Monday, March 21, 2011

Canning Class Completed

Yea! I completed the Preserving Food at Home - A Self Study course offered by the University of Georgia. Now I can't wait to put into practice the things I learned.

Even though this is a short class, just a few hours, I found it to be very informative.
I learned about preservation methods, general canning, how to and why to acid can, and how to and why to low-acid can.

I invite all of you to take this class also. I am sure there is something you can learn also.
You may take this class yourself at

Saturday, March 19, 2011

2011 Goals

Who says goals have to be set only on January 1?

Wintertime is the most difficult time of the year for me because of health conditions. Spring brings new life to the earth and to me. So it just makes sense in my own little world that March 1 is the more reasonable goal setting time.

Personal Learning and Development
Stay busy and focus on doing good and helping others
Learn to play every song in the LDS hymnal, all 341 of them
Learn alto part to every song in LDS hymnal
Learn to preserve by dehydration and bottling
Learn to propagate a variety of plants
Join YMCA for exercise and social interaction

Keep house clean Everyday - quit skipping days (this is the most difficult for me physically)
Increase food and water storage

Remove cedar and bradford pear trees along driveway
Prepare fence row (8'x250') for perennials and shrubs
Prepare perennial wildflower triangle at fence/road/pole
Plant climbing vines at both power poles - I hate vines, but this is the only option here
Prepare Orchard area, up to half acre
Built 5 more Raised Beds for vegetables
Build Perennial Herb Raised Bed
Have something edible growing in my garden every day
Canning/Bottling supplies

I am a few weeks into some of these goals already and will be posting updates the beginning of each month.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

72 Hour Kit - Foods

Today I am catching up on some blogs I follow. Being without internet got me a little behind.

I was over at Food Storage Made Easy responding to the 72 hour kit content request. So I thought I would share my kit here as well.

My 72 hour kit requires No Cooking. You never know what living conditions an emergency will bring you. Therefore cooking or heating something may not always be an option. Everything in my kit is a simple open and eat item.

Being stressed you may want to eat to satisfy your discomfort rather than your hunger. This is not a time to pack foods you are unfamiliar with (like those all-in-one food bars you find in some ready-made kits). Do you really want to eat 6 bites of some strange food bar 3 times a day for 3 days? That would be enough to put me over the edge in an already crazy environment. You need your very favorite foods in your 72 hour kit. The ones you eat on a regular basis.

Food in my 72 hour Kit-
9 - bottles of water
6 - bottles/boxes of juice
6 - cereal bars
1 - box/sleeve of crackers
1 - jar of peanut butter
3 - pudding cups
3 - fruit cups
3 - cans of vegetables, like peas and carrots
3 - cans of  pork and beans
6 - fruit roll ups

I know this may seem like a lot, but you may have to live off it for more than 3 days. Could you in good conscience sit there and eat if someone beside you had no food? I would have to share.
This kit is a generous amount for 1 person for 3 days.
But it is only a sparse amount for 1 person for 5 days or 2 people for 3 days.

Because of the short shelf life of crackers and cereal bars, this kit must be rotated and eaten every 6 months.
I carry this in a backpack with other needed supplies.

Wednesday Wonders

Garlic and Potatoes... I had just about given up on these.
But this morning during my early morning walk through the garden, I saw both poking their heads up.

I have a couple new inground beds this year. And wouldn't you know that the garlic in the mostly clay new south bed has produced a lot of  little green shoots. I hope they are happy there. They are growing between Knock Out roses. It has rained so much these last couple days that a garlic clove has floated up out of the ground. It was a beauty with half inch long roots. He quickly was helped back into the ground again.

I have more garlic (all planted the same day) in a raised bed with rich black soil. Now just how many garlic do you think have come up in this little square of heaven they live in? Dozens? Of course not. One, just one. ugh.

This is my first year to grow garlic. It seems this has turned into an unexpected comparison trial on garlic. I wonder which will produce better?

Oh My, I Won!

My internet has been out for over a week. It has been a frustrating week because so much of what my family does requires research online. When I checked my email, the first thing I saw was a notification that I had won the Burgundy Buttons giveaway from Cluck Cluck Sew. Yea!! I immediately jumped up and down and forgot about the previous week's frustrations.

Thank you to Allison over at Cluck Cluck Sew for hosting a Burgundy Buttons giveaway. I am so excited about winning the gift certificate. I stayed up way too late last night designing a lap quilt just for this Burgundy Button fabric.

Check out Cluck Cluck Sew and Burgundy Buttons for wonderful ideas and great fabric!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Canning Class

I was raised with the attitude there is always something new to learn about everything. Never stop learning.

So when I was told about a free online class from the University of Georgia about preserving food, I jumped at the opportunity. Learning to bottle produce from my garden is one of my many goals this year. I will list my other goals in another post.

Some of you were fortunate to learn to can at your mother's side when you were young. I did not have that opportunity because my mother froze everything. So now I am excited to learn.

Go to this link to sign up for this free online class.
Preserving Food at Home - A Self Study

Course Objectives:

1. Participants will become familiar with various reasons for preserving food and how various methods preserve foods at home.
2. Participants will gain an understanding of the different steps needed for canning acid and low acid foods at 3. home to ensure the production of safe, high-quality products.
4. Participants will become familiar with the materials and equipment needed in home canning.
5. Participants will be able to identify and avoid problems with food canned at home.
6. Participants will be able to successfully preserve products by the methods presented.

This evening I went through the introduction module. The course has several modules. By completing a module every few days, I should be able to complete the course in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Love Springtime in the Garden!

I have been in the garden every day since January 29. My goal is to have something edible growing in my garden every day. Weeds don't count.

The weather has been cool and comfortable to work in without a jacket. I wish I had a camera to take pictures of everything that has been done this spring around here, but unfortunately I will not have a camera until the middle of April. I don't think the vegetables will mind not having their pictures taken until then.

So much as been done in preparing and planting this spring. Two new in-ground beds have been prepared and one new raised bed was built. That makes a total of six garden beds with a combined total of 241 square feet. Five of them are completely full of spring vegetables. Help! I need more garden beds!

Throughout February I have planted outside snow peas, garden peas, carrots, turnips, radishes, red potatoes, yukon potatoes, garlic, chives, scallions, and onions.

Started inside are tomatoes, bell peppers, parsley, cilantro, lettuce, sweet william, and mixed wildflowers.

I was fortunate enough to receive 20 free knockout roses. They have been pruned and put in a holding bed until I can prepare the fence row for them.

The work in the garden is never done. Thank you to everyone that helps me.

It's Shopping Day!

It is that time of week again. That means another trip to CVS.
I was out early this morning running lots of errands and made time to visit CVS with my coupons and extra bucks.
Shopping List-
2 Crest Pro Health Clinical Toothpastes
1 Softsoap Bodywash
8 Softsoap Handsoap
1 Revitalens

Reg Price $45.42   
Final Price after sale, coupons, and extra bucks  $ 6.67 (includes $3.18 sales tax)
Savings of 85%
$38.75 of free product
And I have $2.00 extra bucks for next week!

All of this went into my food storage room for later use.