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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seed Starter Methods

There are lots of different methods to start your plants from seed. I wanted to share a few here with you. All of them work, and the choice is yours as to which method you like best. 

The first method I'd like to show you is the "Baggie" method. MMpaints @ Self Sustained Living shared this one with us on the forums last year.  This is my second year using this method and it works out well for me.
I like using peat pellets to start seed in.  You can pick these up at most any garden center.  They are relatively inexpensive and work quite well. You will need 5 items- 1. peat pellets 2. a shallow pan 3. ziplock baggies (the ones with pleated bottoms work best) 4. warm water 5. Seeds
Place your pellets in a shallow dish with warm water and let them soak for a few minutes until they expand fully.  Take them out of the dish and plant your seed in them. (one plant per pellet)  Place them in a zip-lock baggie and set them in a warm sunny window.  I have found that if you will put four pellets per bag they will stand more easily. 

You should see results within a few days.  This creates a mini-greenhouse and eliminates the need for watering for awhile.
You can also make your own peat pots using paper towel or TP rolls.  Just cut them into sections and fold the bottoms up.  Then just fill with soil.  These are great because you are recycling and free! These will work with the baggie method as well.

Another easy way to start your plants is by using empty 2 liter soda bottles.  Cut the top half of the bottle off.  Poke holes in the bottom with section and fill with your soil mix.  Sew your seeds and cover with the  top of the bottle.  You may need to make a couple of cuts in the top half to get it to fit back on.
Now here is one that has me intrigued. I really want to try this one at home folks!  Ever considered using your egg shells to start seeds in?  This seems great on several levels to me. And talk about recycling and being bio-degradable!!!  Crack your egg from the top and save the shell.  Rinse it out and poke two or three holes in the bottom.
Fill with soil and sow your seed. You can place three in a 2 liter soda bottle or just set them back in the egg carton until they are ready to plant.

Ok, there you have it.  Some simple and effective ways to start your plants from "scratch"!  Let's get to sprouting!!!

(Cross-Posted @ Bacon and Eggs )

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Challenge

It's springtime Folks! And springtime means it's time to garden!!  More and more people are thinking about putting in a garden this year and there is no better time than NOW.  If you have never tried growing anything before then let this be the year you got your hands in a little dirt.  You will be surprised at how easy it really is. 

I can hear people say..... but I just don't have the room to plant a garden.  I am willing to bet you do and might not even realize it.  Container gardening is easy and takes very little room. With three or four 5 gallon buckets and a window sill planter on your patio, you can be eating fresh salad by June.  There is nothing so good as a salad you grew yourself.  Here's my challenge to you.  Grow yourself a salad garden!  Tomato's, peppers, and cucumber all grow quite well in containers.  Lettuce is easy too.  I personally like using spinach instead of lettuce but that's a personal preference.  

If you are worried about starting plants from seed there are other options out there.  Your local nursery can be a great place to begin.  You can find everything you need to get started there. I have found that people who work there are most always quite helpful and willing to answer whatever questions you might have. Take advantage of their knowledge, that's what they are there for.  This time of year the nurseries are full of starter plants.
When you choose your plants- look for healthy plants with well developed stems. If they look at all "run-down" or "stressed" pass them by.   There are several choices with your tomato's as well as your peppers.  Cherry tomato's are easy to do but then any tomato will work.  This part is totally up to you.  So you now have picked some nice plants.  While you are there pick up some decent soil as well.

Ok, now you have the basics... lets get started.  If you are going to be using 5 gallon buckets you will need to drill several holes in the bottom of them.  This is where I toss some smallish rocks in the bottom to help with drainage.  Fill your bucket almost completely with the dirt. This is were the fun starts! Take your tomato plant out of the little container gently and loosen the roots just a little.  Make a hole in the dirt and stick that baby in up to its first set of leaves.  I know it sounds like it might be too deep but trust me here.  This will make for a stronger plant.  Do the same with your peppers. Cucumbers are another plant that does just fine in a container.  Once you have your plants in their new home give them a good watering and sit back and watch them grow!  Ok admit it... it wasn't all that hard after all was it?
So what are you waiting for??  It's a beautiful spring day and there is no better time to get started!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ready Store Review

Ready Store Review by: Pioneer Living Survival Magazine

Our latest product review is “The Ultimate Ready Evac Kit for 1 Person” brought to you by “The Ready Store (http://www.thereadystore.com)”

We will have to say that we were impressed with the contents of this “grab and go” kit. We think it would be a perfect kit that you might want to keep in your vehicle. It has everything for one person to survive for 7 days.

We tested one of the MRE meals, so simple to make and it even tasted good!

We also tested the backpack fully loaded with the contents on our 9 year old daughter to show that she could carry her own supplies in a time of an emergency.

Although there is a collapsible water container included, we would recommend that you add a plastic drinking bottle for mixing your flavored drink that comes with the MRE.

Reasonably priced, good quality products in the kit, would recommend you have one for each member of your family. Something you should add to your preparedness supplies.

We would give this product 5 stars.

Here is a short video showing the contents and testing some of the products included in the 1 person Ultimate Ready Evac Kit.

Product Features
Free Shipping: No
Supply Type: Grab-n-Go
Supply Duration: 1-Week
Enclosure Type: Backpack
Needs Supplied: Warmth & Shelter, Water & Hydration, Food & Nutrition, Sanitation & Hygiene, First Aid & Medical, Light & Communication, Cooking & Fuel, Tools & Supplies
Situational Usage: Auto, Biological, Earthquake, Electrical, Fire, Flood, Hurricane, Medical, Nuclear, Storm, Tornado
Shelf Life: 5-10 Years
Brand: The Ready Store
Dimensions: 15" x 15" x 15"
Kit Supplies: Food/Water/Equipment
Age Group: Adult
Persons: 1-Person
Product Contents
Enclosure (1 Piece):

(1) Large Internal Frame Camping Backpack
Food & Water (24 Pieces):

(1) 2400 Calorie Food Bars
(6) MRE Deluxe Full Meals with Heaters
(15) 4.227 ounce Datrex Water Pouches
(1) 2.5-Gallon Collapsible Water Container
(1) Potable Aqua - Water Purification Tablets
Warmth & Shelter (8 Pieces):

(1) 2-Person Tube Tent
(1) Emergency Blanket
(1) Emergency Sleeping Bag
(1) Emergency Adult Poncho
(3) 8 Hour Body Warmers
(1) Flat-Fold Stove with 24 Fuel Tablets
Light & Communication (10 Pieces):

(1) Boxes of 50 Waterproof Matches
(3) Emergency Candles
(1) 115 Hour Ready Candle
(3) 12-Hour Light-stick
(1) Heavy Duty Flashlights with 2 'D' Batteries
(1) Solar Hand-crank Radio/Flashlight
Emergency Tools (11 Pieces):

(1) 5-in-1 Survival Aid with Compass
(1) Ready Guide
(1) 50' Nylon Rope
(1) 12-Function Swiss Style Knife
(1) Can Opener
(1) 9' x 12' Plastic Sheeting
(1) Duct Tape - 10 YARDS
(1) Protective Leather Gloves (Pair)
(1) Folding Shovel
(1) Gas Shutoff Wrench
(1) Multi-Function Leatherman Tool
First Aid (4 Pieces):

(1) 81pc First-Aid Kit with First-Aid Booklet
(3) 3M N95 Particlulate Respirator
Sanitation & Hygeine (13 Pieces):

(1) Toothbrush
(1) Toothpaste
(1) Bar of soap
(1) Hand Sanitizer
(1) Comb
(1) Razor
(3) Sanitary Napkins
(2) Tissue Packs
(1) Nesting Camp Cup

(1) Garbage Bag
Oklahoma Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Oklahoma Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.