Monday, March 30, 2009

Container Gardening Class

Last week I had the opportunity to teach a container gardening class to my stake.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that over 50 people attended the class.  I created a power point presentation vs. giving out a ton of handouts.  I thought I'd post the link to my power point presentation that has been converted to a .pdf file.

Container Gardening Presentation

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thank you

I'm still a little inept at figuring out the blog stuff. I just wanted to say THANK YOU to so many of you who have sent me your success stories about your own home storage efforts. I'm so proud of you. I don't know you but I'm thankful to you for all of your preparations. It makes me more determined to do more.

Keep up the good work. Please continue to write and tell me all the fun stuff you and your friends are doing. YAY FOR YOU!!!

Wendi in NJ

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Online Canning Class

I just took an online self-study course on Home Canning and Preservation offered by the the National Center for Home Food Preservation through the University of Georgia.

I have to say that I knew a lot but learned quite a bit as well. It also helped to solidify some things I was a bit shaky on. They have you take a pre-quiz before each section. I didn't pass the pre-quizzes but scored between 70-90%. After the section, you'll have the opportunity to take the same quiz up to two more times. If you pass the course with greater than 70%, you will be sent a certificate saying that you completed the course.

The course is free of charge. Click on this link and scroll to the bottom. You'll see a little sign that says "Preserving Food at Home--Self Study". Under that banner there will be a teeny tiny link to sign up for the course. It took about a week before I was sent the link and password for the actual course.

You have up to 6 months to complete it. Having done a bunch of canning, I didn't feel it necessary to actually go through the exercises they give you. They teach you to can apples, tomatoes and something else that slips my mind. If you mess up, they give you reasons for the problems. I did find it to be very helpful.

I completed the course in one day. If you're familiar with canning, it takes about 2 hours or so. I was also doing laundry, homeschooling and general mom stuff.

Let me know if you take the course and what you think.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I've decided that I'll add some of my musings from my weekly emails I sent out to members of my church and others about food storage.  Most of it is the sales from the different grocery stores each week.  But, it's also a chance for me to communicate some preparedness thoughts.  This is last week's.

I'm going to delve into your personal lives. Do you have a year's supply of toilet paper? Have you ever tried to figure that out? I'm not sure if I want to tell y'all how much TP I have saved, goal is to have a roll/day. I have 8 people in my family. All of whom are potty trained now. And there are 5 girls to boot. So, like I said, I've got a goal of having at least 1 roll per day in storage. Depending on how quickly we catch the 3 year from unrolling it all ....I may need less or more. :) TP takes up a lot of space, BUT the good thing is that it doesn't require a cold, dark storage place like your food. Though, I would be thoughtful about where I store it because little rodents like the soft cushiness of Charmin just like we do. If you have extra Rubbermaid containers that you can put it in, you can store it in the attic or up in the rafters of the garage. You can also squish it down to put more in a container. I have a roll of TP in each of our 72 hours kits that's been vacuum packed with our food saver. If you have other suggestions, please let me know.

One more thing personal...feminine supplies. Please store these things. Just take a little wander into the world where you have nothing for yourself (if you're a woman) or your daughters or anyone else that may need your help. Again, they take up some space, BUT just like the TP, they don't require special storage conditions. It would be my suggestion that you pick up an extra package each time you go to the store. Don't wait until you need them. If you get them on sale, it's not too much of an extra burden. Plus, Kotex always has coupons available to make a package of pads right around $1.50-$2.00. That's not that bad. You've got to have them anyway, just make it a habit to grab a box each time you're at the store. You'll be surprised at how quickly that adds up. I encourage the men that read this to please support your wives in this extra expense. It'll make for a much happier wife in the long run. This is also something you may wish to add to your 72 hours kits. I'd put them in a plastic bag.

I'll tell y'all a little about myself. One that I"m sure will make you mock me, BUT I can handle it. Everyone has to start some where with food storage. I was a single woman living in Charlottesville Va with my own house (own mortgage). I did not have any food storage at all. Nothing! I got a letter from my aunt that encouraged me to start saving water in 2 litre soda bottles. That's where I started. Well, more specifically, I started with a 2 litre soda bottle filled with water and a GIANT box of Tampax tampons from Sam's Club. And the rest is history. :) If I can do it, anyone can. Trust me.