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Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Seeds for Storage…Food For Everyone Foundation

As with everything good once someone does something well everyone jumps on the band wagon. This is exactly what has happened with seeds for long term storage. They are everywhere and can be very expensive, very expensive. I received my seeds from the Food For Everyone Foundation and they are wonderful. They were the least expensive I could find and are the best quality. What a perfect combination! So, while it may be past planting time for this year it is a good time to consider what you are doing to make sure you can plant next year if we happen to be involved in a natural disaster or you are involved in a personal one.

The seeds are non hybrid variety seeds which means I can save seeds from one crop to become the seeds for the next crop, perfect when we are talking about EMP attacks and disasters which could cause our society to be shaken to the point that all the things we run to the store to pick up are no longer there. With non hybrid seeds you could save seeds and feed your family forever!
There are 16 varieties including favorites like peas, corn, beans and tomatoes. There are staples such as lettuce, spinach and onions. Let’s not forget squash zucchini, cucumbers, peppers,chard, cabbage, radishes and beets.
The seeds come packaged in a resealable foil pouch. Perfect if you have a small space for your garden and left over seeds. There are even suggestions and tips for planting location, soil modification and moisture control.
There are guidelines for planning and harvesting every individual seed type. They outline when to plant, how long until germination,how far apart to space rows, when to thin and more.
The best part of all is that your purchase goes to support the Food For Everyone Foundation.

The Food For Everyone foundation was established as a 501©(3) public charitable foundation in 1998 to carry on the seminal vegetable gardening work of Dr. Jacob R. Mittleider.  The foundation’s stated mission is “teaching the world to grow food one family at a time.”  To this end the Mittleider vegetable gardening books have been digitized and made available as a searchable database as well as digital downloads; almost all of Dr. Mittleider’s 86 gardening training videos have been improved, digitized, and made available on CD ROM.  Free gardening seminars are conducted, and assistance is given to humanitarian projects wherever possible. Click on the Food For Everyone Foundation under BlogRoll on this page to check them out.
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Totally Ready Newsletters July 2009- June 2010
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Homemade Laundry Detergent Dispenser

Here's a great little gadget my mom discovered for storing and pouring her homemade laundry soap--the Coffee Mate creamer bottle.  They are pretty sturdy little bottles with a nice flip top lid and pour spout.  If you don't drink coffee, maybe you have a friend who would save a couple for you.  They fit nicely in the laundry cupboard also, better than the squatty plastic gladware bowl I was using.

And I've altered my recipe since the first post on it--here's the new one:
1 bar Fels Naptha soap shredded
1 bar Ivory shredded
2 cups washing soda
3 cups borax

That's it--almost the same as before.  I still use the generic crystal light drink mix tub to measure the amount for a load of wash--it is about 2 tablespoons.  I heap it and that's good for a load.  One batch of the above recipe lasts about a month around here.

Now off to do some more laundry. :)

How Much Is Enough? (Making Food Storage a Priority)

Hi everyone! Do you ever look at your food storage and wonder if you have enough?? Sure, there are lots of cans, boxes, and 5-gallon buckets full of food, but will it be enough to last through a major emergency? How can you be sure you have enough?

Well, first off you have to decide how many months of eating out of your food storage you want to prepare for. I'd say the absolute minimum should be 1 month, but you'd be better off aiming for 3 months or more. Remember, there could be damage to your food storage or you could end up feeding more people than you anticipated, and your food storage could be depleted faster than you thought. While I'm not into hoarding, when it comes to food storage more is better!!!!

Next, you need to figure out how many breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks you're going to have to cover. If your storing for 3 months, that's 90 breakfasts per person, 90 lunches, and 90 dinners per person!! Those numbers are quite staggering, aren't they? That is alot of food! But, it's best to know and anticipate how much food is needed before the time comes. You don't want to get caught without enough. Now, look at your food storage and actually count how many breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals you can get out of what you have. Take good notes. Is it enough?

The thing that always confuses me is the bulk food. I have lots of 5-gallon buckets of oatmeal, soft wheat, and hard wheat. How many meals can I get out of that???? Well, for that stuff, I like to look at this LDS food storage calculator for guidance. (I'm in no way affiliated with the LDS church, but I have to give them props for being huge proponents of food storage. That church understands that we, ourselves, are in charge of caring for our families and for others.) All you do is enter the number of people in your family (or the number of people you think you'll be feeding), click calculate and scroll down to see the totals. I've done this and copied the results for a few different numbers of people that I think I may have to feed. Talk about simplifying the process of figuring out how much food you need! Now, obviously this is a guide. If something doesn't apply to you, ignore it. Take what you need, take whatever guidance applies to you, and leave the rest.

Over the next few weeks, my goal is to go over my food storage again, using the LDS results, and make sure I have 'enough'. I've got some new food rotation boxes on the way (I'll show you when they arrive!) and I'm going to be rearranging and refiguring my food storage. I'd recommend you do this every once-in-a-while. Your life changes, people change, and you need to take new factors into account. Maybe somebody lost a job, maybe a child moved out or moved back in. Things are constantly changing. You don't want your food storage to be short-changed.

Why don't you join me and make it a priority this summer to double-check your food storage situation?

Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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