Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gardening Series: Carin from "A Matter of Preparedness"

It's gardening week! Today's post is by Carin from "A Matter of Preparedness".

I was grateful, but pleasantly surprised to be invited to write a guest post on gardening for the wonderful and respected blog, “Safely Gathered In”.   Lest you think that gardening has come naturally to me, it really has not.  My sister was born with a green thumb, and with her careful guidance, practice, and lots of prayer we do actually reap the benefits of our efforts.  You can find many books, videos, and blogs teaching you the basics of gardening. However, I (we….meaning my sister Jenifer B and I) are including some of my favorite suggestions to make the process hopefully more successful for you.
  1. Gathering:  You need to start with good, viable seeds.  Certainly, you can get them from your local store, but also consider Seed Banks.  If you aren’t familiar with Seed Banks, see this video here on youtube.  Seed banks are a great place to find heirloom seeds that are appropriate to plant in your specific area.  To find a seed bank in your local, contact local garden clubs to find one or more of these.  Then, learn how to gather your own seeds at the end of your growing season.
  2. Seedlings:  I choose to give my plants a chance to survive!  So I start them in peat pellets.  
  3. Nurturing: The following is all from my sister…..and I copy her. She has made this unique set up in a shed in her backyard.  I have done this in a spare room in my basement. The seedlings and later the plants are placed in this ‘environment’.  
  4. Graduating to a larger “environment”:    She then moves them to a larger shelving system that has hanging lights.  You do not need specific ‘grow lights’, just inexpensive fluorescent lights that she hangs from chains so that you can adjust the light to hang higher as the plant grows.
  5. Keeping it warm:  She then uses an inexpensive Mylar blanket to surround the shelving unit.  
  6. Outside:  This is something I tried last year and it worked very well.  Even though Cloches can be considered inexpensive if you purchase the $.99 type, I just could help trying to make one.  The Cloche on the left was purchased from our local Nursery. The one on the right was made from 2 sheets of freezer paper.         

Here is how they turned out.     The one on the left is the Cloche that I made; the one on the right is the purchased Cloche.    

  1. Preparing:  I do so many things with produce. I can and dehydrate foods.  One of the most popular posts on our blog is on the use of Clear Gel.  I love this product and it lasts indefinitely.  It is a great item to include into your Food Storage.  
  2. Reaping:  There are many seeds that we plant each day. Today, our family reaped abundantly.  Our youngest son entered the Missionary Training Center.   All those early morning scripture study sessions, Family Home Evenings, Church activities, and family time were culminated for our son and our family.  It’s just like gardening…..keep working at it until you find the plan or schedule that works for you.  

A little more about Carin:
I began to write "A Matter of Preparedness" to provide information and education to our local ward/congregation on issues of preparedness as I was asked to serve as the Food Storage Specialist.  In our world today, people are very busy and cannot always attend a class etc. However, the internet is available 24/7 making the information available when folks can find a moment to read.  I have a large family, am an overly employed professional, and help run our family business.  My motto is that “Food Storage and Preparedness constitute skill sets supported by materials and equipment.” You can have all the equipment and food storage in the world, but unless you know how to use it, you may not be as prepared as you would wish.  

Thanks, Carin!