Friday, October 30, 2009

Now is the time to plan for next year’s garden


The fall is a great time to begin to plan and prepare next year's vegetable garden. You can take important steps to promote a healthy and successful garden for next year. Here are five tips for preparing for next year's garden today.

1) Fall is the best time of year to prepare the soil for next year's garden. To begin you should pull up and remove any plants from your garden. You may choose to till them under instead. If you do this, make sure that the plants are disease free. You can also add compost to the soil, and till it in at this time. Shredded leaves make an inexpensive but excellent resource of nutrients to add to your soil.


2) You should plan wisely. Take the time now to plan what vegetables you want to plant next year. If you begin early enough you can work through several seasons of plants. You can also plant at different times throughout the year so that you can have fresh vegetables from early summer to late fall. If you plan now you can take advantage of your entire growing season.

3) If you want to save money, you can save the seeds from your plants to plant next year. You will need to determine the time you should plant the seeds, or the time you should begin sprouting them in your home. Tomatoes do better if they are sprouted in a warm environment, and are then transplanted outside.

4) If you do not wish to do your own sprouting, you should decide when the best time to plant each vegetable, and be prepared to do it in when the time arrives. You can often find out this information through local gardening shows.

5) Enjoy the time off from weeding during the winter weather. It may be the one positive aspect to winter that you enjoy. You can also continue an herb windowsill garden, and enjoy sprouts inside your home.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Something to Consider


In gardening you don’t always need to have a garden to get the vegetables you need to put up for a season. Most of the time you can get fresh vegetables at stands along the road, provided they are in season, and most grocery stores will carry vegetables that are in season in other parts of the world. Which makes getting ready for any emergency a little bit easier?

Now what you need to do is canning which is my preferred method of preserving food for the winter. You can also freeze most vegetables but if power goes out in an emergency the food will thaw out and spoil. Using the canning process you can also preserve meats for about a year. Actually I look at it like this is enough food to last for one growing season and restock after the next growing season. So I try to finish up eating everything I canned from the last season.
Another way of preserving food is dehydrating. This removes the moisture from vegetables and meats preserving them for several months and the meat is a good source of protein.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

P-38 and P51 Can Openers



Known as a "John Wayne" by the U.S. Marine Corps because the actor was shown in a training film opening a can of K-Rations, the can opener is pocket-sized (approximately 1.5 inches, 38mm, in length) and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle (which doubles as a flat-blade screwdriver), with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid. A notch just under the hinge point keeps the opener hooked around the rim of the can as the device is "walked" around to cut the lid out. A larger version called the P-51 is somewhat easier to operate.

Official military designations for the P-38 include 'US ARMY POCKET CAN OPENER' and 'OPENER, CAN, HAND, FOLDING, TYPE I'. As with some other military terms (e.g. jeep), the origin of the term is not known with certainty; the P-38 opener coincidentally shares a designation with the P-38 'Lightning' fighter plane, which could allude to its fast performance. However, the P-51 can opener, while larger and easier to use than the P-38 can opener, also has a fighter plane namesake in the P-51, which is faster and smaller than the P-38 fighter. One rumored explanation for the origin of the name is that the P-38 is approximately 38 mm (1.5 in) long. This explanation also holds for the P-51, which measures approximately 51 mm (2.0 in) in length. U.S. Army sources, however, indicate that the origin of the name is rooted in the 38 punctures around the circumference of a C-ration can required for opening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Be careful growing Seed Sprouts at Home


Since 1995, raw sprouts have emerged as a significant source of foodborne illness in
the United States. These illnesses have involved the pathogenic bacteria Salmonella
and E. coli. Alfalfa, clover, and mung bean sprouts have been involved most
frequently, but all raw sprouts may pose a risk.

For most outbreaks, the source of contamination appears to have been the seed.
Even if the seed is contaminated, pathogen levels are typically very low, so contamination can easily be missed depending on the nature of the seed-testing program. The best conditions for sprouting are also ideal for multiplication of pathogenic bacteria if they happen to be present on the seed. Even if the seed are only lightly contaminated, Salmonella and E. coli levels can increase to millions of cells per serving during the sprouting process.


Because illnesses from these organisms can range from mild to extremely
unpleasant and even to very severe in susceptible persons, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and the California Department of Health Services have issued warnings
to consumers:

Food and Drug Administration is advising all persons to be aware of the risks
associated with eating raw sprouts (e.g., alfalfa, clover, radish). Outbreaks have
included persons of both genders and all age categories. Those persons who
wish to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from sprouts are advised not to eat
raw sprouts.
This advice is particularly important for children, the elderly, and persons with
weakened immune systems, all of whom are at high risk of developing serious
illness due to foodborne disease. People in high-risk categories should not eat
raw sprouts. Cooked sprouts can be eaten if heated to steaming hot or above
165°F (74°C). This type of treatment is most applicable to mung bean sprouts.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kale


As much as I love my tomatoes, I have become more and more enamored with leafy greens. Of the leafy greens, kale is probably my favorite. It is one of the most healthful foods you can grow, and it is one of those plants that really don’t need much babying in the garden - always a good quality!

Nutritional Info:
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. One cup has zero fat, 33 calories, and provides 206% of your daily vitamin A requirement and 134% of your daily vitamin C, as well as 9% of your daily iron and 6% of your daily calcium requirement.
It also provides plenty of fiber, antioxidants, and foliates. Everyone should be eating this stuff!

Growing Kale:
Kale is easy to grow, too. Sow seed directly in your garden after your last frost date for spring and early summer harvests, and six to eight weeks before your first fall frost for fall (and maybe even winter) harvests. A good rule of thumb is to plant three to four plants per person in your household. It needs full sun and well drained soil, and, if given these two things, kale will require very little babying from you other than regular watering and weeding. I feed mine with fish emulsion monthly, and it grows beautifully.
To keep it growing after a few light frosts in the fall, mulch the entire plant with three to six inches of leaves or straw. Kale touched by a light frost often tastes better.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This cann make it somewhat easy


In gardening you don’t always need to have a garden to get the vegetables you need to put up for a season. Most of the time you can get fresh vegetables at stands along the road, provided they are in season, and most grocery stores will carry vegetables that are in season in other parts of the world. Which makes getting ready for any emergency a little bit easier?

Now what you need to do is canning which is my preferred method of preserving food for the winter. You can also freeze most vegetables but if power goes out in an emergency the food will thaw out and spoil. Using the canning process you can also preserve meats for about a year. Actually I look at it like this is enough food to last for one growing season and restock after the next growing season. So I try to finish up eating everything I canned from the last season.
Another way of preserving food is dehydrating. This removes the moisture from vegetables and meats preserving them for several months and the meat is a good source of protein.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

At the end of the growing season


At the end of the growing season when everything in the garden is done this is the time to prepare for the next season. Now is the time to clean out all the plants left in your garden, and compost them. Next put down a good organic fertilizer and till the soil under to help break down the nutrients. Another option is to plant rye or clover for ground cover which you can till under in the spring and this will also ad nutrients to the soil. And by next spring your soil will be ready for the next planting.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Survival Gardening


Gardening today is the same as it was 100 years ago. You till the soil then you plant. What do you plant? In some cases you must save seed from the past season. This is Survival Gardening.

Hello, my name is Ron, welcome. This article is about gardening to survive. I hope to teach you on some of the ways to get food and prepare for emergencies that could last for years.

Gardening yourself is the best way to acquire fresh vegetables, because you know how they were grown and you determine if they are grown organically or if you use pesticides to control insects.

Now in a survival situation you may not have the luxury of the normal ways of gardening. So you must make do with what you have. The first thing you need is seed. Remember if you garden be sure to let some of your plants go to seed, or fully mature to a dried up state. And store them in a cool dry place.

Half of surviving is being prepared; if you don’t have the tools to help you survive you will perish. So do what you need to do for your own comfort level.

Now if you actually want to have a survival garden in the woods it must blend in with the landscape, no matter where you are at it must blend in so it will not be stolen. Some things to do are cover the soil with leaves or some type of cover to make them blend in. Now you have to remember exactly where they are at or you may walk right over them yourself. Also don't leave any trails to your garden and come in from a different direction every time you go there so you don't leave a trail.

You still want to plant this garden in a remote place where no one will find it. But you also want your garden to be close to where you are. So you can keep an eye on it, and keep it properly watered and also watch the health of your plants. Now make sure your garden gets plenty of sun, this is important for the growth and development of your garden. Make sure you plant this garden in a place where it drains well like on the side of a hill. If you plant it in a low lying area it may trap water and drown your plants. Or be washed away by running water that flows down hill. Just be careful where you plant.

These are just a few things to consider if you ever have to plant in the wild, But be sure to have seed handy even if you have to buy it from a seed company at least you will have seed to survive.
Ron

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saving Seeds

When saving seed, always harvest from the best. Choose disease-free plants with qualities you desire. Look for the most flavorful vegetables or beauitful flowers. Consider size, harvest time and other characteristics.Always harvest mature seed. For example, cucumber seeds at the eating stage are not ripe and will not germinate if saved. You must allow the fruit and seed to fully mature. Because seed set reduces the vigor of the plant and discourages further fruit production, wait untill near the end of the season to save fruit for seed.Seeds are mature or ripe when flowers are faded and dry or have puffy tops. Plants with pods, like beans, are ready when the pods are brown and dry. When seeds are ripe they usually turn from white to cream colored or light brown to dark brown. Collect the seed or fruits when most of the seed is ripe. Do not wait for everything to mature because you may lose most of the seed to birds or animals.Beans, peas, onions, carrots, corn, most flowers and herb seeds are prepared by a dry method. Allow the seed to mature and dry as long as possible on the plant. Complete the drying process by spreading on a screen in a single layer in a well-ventilated dry location. As the seed dries the chaff or pods can be removed or blown gently away. An alternative method for extremely small or lightweight seed is putting the dry seed heads into paper bags that will catch the seed as it falls out.Seed contained in fleshy fruits should be cleaned using the wet method. Tomatoes, melons, squash, cucumber and roses are prepared this way. Scoop the seed masses out of the fruit or lightly crush fruits. Put the seed mass and a small amount of warm water in a bucket or jar. Let the mix ferment for two to four days. Stir daily. The fermentation process kills viruses and separates the good seed from the bad seed and fruit pulp. After two to four days, the good viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container while the pulp and bad seed float. Pour off the pulp, water, bad seed and mold. Spread the good seed on a screen or paper towel to dry.Seeds must be stored dry. Place in glass jar or envelopes. Make sure you label all the containers or packages with the seed type or variety, and date. Put in the freezer for two days to kill pests. Then store in a cool dry location like a refrigerator. Seed that molds was not completely dry before storage.Seed viability decreases over time. Parsley, onion, and sweet corn must be used the next year. Most seed should be used within three years.Seed saving is essential for maintaining unusual or heritage vegetables and flowers. It is a great way to propagate many native plants too.