I feel like my garden didn’t grow much these last two weeks. I think it was the extreme heat. Now that we are only in the high 80s and not in the 100s, the plants seem to be putting forth new growth again. Of course, I fertilized everything a week ago, so maybe THAT’s it. Who knows.
I did my “look-under-the-leaves” inspection yesterday and found lots of eggs of some kind of insect. At first, I took scissors and carefully cut them out of the leaves. Then I just resorted to smashing the tiny eggs with my thumb. If there were too many of them, I cut off the leaf.
If I see powdery mildew, I spray with the fungicide right away.
If I see little webs, I’m never sure if it’s from the regular garden spiders, or spider mites, so I spray them too.
The beans are not dark green like they are supposed to be, but instead, they look sick. I just keep spraying and cutting away bad leaves. Sigh. I’m holding out for a second harvest of beans. (I sprayed the beans this morning with Neem Oil. Let’s see if it makes a difference.)
I have blossoms on my potato plants and googled them. When they get flowers, you can harvest the potatoes. But if you just let them continue to grow, the potato plants will appear to die out, and then you can harvest the potatoes and they will be larger. In one of my potato containers, the pretty green potato stems just seemed to die away. So I decided to dump out the dirt and plant something else. I found potatoes!!!
Not many, but more than I thought would be there. They are “curing” for a few days, in a cool, dark place. I am not going to store them long-term. I want to save a few for seed potatoes for the fall. But garden potatoes are SO SWEET!!! Can’t wait to have some for dinner.
Oh, and I found a praying mantis by chance in the garden (this is a good sign). AND I found a small baby frog. Not sure if it’s a good sign, but I don’t think they eat plants, so I’m going with good!
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: wheat (or grain)
You can purchase wheat in #10 cans from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Hard White Wheat. They have both hard white wheat and hard red wheat. 6 cans for $39 and change. It’s about $6.50 per can or $1.18 per pound. Here is another alternative: Wheatland™ Hard White Wheat Berries • 25 lbs Bucket, Mylar Liner & Oxy Pack
These are 25-pound buckets for $79. This works out to $3.16 per pound, almost twice as much. Look at it this way
Church: 33 pounds for $39
Good Wheat brand 25 pounds for $79
You can probably get wheat at Winco (check Costco and Sam’s club as well), but it will most likely come in a large paper container that will need to be repacked – either in buckets or metal cans. Compare prices.
We had a family near us move and they didn’t want to take their wheat. She said (and you know who you are): I don’t know how to make bread, I don’t WANT to know how to make bread, and I’m NEVER going to make bread. I still laugh about that. Don’t want wheat? Can’t eat wheat? Fine. Get rice. But get something. Maybe try einkorn wheat (supposed to be easier on your system and better for you but it is more expensive) or try spelt. All I know is, I lived in China for a month and they do NOT have a lot of bread there. I MISSED IT!!! A LOT!!
A suggested one-year minimum per person is 400 pounds of grain, including rice, corn, wheat, oats, barley, and pasta. If you think about that, it works out to a little over 1 pound per day – and that is NOT much!!! Start small. Work on getting 1-3 months. Then just keep going. Personally (and no one asked me) I think we are running out of time.
MISC PURCHASE: clothesline & clothespins
There are lots of videos about washing clothes in a bad situation. DIY Off Grid Laundry – Budget Preparedness/5 Gallon Bucket/Prepper Hygiene. But whether you use this bucket system or not, you’ll want to be able to hang your clothes to dry. Some of us “really old” people have actually done this. I found this list of rules just in case this is new to you.
Be especially careful NOT to hang shirts by their shoulders. If you do, you get little “wings” that will not lay flat when you put the shirt on. LOL, When my daughter lived in Tucson, she had her husband rig up a clothesline in the upstairs loft. She hung her clothes to dry in the house, and it only took an hour or so.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
I read a blog the other day entitled, “What else can you do with wheat?” I copied it to a word document, and have included it. The recipes include pancakes, tortillas, and biscuits.
I went to a church ladies’ activity in the ’80s (Can you believe that was over 40 years ago???) and certain people were asked to experiment with different wheat recipes, then bring what they liked best. I tested different pancake recipes and cooked hot pancakes there for everyone to taste. (Do you think I “saved” that recipe??? Of course not. Duh…) If the time comes when we have to live off our food, there is going to be a very steep learning curve. LOL
1 c. sugar
2 TB butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg – Add and beat well until light and fluffy
1/2 c. canned milk
2 squares melted chocolate – Add and mix
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. whole wheat flour
Stir in 1 c. chopped nuts
Pour into greased 9 X 9 pan. Bake 350˚ for 30-35 minutes.
Substituting wheat flour for white flour
1 c. minus 2 TB wheat flour = 1 c. white flour
If using baking powder or baking soda, increase by 1/3. If using yeast, double the yeast.
If possible, grind wheat just before you use it to retain its full nutrition. It is rich in vitamin E and wheat germ, both of which are soon lost after grinding.
Uses for wheat
Whole Wheat Pancakes – Amy B.
Amy’s been making whole wheat pancakes for years. I called her specifically to get her “special” recipe.
2 eggs separated. Beat the egg whites
3 TB brown sugar – mix yolks and sugar together
In a separate bowl, combine
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 TB baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. milk – Add to yolks, alternating with dry ingredients
3 TB oil – mix in
Fold in the whites
This week’s goal, make Amy’s pancakes and try them out!
Suggestion: Many Middle Eastern recipes use wheat berries, or bulgur (which is wheat) instead of flour. Find a side or main dish you like for the other ingredients it uses that dovetail with your stored foods, and test it to see if you like the results. You just might add an option to your repertoire! From experience I agree with all of Mum’s clothesline rules. I also have a collapsible wooden clothes drying rack. I use it for throw rugs on our patio often, but it is great for indoor drying in limited space in bad weather. It will be… Read more »