction manual before operating your lawnmower. I know it sounds boring but there is a very good reason you are supposed to read it (didn't you ever wonder why you were never able to set the time on your vcr?).
The Truth About Tulips
Roses may be beautiful but Tulips are magnificent. The huge colorful blooms we associate with Holland make stunning bouquets. Did you know that Tulips did NOT originate from Holland? Actually, most species of wild tulips came from central asia and western asia. Tulips that originated in Europe were mainly from the Mediterranean. How much would YOU pay for a tulip bulb? Did you know way back in 1635, a single tulip bulb could fetch the equivalent of $35,000 in present day money. No other flower ever generated such an insane following. But why? Part of it is due to the beauty of the flower and the rarity of the tulip back in those days. It became a status symbol. People wanted to outdo one another with tulips. So the demand for tulips went sky high. The insanity that came next can be compared to the insanity in the stock market prior to stock market crashes. Investors would then buy tulips at ridiculous to sell at even crazier prices. Needless to say, when the inevitable crash came, fortunes were lost. Lessons learnt from that incident can be applied to the stock market today. Same thing happened in the dot com boom and bust. Same thing is going to happen over and over again. Greed leading to blindness. The only remedy is to keep your eyes open and look at the facts. The important thing is how much something is really worth. Not what others say it would be worth in the future. Tulips are valued for their beauty. They are treasured across nations. The Dutch crown princess fled to Canada for refuge during the world war. At the end of the war, Tulips became their gift of friendship. The Dutch gave Canada 1 million tulips in gratitude for the friendship displayed in the war. Such is the value of Tulips. Tulips are considered to be a symbol of friendship. Even today, you can see that magnificent display of Tulips in Canada. Reminding one about friendship in times of need. These days, tulips are no longer as expensive as back then. An entire garden blooming with tulips during spring time is very affordable. All you need are some great tulip bulbs. Tulips bloom after snow. So if you live where there is snow, then plant them in September. Tulips need the cold before then can bloom. If the winters are harsh, then cover the bulbs with straw or leaves. Uncover them in spring. What do you do if you live where there is no snow? Well, if you have a refrigerator, use it. Put the tulip bulbs in a paper bag and refrigerate it for 6 to 8 weeks, but keep them away from the fruit. Then plant the tulips.
Water Pond Designs
You can have different water pond designs, however ones that don't restrict water movement are the best. What I mean by that is you don't want to have a backyard pond with tight corners in it where it will be hard for water to circulate.
Gardening - An Expression
Give the same plants to several people, you will see several arrangements. Each one distinct and different, yet, using the same plants.
Delavays Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi)
Whether we know it or not, most of us are familiar with the genus Vaccinium as it has among its members several current or potential commercial crops, such as blueberry, cranberry, bilberry and huckleberry. Vaccinium delavayi, however, is strictly ornamental and very unlikely to be our next export success.
A Teak Table - Accent Your Outdoor Decor With One
It's been time consuming, and there have been a lot of hard decisions along the way, but finally you have chosen the perfect outdoor furniture that fits your personality, budget and space. And as you sit on your new favorite chaise lounge, drink balanced precariously on the edge of the flower box to your left, you suddenly realize what your space is lacking: tables. Not just any table, but a teak table.
The Perfect Garden Sundial
Is it possible for a garden sundial to tell perfect time?
Gallica roses are a case in point. While the popularity of Old Roses waxes and wanes as each new generation discovers them and then seeks something new, the best of them carry on regardless.Rosa gallica, also known as the French Rose or Provins Rose, is a species that grows wild from southern and central Europe to the Caucasus. Because it readily produces sports, has a tendency towards double flowers, and may have hybridised naturally with other species, it is likely that the earliest European garden roses were forms of Rosa gallica.
Online Garden Seed Exchanges
If you've been gardening for any length of time you have probably realized a couple of things.
Growing Great Potatoes
Potatoes are so easy to grow in the no dig, organic way. They are one of the top three in vegetable growing due to their popularity and versatility. Boil 'em, mash 'em, fry 'em, bake 'em. It's hard to go wrong with this staple in the diet.
Basil: The King of Herbs
One of the most popular herbs is Ocimum basilicum commonly called sweet basil. Often called the 'king of herbs,' basil can be grown indoors or out. Sweet basil has inch-long, oval-pointed, dark green leaves and a clove-pepperish odour and taste. Sweet basil makes a handsome, bushy small plant, growing to a foot or more indoors. A purple-leafed variety, 'Dark Opal' is decorative, makes a lovely houseplant, and is equally useful in cookery. Do not let basil bloom, or it will go to seed. Instead, pinch out the plant tops and they will grow into compact little bushes.
An important addition to any British back garden, the greenhouse is firmly established in the British way of life. It's probably the inclement weather that drives the british gardener 'inside'. If you are visiting this site then you are probably thinking about obtaining a new greenhouse. It is possible you don't know the type of greenhouse you need or even how to decide on the type of greenhouse. This site has a series of articles on many of the different things to consider when installing a greenhouse.
Planting Roses In Your Garden
Roses are an old standby for any garden and one of the worlds favorite flowers. There are over 5,000 varieties of roses in the United States and they can be used to enhance your garden in many ways - as creepers, shrubs, vines, climbers, hedges or just as beds of pure colour.
Secrets of Growing Killer Tomatoes
Tomatoes have always been my favorite garden vegetable to grow and to eat. I have had success with the other standard garden vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower etc. but tomatoes became my specialty over the years.
Dill: Scandinavias Most Important Culinary Herb
The ancient herb, Anethum graveolens or Fernleaf dill as it is commonly known, was mentioned some 5,000 years ago in early Egyptian writings. It is the most important culinary herb in Scandinavia, as popular as parsley is in other parts of the world. The word 'dill' stems from the Old Norse word dilla, meaning "to lull," and can be grown indoors and out. The feathery leaves make dill a pretty foliage plant, which is lovely as a green foil for the flowers in your garden. The fragrance of dill on fingers evokes a 'comfort smell' for many people as the leaves smell of homemade dill pickles. Old-fashioned dill water or gripe water as it is commonly known (made by infusing crushed dill seeds in hot water), is still used as a remedy for indigestion in adults as well as children.
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