World View of Visitors

Friday, May 29, 2009

Zucchini

Our lovely zucchini plant is absolutely enormous, and has white flies. Also the interior of the plant is sooo full of "branches" that it appears too crowded to produce properly. I have no idea what to do with it. I've gotten a couple tiny zucchini out of it, but considering the size of the plant, it's way under producing. I've fertilized it twice. Weird.

Monday, May 25, 2009

White Flies

I found white flys were damaging my huge zucchini plant. First the leaves were turning yellow, which I thought was due to some very hot days here in the Sacramento Valley. Alas, that wasn't it. White flies were soon eating the leaves. I concocted a spray bottle full of water with onion, garlic and hot sauce. Here is a recipe from CBC News: Garlic and soap insecticide
Pulverize in a blender a couple of whole cayenne peppers, a large onion and a whole bulb of garlic with a little water. Cover this mash with a gallon of water, let stand 24 hours and strain. Spray daily on roses, azaleas, and vegetables to kill an infestation of bugs. Don't throw away the mash; bury it among the plants where insects occur.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gardening and Preserving Classes at UC Extension

Classes being offered by the UC Extension services, etc.

Sacramento County Event

Title: UC Master Food Preserver Classes - The Pressure's On
Date: 13-Jun-09
Contact: UC Cooperative Extension (916) 875-6913
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
Location: UC Auditorium
Address: 4145 Branch Center Road Sacramento CA 95827
Description:
Basic introduction to safe pressure canning techniques.
No pre-registration required required.


Sacramento County Event

Title: UC Master Food Preserver Public Demo - Stone Fruits: Apricot- Peaches- & Plums
Date: 17-Jun-09
Contact: UC Cooperative Extension (916) 875-6913
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: UC Auditorium
Address: 4145 Branch Center Road Sacramento CA 95827
Description:
Cost: $3.00
No pre-registration required required.


Sacramento County Event

Title: UC Master Food Preserver Classes - All Dried Up
Date: 11-Jul-09
Contact: UC Cooperative Extension (916) 875-6913
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
Location: UC Auditorium
Address: 4145 Branch Center Road Sacramento CA 95827
Description:
Basic introduction to safe dehydration techniques.
No pre-registration required required.

Sacramento County Event

Title: UC Master Food Preserver Public Demo - Assorted Berriesx & Tomatoes
Date: 15-Jul-09
Contact: UC Cooperative Extension (916) 875-6913
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: UC Auditorium
Address: 4145 Branch Center Road Sacramento CA 95827
Description:
Cost: $3.00
No pre-registration required required.

Sacramento County Event

Title: UC Master Food Preserver Classes - Step-by-Step
Date: 08-Aug-09
Contact: UC Cooperative Extension (916) 875-6913
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
Location: UC Auditorium
Address: 4145 Branch Center Road Sacramento CA 95827
Description:
Basic introduction to safe water bath canning techniques.

Sacramento Master Gardeners Event

Title: Victory Garden 2009 Part VI: Winter gardening - Fair Oaks Horticulture Center
Date: 17-Oct-09
URL: http://cesacramento.ucdavis.edu

Contact: UC Cooperative Extension (916)875-6913
Time: 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Fair Oaks Horticulture Center
Address: 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd. Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Description:
Plan, plant, and tend a winter vegetable garden. Build healthy soil with cover crops, compost, and mulch-body building for the soil. Select, plant, and care for ornamental grasses and California natives.


Sacramento County Event

Title: UC Master Food Preserver Public Demo - Gifts from Our Kitchens
Date: 21-Oct-09
Contact: UC Cooperative Extension (916) 875-6913
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: UC Auditorium
Address: 4145 Branch Center Road Sacramento CA 95827
Description:
Cost: $3.00
No pre-registration required required.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fruit Trees


Fruit Trees

If you have any room at all in your front or back yard for a fruit tree, plan ahead and think about putting one or two in January 2010.

Here are some general rules for a small, manageable fruit tree (the following is information given at the UC Davis Fruit Tree class at UC Davis Extension Center):

• First think: what fruits do you like? Peach, apricot, apple, pear? If you can’t decide which type of apple, pear, etc., consider a grafted tree that has 3-4 varieties of each.
• In most cases you’ll want a short squat tree, something around 6-8 feet tall. Why? Because you want to get the top fruit without going on a ladder, and you want to be able to maintain it, pick fruit, spray it, etc., without going too high.
• To get such a tree, buy a regular size fruit tree (a dwarf type is not necessary). Chose the type that the nursery person stated grows well in Sacramento clay soil.
• Plan on pruning it whenever it gets higher than 3 feet above your head. (A “dwarf” fruit tree must also still be kept pruned way down in order to be manageable.) Keep the top cut down and the entire tree the shape you want.
• In January 2010, look around your yard and find a good spot. Try NOT to put it in the lawn area, unless you must, as lawns and fruit trees take different amounts of water.
• Up to four trees may be planted within a 4x4 foot bed raised up at least 12 inches.
• When planting the bare-root tree next January, cut side limbs back by at least two thirds to promote vigorous new growth. Two or three times a year, cut it back. Mulch around the tree.

For online research in this topic, see: http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/homeindex1.html

or

http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/gardencompass/gc01_mar_apr_01.html

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Garden Grows





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All taken 5-22-09: First photo left: artichoke; Second Better Boy tomato with Early Girl in back, with lots of herbs on right; Third photo, enormous zucchini plant taking over the world!, then Early Girl front/roma tomato back. Green bean too.

I have harvested two baby zucchinis, very good, and of course the herbs have been used. The tomatos are doing well, but no ripe ones yet. I've fertilized twice now, and am doing so every other week.

A friend swears by "Bloody Butcher" tomato, which gives tomatoes in 55 days. I'll try that next year!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wonder Oven Artichokes

I made two artichokes in the Wonderoven yesterday! I prepped them as usual, boiled them with the lid on for 10 minutes (in only 2 inches of water), then popped them into the Wonderoven. I actually left them for over 8 hours. When I opened them up, they were done, although not as tender as I like...still they were good and more than edible. Next time I will boil for 15 minutes instead of 10, with water 2 1/2 inches deep, and do the same: 8 hours.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How much food storage?

I found a website that will help you figure out how much basic food storage you need for your family. http://www.internet-grocer.net/planner.htm. Let me know how it works for you!

The website also has survival supplies if you are interested.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Water Tanker Storage


I haven't tried this product yet, but it looks very promising.

Super Tanker
250 Days Water Storage (based on one gallon per person per day)

Unique Water Storage Containers

Takes up less floor space than two 55 gallon drums, yet will hold close to the same volume as five 55 gallon drums.
Gravity fed (no need for an expensive syphon pump to dispense water)
FDA & HPB approved food grade polyethylene.
Comes complete with spigot and high quality stainless steel ball valve.
Designed to fit through any 28” doorway to become the best in-home water storage container.
Available in 250 gal. (28” wide x 36” long x 85” tall)
and 125 gal. sizes (28” wide x 36” long x 45” tall)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gardening by the Pot

An elderly friend of mine has a garden. She decided to trust the Lord and even though she has a very hard time getting around, she is so proud of her beautiful pots of tomatoes, strawberries, and much more. She has almost as much as we do, all in well drained pots that work great for her.

I sure hope everyone who reads this will try a garden this year. Go for it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gardening During Hard Times

This might be a great book to have. Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times. Looks like something I'll have to order along with my stitching awl and other items for making shoes. I'm on a roll!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Elder Orson Pratt - Great Quote!

"And the time will come, when we shall find ourselves restricted, and when it will be very important indeed for us to patronize home productions, and cease sending our millions abroad for importations, for the gate will be shut down, and circumstances will be such that we cannot bring things from abroad; and hence, the necessity of the exhortation that we have received from time to time, to engage with all our hearts in the various branches of industry necessary to make us self-sustaining and to carry them out with all the tact and wisdom which God has given to us, that we may become free and independent in all these matters, free before the heavens, and free from all nations of the earth and their productions, so as being dependent upon them is concerned." (Elder Orson Pratt: Deseret Evening News, vol. 8, #265, October 1875.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Making Shoes



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I've been fascinated by the idea of making my own shoes for a few weeks now. I came across several web pages, some of which I found and lost again. But here are a few that make me want to buy a kit and go for it!

Great web pages:
http://www.siteduck.com/skills/mocs/index.html

http://www.simpleshoemaking.com/felt_flats.htm

http://www.appalachianleather.com/moc_kits.htm

http://www.manataka.org/page485.html

Garden Zucchini and Tomatoes




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Finally, the little zucchini's are growing strong and there are a few tomatoes now on the vines. It's such a thrilling sight to see!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beans



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Where I live, grocery stores often have special savings on many varieties of beans. I love these sales because I have a Food Saver (like a Seal a Meal) that vacuum packs just about anything. Vacuum packing the beans in serving sizes for my husband and I is a perfect way to store beans without dry pack canning in cans too big to leave open. Try mixing lots of different beans together. Include split peas or barley. If you are serving 2-3 people, you will need about two cups of dried beans per meal.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cooking Outside














I found an excellent article with great ways to cook outside the home. It's found here http://www.ldsmag.com/enjoying/090507rain.html.

Don't Prepare for a Rainy Day, Prepare for Fun
By Dian Thomas

A few weeks ago, I got a call to give a presentation on preparedness. My approach was not to focus on preparing for a rainy day, but to get out and have a great time learning outdoor cooking and camping skills. Then when the rainy day comes, your skills are up to speed.

One of the key places to practice your skills is in the backyard, a park, or in the woods. Decide to take the time now to enjoy your family and prepare them for their summer camps, outings and rainy days...

If you do not have a grill, here are some fun creative ways to use your ingenuity to make one. When you create using items you have, it shows you children it is possible to make do with what you have. What a great skill to develop.

Tin Can Grill

An improvised, inexpensive grill can be made in just a few minutes. This is a favorite of children at scouting and campfire cookouts. All that is needed is a #10-size can, tin snips, aluminum foil and a pair of safety gloves.

Beginning at the open end of the can, cut 2-inch-wide parallel slits down the side, to about 3 inches from the bottom, repeating around the can. Bend the strips away from the center of the can to form a low basketlike container. Fill the bottom of the can with dirt. Cover the dirt and strips with heavy duty aluminum foil. You have now created an improvised tin can grill. Place the charcoal on top of the foil and lay the grilling rack on top of the metal strips. It is important to keep the distance between the grilling rack and the charcoal at about 3 to 4 inches (Bend the strips to this distance.)

Bonus of this grill is that it can be discarded after one use, and replaced at very little coast. Individual stoves can be made by a group to involve more people in the fun.


A #10-size tin can will make an easy and economical grill.


Use tin snips to cut two-inch strips down the sides of the can


Line the tin can with heavy duty foil before adding charcoal


Add a rack, and you're ready to grill...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Zucchini

Ah zucchini. My big energetic plant now has two baby zucchini's growing! I'm very happy that the plant is happy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tomatoes Under the Bed


I bought two large, long storage bins designed to fit under a bed. I started putting in my extra cans of beans, tomato sauce, canned corn, etc. They aren't completely full yet, but when they are, they will be close to a year's supply of one or two meals for us (prepared twice a month). It doesn't sound like all that much, but if I continue to build on it, it will serve us well. I encourage everyone who reads this to buy those storage bins and store food (date the cans!) there. Never put new cans in the cupboard. Put them in the storage bin, and pull out the oldest can of the product you are using and put THAT into your cupboard. Let the storage bin be your overflow.

Any questions? Give me a comment and I'll get back to you.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

How the Garden Grows!



My garden is doing so well, I'm so proud of them all. The zucchini is the largest I've ever seen at this stage of development. I hope nothing interferes with their continued growth. I still haven't found a canner I like, but I'll keep at it. Meanwhile, I have also put big plastic storage bins under our spare bed, which now holds the bulk of our canned beans, corn, tomato sauce, etc.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Different Things

Well I didn't get to the stores online or in town in time to buy the surgical masks and gloves I wanted in case this flu gets out of hand. Still, it does prepare my mind for getting them later for the next flu, which is sure to come along one day. Meanwhile my garden is growing so wonderfully. We are experiencing a cooler spell with rain this weekend, which I just hope doesn't knock off the tomato flowers.