** The state of Utah is experiencing a drought (along with a lot of the US). Here’s how they prioritize watering:
Here’s what we recommend when considering what to water in order of priority:
I don’t see vegetables in there, but they should be at the top!!!
While a lot of the country is starting to see Spring, here in So. Cal, my garden is all planted and growing! I have a red tomato! My lettuce seeds that I planted only about 5 days ago have sprouted. There is just something about seeing those little greens poke up through the soil. It’s a tender mercy!!!
I picked at least a half dozen leaves off the zucchini because of leaf miner damage.
I found two earwigs on two different plants, so I sprinkled everything with Sluggo Plus. (It’s good for slugs, earwigs, and roly-polies).
This week, as the first of May rolls around, I’m going to be feeding my garden. Your plants will do SO much better with a little food and compost. If you don’t have compost, you can use worm castings. (I get mine at Armstrong nursery. They DON’T have worms in them. LOL. It looks like rich, black soil.)
Note: Do not put nitrogen on peas or beans, it will burn them. They are nitrogen “fixing” and make their own nitrogen from the soil and air. Heavy feeders include tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. They need food every 4 weeks. Some other veggies like carrots, beets, bok choy, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, and lettuce are “light” feeders and only need to be fed every eight weeks. I just mark those days on the calendar and then “try” to remember and get it done – if not ON the day, then NEAR the day at least.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: potatoes
Potatoes are so versatile. You can store dehydrated potatoes – this is what you find in boxes of Scalloped Potatoes that you can buy for about $1. Add milk, water, and a little butter. You could use butter-flavored shortening in a pinch.
You could store dehydrated hash browns – Winco has these in the bulk section of the store. I also bought some dehydrated hash browns in little milk carton containers from Costco. Each little container had a 2-3 person serving. We took them camping and they worked perfectly!
You could store cans of potatoes: diced, sliced, or whole.
You can store potato flakes. Again, you need milk and a little butter to make them up.
The shelf life for these potatoes is listed as 25 years Emergency Essentials® Complete Instant Mashed Potatoes Large Can 32 servings for $17. It’s just a little over $.50 per serving.
With a little work, you can “can” your own potatoes, or dehydrate them and save a lot of money. A 10-pound bag of potatoes is only about $5. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there. I like this one: How to Pressure Can Potatoes – YouTube
It’s a little trickier, but you can dehydrate potatoes as well. It’s pretty satisfying to take fresh food and process it to last for years!!! Dehydrating Potatoes — Slices, Dices & Shreds – YouTube.
I decided to take my own advice and just bought potatoes at Costco. 15 lb. for $10
You can get them cheaper at most grocery stores, BUT, the potatoes at the stores are smaller = more peeling, less potato. So I opted to spend a little more and get bigger potatoes.
Like most things, time = money. You’ll have to spend one or the other, but either way, you can do it – and you SHOULD!
MISC PURCHASE: fire extinguisher
Do you have one? Better to put out a small fire, than watch your house burn down. We have one upstairs and one down. You might want to “practice” using one as well. If you don’t know how, I’ll bet there is a police officer or firefighter in your neighborhood who can show you how. (There is always YouTube!!)
If you don’t have one, you can pick one up at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I mean, really, what is the alternative? Dragging the hose in? And whatever you do, do NOT use water on a grease fire!
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Corn and Potato Chowder
From Favorite Brand Name: Great Tasting Potatoes
I like this one because everything can be shelf-stable. You don’t need fresh potatoes. I also like it because you can change it any way you want. Don’t like something? Leave it out. Want it spicy? Put more spice in.
1 c. chopped onions – Sauté in a little olive oil. Or use dehydrated chopped potatoes.
1/2 c. sliced green bell pepper
1/2 c. sliced red bell pepper
I dehydrate peppers when they go on sale 4 for $1. I do up a big batch and it lasts all year long.
1 clove garlic, minced. Does ANYONE actually mince garlic anymore?
2 cans chicken broth (I like chicken bouillon powder or paste)
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can whole potatoes, drained and sliced. (Why can’t you use a can of diced potatoes? That’s what I’m going to do)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
4 dashes hot pepper sauce (I’ll probably skip this one)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled (or a bag of bacon bits???)
Bring everything but bacon and parsley to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 min. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with bacon and parsley.
Potato-Bean Salad Vinaigrette
This is a salad dish that can be served warm OR at room temperature. Although it calls for fresh potatoes that are cooked, why couldn’t you use canned potatoes??? I like this one because it makes a hearty salad (you know, beans and all)
1 1/2 lb unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cubed. Put in medium saucepan; add water to cover and 1 tsp salt. Bring to boil, then simmer for 5-7 min until potatoes are fork tender. Do NOT overcook. Drain
In a separate bowl whisk together:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano, or 1 TB fresh minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
In your serving bowl, add:
1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. finely chopped celery
1 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c. sliced ripe olives
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
Toss gently with the salad dressing mix.
Add warm potatoes and toss gently until vegetables are coated. Let salad stand at least 10 min. to marinate. SErve warm or at room temperature.
Scalloped Potatoes from Dehydrated Potato Slices
With a little experimenting, here is what I found worked for me. This makes enough for 3-4 servings.
1 1/2 c. dehydrated potato slices Put in a 1 quart baking dish
In a small frying pan,
4 TB butter, melted
4 TB flour – sprinkle in and let the flour cook a minute
2 c. milk – add and stir to thicken
Add 1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
Pour the sauce over the potatoes and bake 350 for 1 hour.