I’ve been working with an organization called VOAD. It is a County Group. VOAD stands for Volunteer Organizations Active During Disasters. In our group, we have Methodist Ministries, Ham Radio Operators, Catholic Charities, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, City and County Offices of Emergency Management, Electric Company Representatives, Police and Fire Departments, etc. In case of a disaster, VOAD might be called upon by the responding government agencies to provide volunteers, supplies, or expertise. https://www.nvoad.org/ Here is the link to the National VOAD. Check to see where your nearest group is and get involved.
** I’m already thinking about what to do in the fall. After spring, most stores destroy their remaining seeds. If you want to plant anything, you need to order seeds from an online company. If you have saved your leftover seeds from your spring planting, you should be okay. Seeds will actually keep for several years in a cool, dark place. The germination rate will decline over time, but you should be able to get some to grow. Here are my favorite seed companies to order from: Johnny’s Selected Seeds and True Leaf Market Seed Company.
True Leaf is cheaper, but you get fewer seeds. Of course, I don’t need 500 bean seeds when 30 will do.
** I found this great resource: 2022 Planting Calendar: When to Start Vegetable Seeds | The Old Farmer’s Almanac. I like it because you can put in your zip code, and it will be specific to your area.
** I sprayed something on my lettuce and ended up burning it. Ugh. Not sure what I did wrong. I think I sprayed too late in the morning, and it was too hot. I emptied all my squirt bottles and refilled them, and labeled them CAREFULLY. Note to self: Only spray early in the morning or in the evening when it cools off.
This is what my lettuce looks like when I’m ready to harvest it:
But I have a few lettuce plants that I’m letting go to seed. Here is what one of them looks like:
It’s HUGE!! The flowers on the top are just getting ready to open. Yay!!!
** Finally, here are my pumpkins. They are sprawling all over the ground, and no baby pumpkins in sight. In fact, as you can see, no flowers at all. This is my third year attempting to grow pumpkins. Oh well, there is always hope as long as the plants are alive. Right?
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: rice
So, I looked at Winco, and they do NOT have large 25-pound bags of wheat. But they DO have rice, and lots of it, and lots of different kinds. Just like wheat, you’ll have to repackage it for long-term storage. Pantry moths love rice. I vacuum seal my rice, and that seems to work well, although if you have an infestation, I think the moths will eat through the plastic. Rice is available here: White Rice.
A case of six #10 cans is $50. That works out to about $1.50 per pound for comparison purposes.
MISC PURCHASE: toilet paper
Time to check and make sure you have plenty on hand. There is just NO WAY you can store enough to last forever. So, store what you can (at least 3 months – is better) and then plan for what to do next. You could install a bidet. OR you can cut up an old sheet or old towels into squares. I cut my sheet into 6 in X 6 in squares. To use them, get them wet, use as needed, then put them into a bucket with water and a little bleach. Let them soak until you get enough to wash. (This is how we did diapers back in the OLD days!!) Toilet paper as we know it today wasn’t introduced until 1890 and was not perfected until 1930. Before that, people died from diseases related to poor hygiene. For thousands of years, people survived without toilet paper. But it has been the cause of longer lives and healthier living conditions.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Pasta E Fagioli (Fancy way to say pasta with beans)
This is written for a slow cooker, but I’m going to try it in my sun oven.
In a slow cooker add….
1 1/2 lbs browned ground beef (I’ll probably use 1 jar canned ground beef)
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, minced fine (OR 2 TB dehydrated onions)
2 carrots diced
2 large celery stalks diced (OR 2 TB dehydrated celery)
2 cans diced tomatoes with liquid
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 TB minced garlic
1 TB Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Pour in 6 c. beef stock and stir gently to mix.
Lay 1-2 sprigs of rosemary on top and cover with lid. Simmer for 6-8 hours.
30 minutes before serving, remove rosemary springs and add
8 oz. ditalini or other small pasta
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.
EASTERN CORN CHOWDER
Corn Chowder – From Utah State University Cooperative Extension – “Food Storage – Use it or Lose It”
5 slices bacon
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, pared and diced
2 cups milk
1 cup white sauce mix (see below)
17 oz. can cream-style corn
1 teaspoon salt, dash of pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
In a large frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings in pan. Add onion and cook until light brown. Add potatoes and enough water to cover. Cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked. Combine milk and white sauce mix in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until thick and smooth. Stir in corn, salt and pepper. Add to potato mixture and heat for about 10 minutes. Top with crumbled bacon and 1 TB butter before serving.
White Sauce Mix
2 c. instant nonfat dry milk OR 1 1/2 c. regular nonfat dry milk
1 c. flour
2 tsp salt
1 c. butter or margarine
Mix dry ingredients and cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 2 months. Makes 4 cups.
Rice Pilaf (Makes 8 servings)
2 c. rice – Brown rice with 2/3 stick of butter in a skillet. Place in a casserole and cover with
4 c. chicken broth
Cover and bake for 1/2 hour at 375˚. I’m thinking of putting it in the sun oven for about an hour I’m still not sure of the times when using my sun oven compared to a conventional oven. My sun oven is usually about 300-325 degrees, so I’d have to cook a little longer.
Take out of the oven and add:
3/4 c. chopped celery
3/4 c. chopped carrots
3/4 c. chopped green onions
1 c. slivered almonds
1 can chunk turkey, chicken or beef (optional)
Stir well with a fork, and return to the oven for 1/2 hour. Season with salt and pepper before serving.