|No, we have not put new garden fabric between the rows. Yes, those are weeds breaking through...|
I've had quite a few blog friends ask how I come up with new weekend posts each week. Every week. Well, no one is more surprised than I am but each week (with the exception of blog breaks) I tend to see something that sparks a post or I hear something or I do something... so far. Should that stop then I know it is time to stop blogging!
This past week two things happened within the same few days. The first was working in my garden and hoping the chard will survive and flourish in spite of being drowned greens at the moment. The second was an advertisement about garden seeds packaged for long term storage.
The seeds are a good idea, all heirloom seeds so one can save the seeds from this year's "crop" and use them in subsequent years. Having them in containers which provide an extremely long shelf life is a good idea. But putting them on the shelf in case they are ever needed, well... that might not be such a good idea.
It all gets back to this. What I've gone on about ad nauseam. Just buying stuff and putting it on a shelf does not equal being prepared. Oh, some things like perhaps banana chips work just fine without any experience. And powdered milk packed for long term storage. And you know how I wished I'd stocked up on powdered eggs!
Stocking up is a very good thing. Sometimes.
For you see, if you think having packages of garden seeds on your shelves will provide food for the family, it just may be money tossed in the trash. Unless along with the seeds, you have been gaining gardening experience through the years.
What can't money buy? Experience!
You have to DO SOMETHING. You can't store flour or wheat and then hope you know how to make bread should it be necessary. (Much less grinding wheat if you don't also have a grain grinder.) You cannot subsist entirely on Hamburger Helper and think you will learn to cook real food should it be necessary.
I wondered where people who stored the seeds were going to plant them if it were necessary to grow their own food? In the lawn? Assuming the planting of the emergency seeds meant a true emergency, would there be time and money available to build raised beds, or dig up the lawn, and add a fence to protect them? How about the soil? What will it grow? Is there enough direct sunshine in at least part of the garden?
Experience is just as important as stocking up! My husband was told by an acquaintance that grows his food way out in the country (we can at least see neighbors around us) that he has never ever needed a fence around his garden plot. He actually made fun of us because we thought a fence important. When a critter got into the garden before we could finish rebuilding our fence, we thought of this guy and his scoffing! If we did not garden already, we may have believed him.
I know from experience that tomatoes do not grow directly from a seed planted in my garden! Perhaps my soil is wrong or the growing season too short or whatever. I have to start the seeds inside first and that hasn't gone all that great since I don't have the proper lighting set up (and living within a forested area means no sunny windows!).
Not to mention... I haven't had much luck with even tomato plants in the raised beds so this year we experimented with growing larger tomatoes outside of the
When I started gardening, I didn't know the difference between bush beans and pole beans. It was on another gardener's recommendation that I came to realize both were important to grow each summer. It was through experience that I learned you have to thin out the pole beans especially or you get a lot of vine and less beans (and I think garden spiders hid within and bit me last year).
So it gets down to this once again. Having a pantry is essential. Deepening that pantry is a good idea. But at the ground level there is that important item you cannot buy and place on a shelf. You need to gain experience using some items you stock for emergencies.
You need to learn to make your own bread even if you don't on a regular basis. You need to at least garden just a little if you store seeds. You need to know how to use a First Aid kit. Learning can be fun as well as tasty (well, not bandages but bread).
Ummm... I do hope people who are depending on the heirloom seeds for future gardens have also had experience with seed saving. Just saying.