Marti’s Corner 102

March 09, 2023

* Water filters.  We were very lucky to find a Berkey Water filter at an estate sale just by chance.  The Big Berkey is now costing about $480.  THEN, someone mentioned that you can make your own with buckets, and just use the filters.  That’s the most important part anyway.  Sure enough, this guy shows you just how to do it:  (104) DIY Big Berkey Style Water Filter System with 5 Gallon Buckets (for 1/4 the cost).  In fact, we just googled “Make your own water filter” and a bunch of videos came up.  


* We’ve had a few sunny days, and we’ve used that time to finally dispose of all our dead plants from last fall.  All those beautiful tomato plants we watered all winter just finally died in the frost because we didn’t cover them.  They didn’t have any tomatoes on them anyway and the little green tomatoes that WERE there were rotting before they were ripening.  

This year’s plan is to plant MOSTLY determinant tomatoes that will produce, ripen, and die.  They have a few indeterminate plants that will give me tomatoes here and there for the whole summer.  At least that’s the plan.

Indoor Plants*Our indoor plants are getting huge, waiting to go out into the garden.  Mental note–next year, don’t plant them quite so early.  Oddly enough, everything is growing except the bell peppers.  They are still quite small (only the first two leaves).  Hmmmm. Even the celery had to be replanted because it outgrew its little container.

Aren’t they so cute!!!

Everything grows so well in the house – NO BUGS!!!  Temperate climate!  If certain plants didn’t need to be pollinated, we’d want to grow my whole garden inside!

** Just a few notes about moving plants from inside to outside.  They need to adjust to the sun.  BEFORE you plant, take them outside and increase the sun time.  Day one:  1 hour.  Day two 2-3 hours.  After that, they should be fine.

The second thing is transplanting.  When you disturb the roots or expose the roots to the air, you weaken the plant.  To combat this, transplant and water right away, so that any air pockets will fill with water and protect the roots.  Then, cover the plants with shade:  a sheet, a tarp, whatever.  THREE DAYS!!!  Give the plant a chance to rest and recuperate. Here in the house, when we re-pot something, we keep it away from the lights for three days. It’s a good rule of thumb.

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: peanut butter

Peanut Butters“Peanut butter is loaded with so many good, health-promoting nutrients including Vitamin #, magnesium, iron, selenium, and vitamin B6.  Research shows that people who regularly eat nuts and nut butter, including peanut butter, are less likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”  The Healthy Perks of Peanut Butter | Denver Health Medical Plan

Peanut butter has fiber and protein and can help control appetite.

Some state that you can store powdered peanut butter for up to 15 years.  We’re not a big fan of powdered peanut butter.  But we have found that regular peanut butter WILL go rancid after 1 1/2 – 2 years.  Soooooo, we just don’t store that much–only about 1 1/2 years’ worth.  With just the two of us, we don’t eat THAT MUCH peanut butter, but Craig does like it on his pancakes and waffles.  In addition, every 2-3 months, we’ll make some kind of dessert with peanut butter.  A good plan would be to start with one jar open and 2 jars on the shelf.  Be sure and write the date you buy them on the front, so you can rotate them.  First in, first out.

MISC. PURCHASE:  matches – a lot of them!!!

ZMatchesKnowing how to make fire was one of man’s greatest achievements!!!  It might be a fun project this summer to have a campout (even in your backyard) and practice making fire with flint and steel, or with some kind of firestarter.  Every time we do this, we’re genuinely surprised that wildfires ever start.  Making fire is really hard to do!!!  The alternative to “making” fire is to store matches and tinder.  Suppose you have to make a fire every day for a year.  That’s 365 matches.  If you’ve ever lit a fire, you know that getting a flame with only one match is a hopeful endeavor at best.  Now we’re up to 730 matches. (2 a day) I keep matches in my 72-hour kits, in the kitchen, in the garage, and in just about every place.  


Reeses Eggs (great at Easter time)

  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 2 TB brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • dash salt

    Stir together

  • 2 c. powder sugar – Stir into the peanut butter mix

    Refrigerate until firm enough to work with.  Flatten to 1/2″ thick.  Use a small egg cookie cutter and cut eggs.  Line a tray with parchment paper and put cut eggs on the tray.  Freeze 45-60 min.  Just before taking them out of the freezer, melt together:

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. semi sweet chocolate pieces

     (okay, we have not made these yet…. but this seems like a lot of milk to me.  In fact, we’d probably just dip in straight chocolate.  Every time we’ve had to thin out chocolate, we’ve used a few teaspoons of shortening, not milk, and NEVER water!!! )

    Makes 16-17 eggs.  

    Dip frozen eggs into the melted chocolate.  

Granola Bars

  • 4 c. Rice Krispies
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1 1/2 c. nuts and seeds


  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1 c. peanut butter

     Melt together.

  • 1 TB vanilla – add

    Mix with the rice mix.  Can add chocolate chips

    Press into a 13 X 9 buttered dish.  Cool 1 hour.

Chicken Rice Soup

  • 1 TB oil
  • 1 onion minced.  Saute onion until it begins to be golden
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp thyme

     Add to onion and cook a few minutes more

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • 3 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 c. brown rice

    Add and simmer 30 minutes.  Stir every 10 minutes until the vegetables and rice are tender.

    Remove chicken and shred – add back in

    Add 1 c. evaporated (or whole) milk

    Heat through.


Companion Planting Chart


Marti Shelley

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1 month ago

I planted last year on April 1,’22 and I live in SoCal at the base of the San Bernardino and San Gorgonio Mountains, Zone 9-10. It was too early to plant outside then, and struggled with some of the items I planted. It was only until the middle of May that everything was right for planting. I do from seed, outside. I ended up with a nice beginner garden. This year, I am planning and waiting for the middle of May before I do anything. I am going to use the companion chart to help. Thank you Marti for your… Read more »

Esther Sanni
Esther Sanni
1 month ago

Thank you for sharing very helpful. How did you make your 72 hours kits?

1 month ago

Nice companion chart but I could not see it very clearly.
Good info on the peanut butter.

1 month ago
Reply to  Julie

Type it in Google search and it’s there.

1 month ago

Thank you. We eat a lot of peanut butter. It hasn’t never gone rancid at our house. Have a good weekend.

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