The ideal emergency preparedness food: Sprouts

The ideal emergency preparedness food: Sprouts

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage, Healthy Eating, Self Sufficiency
Sprouts are THE ideal emergency preparedness food! Given the rapidity with which critical global events are unfolding, preparedness just makes good sense. The question isn't whether or not to be prepared - it is what to be prepared for? Earthquakes, nuclear accidents, tsunamis, power outages and gasoline shortages have been on this week's menu. Each, of course, has its own specific type of preparedness protocols. But, no matter what kind of unexpected event looms large, there is always a need for food. Food shortages could result from any of the aforementioned potential scenarios, as well as from any number of scenarios that I haven't mentioned. There are any number of ways to approach food shortage preparedness, but my preferred method is sprouts! Sprouts are, in my mind, the number one,…
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Pre-Sprouting Seeds

Pre-Sprouting Seeds

Starting Seeds
Poor seed germination often results from planting in cold soil. Seeds presprouted between layers of moist paper towels may become successfully established when dormant seeds fail. But presprouted seeds are fragile to handle. A planting gel can be made by suspending presprouted seeds in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch heated to a boilin 1 cup of water. When the mixture cools, put it in a plastic bag, add presprouted seeds, and stir gently to distribute seeds evenly. Then cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag and squeeze the gel out along the planting furrow. You have solved the problem of poor germination as well as plant spacing.
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Seed Stratification

Starting Seeds
As all good gardeners know entirely too well, as soon as the soil warms in spring, there will be an overabundance of new weeds to contend with. These are last year's flowers' posterity, just waiting for their opportune moment, waiting for conditions to be just right for germination. By delaying their initiation until spring, they will maximize their growth before having to contend with their first winter. Seeds use a variety of mechanical and chemical tactics to avert germination until their inside says "go outside". But not all seeds hibernate. Most seeds sold via commercial catalogs and nurseries have been hybridized for generations and will usually come up as soon as planted. Where the gardener is most liable to run into problems is with seeds of native and woody plants.…
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Flower Planting Schedule

Flower Gardening
Planting Flower Seeds Recommended Not Recommended This table lists the recommended times to sow flower seeds for typical Zones 8-9. If you are in zone 7, for instance, go back a month, zone 6, a month and a half. If you don't know your zone, check the planting zone maps. And when buying transplants, remember to adjust for the age of the plant (about 1-2 months). This table is also available sorted by botanical name. Common Name Acroclinium (Helipterum)  African Daisy, Cape Marigold (Dimorphotheca)  Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)  Aster (Aster)  Baby's Breath, Gypsophila (Gypsophila)  Bachelor Button, Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)  Balloon Flower (Platycodon)  Bellflower (Campanula)  Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis)  Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)  Blazing Star (Mentzelia)  Butterfly Flower (Schizanthus pinnatus)  Calendula, Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)  California Desert Bluebells (Phacelia campanularia)  California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)  Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)  Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)  Chinese Forget-me-not (Cynoglossum amabile)  Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla)  Chysanthemum (Chysanthemum)  Cockscomb (Celosia)  Coleus (Coleus…
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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Healthy Eating
Whether you carve your pumpkin for a Halloween Jack O'Lantern or plan to use it for baking, be sure to save the seeds for roasting. Pumpkin seeds are rich in Vitamins B, E, and fiber. Homemade baked pumpkin seeds taste better and are healthier for you than the ones you buy in the store, because they are fresher and have less salt. As you scoop out the flesh from your pumpkin, remove as much pulp as you can from the seeds. Rinse the seeds and spread out to dry on a clean dish towel. Spread seeds out evenly on a cookie sheet. Spritz them with a little olive oil and give them just a sprinkle of salt. (Additional seasonings can be added like garlic powder, chili powder, seasoned salt, or…
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Seed Starting

Seed Starting

Organic Gardening, Starting Seeds
When mail-order catalogs and local garden centers are bursting with a dizzying array of seedlings of all kinds, why would anyone want to bother starting their own plants from seed? Because starting plants from seed is less expensive; there are more varieties to choose from; you can grow higher-quality plants suited to your schedule; and you will enjoy the simple satisfaction of growing your own seedlings. To be successful, you'll need to provide the right conditions for good germination and healthy growth. Here are the basics: Choosing the Best Seedling Pots You can start your seeds in almost any type of container as long as it has drainage holes and is at least 2 to 3 inches deep. There are many different seed starting containers on the market, including peat…
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Seed of Tomorrow

Seed of Tomorrow

Community, Food Supply, Organic Gardening, Seed Saving, Sustainable Living
There are many reasons to make open pollinated ["heirloom variety"] seeds an integral part of your gardening experience and food storage. If seeds are collected from F1 hybrids, the plants grown from those seeds will generally not have the characteristics that you desired in the parent plant. Open pollinated seeds allow the gardener the option of saving seed and growing the plants you like, year after year. In the April 1991 issue of National Geographic, in an article titled, "World Food Supply at Risk", the authors point out past failures of agriculture being based on only a few varieties. Such disasters include the 1970 corn blight that destroyed much of the US crop and the potato famine that killed over 1 million in Ireland. Such disasters are not new. The…
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Saving Seeds from Your Garden

Saving Seeds from Your Garden

Seed Saving
For many gardeners, the garden actually begins in January when the first seed catalog arrives in the mailbox. While the cold wind howls outside, we retire to a cozy chair and leaf through the catalog, carefully notating which varieties of lettuce and tomatoes to try and wishing we had the space to plant each and every flower so artfully displayed on its pages. But have you ever wondered where your great-grandparents acquired the seeds for their gardens, before there were seed catalogs and fancy garden centers? They saved seeds for the next year from their own gardens! Saving seeds from your own flowers or vegetables is a wonderful way to fully experience the cycle of plant growth. It's also much less expensive than buying seeds each spring, and seeds saved…
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