Grow them. Grow your own. One tiny seed can produce more food than you can imagine.
|One tough Swiss Chard that keeps coming back every year.|
It’s not easy and includes a big learning curve. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes they are viable, sometimes they aren’t. Guaranteed germination rate like store bought? No. But it can be done. Even by accident. That is how much of our learning takes place. We find there are times we learn more from our failures than our successes.
|The small salad bed on the east side of the house.|
|Spinach going to seed.|
Around here in the late spring spinach and lettuce go to seed. I will let the spinach seeds drop right in the bed where they are growing. I will harvest the lettuce seeds from the pot on the front porch and broadcast them into the “salad bed” where the spinach is growing.
Back in February I spread some old spinach and lettuce seeds in this bed not expecting anything to grow since they were older. We received a nice surprise of an extended ‘salad’ season. I will remember this and broadcast seeds next February in hopes this will replicate.
|Surprise lettuce and parsley|
Turnips planted last fall went to seed and provided this seed harvest. We dried them in the greenhouse.
Last year’s sweet potato plants probably aren’t considered seeds, but we’re hoping this experiment, planting them in a large pot, having them in the greenhouse all winter, and now on the porch, will show us if they will continue growing potatoes. The few potatoes we harvested last year gave us half a dozen sprouts that have been planted in the garden. They are growing well, so we hope to have replacement plants from year to year. Kind of like seeds, right?
You can grow some type of food almost anywhere with a sunny window, a porch, a sidewalk, with a bucket, a large tub or other container, a flower bed, the edge of a yard along the fence. You can plant nutritious, calorie rich foods just about anywhere, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, any type of cowpea (purple hull peas, black-eyed peas, etc.), to name just a few. If you can find them, buy a bag of pinto beans at the store, they will grow vines you can train on a fence or trellis. The potatoes you can store and eat over the winter, the beans and peas you can dry for cooking later. Neither has to be canned, so no need for canners, jars, shelf space, etc.
The Seed Starters Handbook is a great resource. I bought our copy back in the 1980’s and still use it regularly. It’s part of our resource library.
Got seeds? Got food? Grow some. Any amount you can provide for yourself will decrease your dependence on others, be it the grocery store or the government. It will increase your self confidence and determination to maintain or regain a small portion of independence for you and those you love.
Until next time – Fern
COVID19 will be a part of the world’s vocabulary for many years to come. Discussions of the impact it has had on countries, cities, towns, neighborhoods and families will be ongoing for many years. We don’t even know what those impacts will be, for they have yet to play out in real time. History in the making, right in front of our eyes.
If you or yours have suffered a loss as a result of this virus, our hearts and prayers to out to you. There have been many difficult situations and fears that have been heart breaking. I look forward to the time that I can go into the nursing home to see my mother again. Visiting through the window with someone in the advance stages of dementia is very difficult. She doesn’t understand and it just breaks my heart.
After the initial scare of a raging pandemic that was predicted to kill millions and millions of people, leading to shortages at the store, and overwhelming the ability of the medical industry to cope, we are now in the stage of trying to regroup and regain a sense of normalcy. The resulting stay-at-home/lock down orders have highlighted some of the tendencies of governments to initiate and strengthen their desire to control the lives of the people they ‘govern’, showing they aren’t in the position to serve the people, but to control them. Some of the serfs are not happy with this. Most of us initially complied under the false narrative of the severity of the virus and pending threat of death by a virus – the invisible enemy, President Trump calls it.
But this isn’t an analysis of the advice given to the President by his task force members that are also trying to roll out their own agendas of control. Personally, I think this has been a bioweapon unleashed upon the world as a backlash for leaders and countries backtracking from the One World Government and attempt to control everyone and every country in it. Control. Ultimate control of everyone through the monetary system, the food supply, medical attention, the ability to work and provide for the family. All of it. The whole package deal. Life. And everything that it entails.
No, this article isn’t about that. You can read many different articles and opinions about those topics. This is about the changes some people appear to be making in their lives. For instance. Why are the Mom & Pop mail order chicken hatcheries unable to fulfill orders until late summer now? Why are seed companies out of seeds? Why are gun and ammo suppliers seeing record all time sales and shortages? There are shortages of radios – alternate forms of communication. Why are the shelves at the store that hold beans, rice, pasta, flour and other staples mostly empty? Why are the news stories on the mainstream sites showing how to make bread, how to bake, how to cook?
Frank and I have discussed for years that if just a tiny percentage of the population of our country woke up one day and realized they would run out of food, went to the store and bought enough for a week that the shelves would be empty. Then along came COVID19. And it happened. And it continues to happen. And the prices of everything are going up, except for oil and gasoline. It appears they will continue to go up. Excuses for that? Supply chain disruption, it’s China’s fault, it’s…… It really doesn’t matter what caused “it” and what is going to continue causing our new normal to unfold. The fact of the matter is the future will unfold whether we like it or not, vote for it or not, or deal with it or not.
Frank and I chose our life style decades ago. We have worked toward this level of self-sufficiency for a long time and have realized many of our dreams. Now we are working on new dreams, how to maintain as much independence as we can, as long as we can, while we ‘grow’ into old age. We are in a time of change in our lives. The parallel is that now the whole world is in a time of change with no real sense of the direction it will take. A true time of cognitive dissonance where normal has flown out the window, never to be seen again. Where did it go? How did it leave so fast? Amazing, isn’t it?
Now people are searching for ways to manage, ways to provide for their families, ways to continue to be independent without leaning on the government, food banks, or other means of income. Will this lead to a new era of individual responsibility or an ever growing population that expects everything to be provided?
The few times we have been out and about in a very limited fashion over the last month or so, we have noticed more garden spots. Some large, some small, some in tubs or buckets. We find that to be very encouraging. We have heard of some folks that are focusing more on food and provisions, for the time being anyway. Will it continue? Will this be a wake up call for some that priorities need to be changed and focused on the real things in life? I think once the restrictions are lifted there will be a rush to regain the old normal, only to find it no longer exists. Some behaviors will be driven by fear of the virus and the effects it will have. Government overreach in it’s many facets will be here to stay unless people stand up and install those that would reverse the heavy handedness that has shown up in some areas. At this point, I would say the future is an open book with blank pages. If things are allowed to continue the way they have been going it’s just a matter of time before we are all locked down, tracked, banned and told to sit back and shut up. But that’s not my focus here.
Take stock of your shelves. How long will your food last if you could never buy one more scrap of food? Without Food, You are Dead. I wrote about it not long ago. Control of the food supply can and will control you. Period.
What can you do to supplement, stretch, extend your food supply to the maximum extent possible? What do you need to learn to increase that supply even more? We have been writing here on and off for a number of years about our attempts to grow food and raise animals to increase our self-sufficiency. If you haven’t been reading here very long, check the list of articles and pages that may lead you to some information that may benefit you. Frank has written extensive articles on radio communications that will explain how to set up a network of communication for your family or area in case cell phones are down. There are many articles on gardening, raising goats, chickens and pigs. We have written about reusable products you can make, like the masks that are being made around the world right now. If you have questions, ask. We and other readers are always ready to share our experiences in the hopes it may help another.
We’re all in this together folks. Some days it looks like we have fallen over the cliff of no return to soon crash at the bottom with a resounding thud. Other days? It just looks real dicey. We have yet to see if more serious food shortages and economic calamities are right around the corner. At this point, I think the virus is the least of our worries. I can only hope it is a new era of individual responsibility which will lead more people to step up and take care of their own instead of holding out their hand for more while they scream about someone not wearing a mask.
Pay attention. Take notice and take stock of your shelves and yourself. No one is coming to save you. If They show up at all, don’t get on the bus.
Until next time – Fern
By the way. Does anyone know why some of the pictures in our last few articles have disappeared? All of them were taken at the same time, none were downloaded from the internet. I haven’t researched the problem, it just wasn’t that important to me. It may be a simple fix.