Last year I invested in a bunch of these: Gardzen 20-Pack 7 Gallon Grow Bags- Aeration Fabric Pots with Handles
They are “grow bags”, made out of heavy material. I really liked the 7-gallon size, and I also bought some 10-gallon bags.
After a year of growing food, the looked like this:
I was VERY hesitant to plant in them again for fear this was mold or some such thing and didn’t want to give my plants new diseases.
So, I emptied a big container, filled it with water and 1 c. bleach, and set the bags to soak. I thought for sure it would “bleach” the bags, but to my surprise, they were still black! We squirted them off with the hose and hung them to dry.
There is a little sun bleach, but they look so much better. They are now ready for new plants. The cost of pots is outrageous! And the plastic ones are only good for one or two years, then they start breaking. I’m VERY happy with my grow bags. The average cost is about $2-3 each. My “garden” is full of them! (Do you like the pink pipes? When our gazebo covering finally rotted away, we put the frame on the side of the house. And Craig “found” these pipes at an irrigation pipe store in Temecula. They couldn’t sell them because they were faded, so we got them for free. My favorite part of this story is that the pipes are used for IRRIGATION! Who cares if they are faded or not. Evidently, the customers do.)
* More garden notes from Zone 9B. I’ve planted carrots and beans (I skipped the peas altogether). In small pots, I’ve planted zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, broccoli, and cauliflower. My celery from last year is still producing (who knew?). So things are well underway. I’ve got some tomatoes transplanted outside, and some still in pots, waiting to grow just a little more. Gotta love the California sun!!!!
* I see some debate about 1) Do you make recipes out of the food you have stored? 2) Do you figure out a way to make your favorite recipes “shelf-stable” so you can store those ingredients? I’m not sure this is an all-or-nothing question. I vote for a little of both. Start experimenting by cooking some of your stored food. (You don’t have to open your cans, but you can buy wheat, or beans, or milk from the grocery store and try cooking with it once in a while.) Maybe have a “food storage dinner night” and once a week try cooking something. That will help you know what you still need to get to supplement things. Meanwhile, look at what you usually eat and try to figure out how you can make that thing. Look online. There are resources there.
* Found a good site, but some of the links are expired. Still…. a lot of good information about storing food, dehydrating, canning, seeds, alternative cooking, greenhouses, gardening, aquaponics, fishing kits, and more. Food Storage, Bulk Foods, Cooking – reThinkSurvival.com
LONG TERM FOCUS:
It has been one year since I began using this format. Here is what I have presented for long term storage:
Eggs: 2 #10 cans per person per year
Wheat: 11 pounds per person per month
Pasta: 2 pounds per person per month
Onions #10 can will last a family for 6-8 months
Potato Flakes: 1 #10 can per person per month
Carrots: 1 #10 can per person per month
Milk: 2 1/2 pouches (4 pounds) per person per month
Dehydrated Apples or Fruit: 1/2 can per person per month
Flour: 4 pounds per person per month
Sugar: 5 pounds per person per month
Oats: 8 c. dry per person per month (about 1/2 of a 48 oz. container)
Beans: 2.5 pounds per person per month (1 #10 can)
Rice: 1 #10 can (5.4 pounds) per person per month
I hope you have at least begun to store some food. I worry about what is coming. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints USED to call this part of provident living: Emergency Preparedness. Do you know that name has been changed? It is now called Emergency Response. The time for preparing is almost over. Here is a copy of my chart Murrieta Stake Conf 2 Conf.
SHORT TERM FOCUS:
Over the last year we have talked about storing:
peanut butter, jam, honey, honey, soup, bouillon, pasta sauces, spices, oil, vegetables, juice, cocoa, drink mixes like kool-aid, canned fruit, dried fruit, cooking supplies, mayonnaise, pancake mix, breakfast cereal, syrup, tomato sauce, catsup, and canned meats. Just buying one or two extra EVERY trip to the store will build up your supplies.
toiletries, soap, flashlight, matches, 3 days food, knife, mess kit, washrag and soap, TP, emergency blanket, notepad and pencils, scriptures, playing cards, small cooking stove, trash bags, feminine items, water filter bottles, Silcock key, cash, family photos, first aid kits
shampoo, bars of soap, candles, lanterns, camp stove, alternate cooking method, laundry soap, dish detergent, duct tape, hand can opener, vitamins, seeds, alcohol, medical gloves, face masks, batteries, trash bags, tin foil, plastic wrap, water, toilet paper, lip balm, hand lotion, over-the-counter medicines
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Instead of more recipes, here are some links and resources:
Thank you for coming on this journey with me as I continue to learn – and to learn from you as well. This email is an opportunity for me to spend time each week thinking about how “I” can be better prepared. You just get to come along for the ride. We’re not done yet. We’re NEVER done. LOL