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Category Archives: gardening
Stinging nettles grow throughout most of the United States. They are common and easy to identify and pick as long as you wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants and have a good pair of gloves. Of course a good quality, authoritative book on foraging like this one goes a long way to insure you’e picking the right plant.
How to use stinging nettles as an edible
This edible plant has a flavor similar to spinach when cooked, and they are well worth harvesting when you can as they are rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Native Americans harvested stinging nettles and used them as a cooked plant in spring when other food plants were scarce.…Read More...
As summer begins rolling into autumn, it’s time to get busy saving seeds from your summer harvest. Remember that HEAT and MOISTURE are the enemies to seed viability after storage. In other words, just the things that make a seed germinate when planted are the things that will kill them during storage and prevent germination later when planted. Even if the poorly stored seeds germinate, they may produce weak, spindly plants that do not produce fruit or vegetables. You may get carrot sprouts but never any root bigger than a thread even after months of growing.Read More...
The first edible flower I ever ate was a nasturtium. We had giant nasturtium plants growing in our herb garden, nearly taking over, in fact, and decided we would start consuming the orange and yellow blossoms and leaves. They have a peppery flavor with a little bit of a kick. It’s always fun to discover plants in your own backyard you can eat.
Nasturtiums aren’t the only edible flower that is commonly found in backyards and growing wild. Here is a list of some of the most common. This list is by no means complete, but is meant to be a starting point for further study of the flowers you have in your yard.…Read More...
Gardening is a great way to supplement your food storage. In a post-TEOTWAWKI world, though, there’s the possible problem that your neighbors or other people may see it. That could pose a real danger. Hidden gardens are the solution. Gardens are not as hard to hide as you may think, and if you’re wondering how that could be possible, the author of this book spells out in detail how anyone can grow their own hidden garden. One easy advantage that we all have is that in today’s world, most people have no idea what many edible plants look like.
The first idea that most people come up with is to hide their garden behind a tall fence and a locked gate.…Read More...
The other day I was talking to a friend who lives in one of the Rocky Mountain states. It seems that they have an unusual heavy influx of voles this year. These voles have killed several of his young fruit trees by girdling them.
Now, I have talked to a surprising number of people who live in my area, who have never even heard of voles, even though they are fairly common. People are just not used to growing and having to depend on their gardens to survive. If they did, they would certainly know what animals in their area had the potential to destroy their crops.…Read More...
You have all been hearing about the problems with bee colony collapse, and a shortage of pollinating bees. Last year we had a very poor tomato crop and I have been wondering why. The other day I was talking to a friend who had a similar problem two years ago. He solved his by hand pollinating the flowers and had a much bigger crop than normal.
Now I know that tomatoes are considered a self-pollinating flower so I did a little research on this and here is what I found.
Tomatoes and bell peppers are considered self-pollinating. This means that they have flowers that contain both the male and female parts. …Read More...
Yesterday we discussed ways of protecting your gardens from rodents and small animals. So I thought that today we would talk about ways of protecting your gardens from insects and diseases. Now this is much harder, because there are so many different types of insect and diseases that can affect your plants.
How much your garden is affected by disease and insects is partly dependent on your climate. Gardens in dry climates with cold winters suffer fewer disease problems than warm, moist climates. This is one aspect of gardening that you don’t have much control over. Fortunately, how you take care of your garden also plays a big role in controlling disease and insects.…Read More...
As we get older, we start to develop different physical complaints. Now some of these can affect our lives if we let them. For instance, both my wife and my father still like to garden, but both have problems tending plants at ground level. My wife has some arthritis and my father who is almost 93 has bad knees. But with a little bit of planning we have made it possible for both to continue to garden by using raised bed gardening.
Now this is the third year we have used raised bed gardening and I have written previous posts on them. …Read More...
A friend of mine recently tried straw bale gardening and had a dismal failure. This caused him to do a bit of research and he found an article in the current (January/February 2016) issue of Backwoods Home magazine, on a product called Grazon, one of many aminopyralid herbicides used on hay and straw field to kill broadleaf weeds. That may explain his failure.
Grazon or other Aminopyralid-containing herbicides are sprayed on pastures and fields of straw and hay because they only kill plants such as horse nettle, pigweed and blackberries not the feed grass. After it is applied, the cows, horses and other animals graze on the grass, ingesting the herbicide which passes through their systems and into their manure.…Read More...
Five-gallon buckets are cheap, easy to get and one of the most useful items to have at your home or bug out location. Personally, I always try to keep extra buckets on hand. My buckets are mostly food grade, but I have some non-food grade that I mark and save for other uses. Here is a link to a post that will tell you how to identify food grade buckets Food Grade Buckets and Why You Need Them.
Uses for five-gallon buckets
- Storing food, used with Mylar bags, they are one of the best ways to store large amounts of dried foods such as grains, legumes, sugars or dehydrated foods.