So much for my food security measures!



It seems long gone already, but here's my Memorial Day weekend assessment in a nutshell:


Tazz discovered a chipmunk nesting in the beehives.
Again.
(Last time 9 chipmunks scattered away when I pulled the boxes apart to scatter the nesting material.)

Of course I couldn’t afford bees again this year (5th year anticipating the opportunity), the beehives are now almost ruined stacks of rotting wood now - but they were in bad shape to begin with.   I can continue to make efforts to re-salvage it all and try again...

The 100 Russian sage branches I propagated thru winter didn’t take root (apparently I have a black thumb… I even used rooting hormone and kept them watered and in the hot utility room). 
Perhaps Spring is a better time of year to try?

The winds that are blowing up a brown sky from the fires and desert sands of New Mexico dried out all my garden plants- so I watered them extra (2x a day rather than once), and found 1/2 of them dead because it was almost at freezing last night!
Note to self: don't plant until June....

It's just ridiculous that I tried to garden here as if zone 6 is only a slightly shorter growing season than Cali... which was a zone 9 or 11. We had a very mild winter and I was just used to that easy growing season. I am continually shocked to hear they don’t start anything until JUNE here! 
I guess a cold frame would help extend the season with such a late start! 

And something ate 11 of the 12 sunflowers. It was probably the chickens...
Growing high-protein black-oil sunflowers around the perimeter of the chicken yard for supplemental feed has not panned out as planned. 
Need to keep checking the paper for used fencing!

And I accidentally 'weeded out’ some feed corn, lol. Well, it looked like grass! 
I don't have a grain grinder - and hammering hard kernels of corn into pieces isn't really what I'd call a good use of time anyway. (I already did that with popcorn just to see).

And out of 100 soup dry bean seeds planted, (9 different kinds), after 3 weeks of watering, I got 3 plants up.  One of those got crushed by the Labrador, and one has some holes in the leaves. I knew I’d be battling grasshoppers, deer, and chickens, but it feels ridiculous to keep watering at this point. Beans are just too cheap to try growing them!

And, I lost 6 of 12 tomato plants, and 2 of 3 ‘bowl’ gourds, and ALL of my spaghetti squash due to freezing temps.
Will just have to nurture the ones I have, and start thinking about best plans for a cold frame! 

Then there are those 4 chicks... 
Only one looks like it will be a hen. Home hatching – the jokes on me! 
But, I'm set for the next batch of hen chicks! (And I love those colorful little roos!)

the black one is the hen chick

the hen chick on left is 1/2 the size of the biggest roo chick
They all have different colored feathers, different combs (or none), and different colored legs!  One even has blue legs!


The black chick at 2 months turned brown with pencil-lace markings and black legs (dark gray). No comb yet. She's got a tuft of feathers on her head - like a road-runner.

The yellow chick is now black and white! His comb is flat, diamond-shaped and bumpy. His legs are blue-gray- mostly blue.
Here's a front photo of  the same chick (roo):

Here is the 'tuxedo' colored roo chick - his feathers gleam irridescent purple in the sun!
OK not a great photo- but he never stays sill! His legs are a fleshy color.
And here's the largest of the chicks- he looks like a Dominique? He's the least flighty of them all. His legs are yellow and he's getting quite the comb!


So…lessons learned the hard way? I'd say so. But they're all valuable, if time seems wasted - it's not. That's just the way it goes sometimes!

and, I have had some good results (and luck):

Growing green onions from the root end of store-bought (leave about 2" of onion above the root and stick into the dirt so that the tops are above ground). ONE month later- HUGE results! I can snip the greenery and it will grow back again! 
The bottom ends of store-bought romaine lettuce has been coming up with new leaves, but it needs a LOT of water (it's likely the potting soil doesn't hold water well). 
green onion, rosemary (from the store-bought spice sticks in the veggie section), romaine lettuce and a bowl gourd (from seed).

HUGE bunch of green onion greenery- from ONE tiny little rooting....in one month. Try this- you'll love it!


A side note: 
I don't desire to bring anyone into a place of doom or gloom but rather to instigate some response that would help empower you against the reality that is creeping up on us. It doesn't make sense to cry out that the sky is falling and then run around underneath it- and I wouldn't ever offer that scenario as a topic of discussion.

My intentions are to find ways to help offset the depression or hyperinflation or whatever is coming, and inspire you too. 
The earthquake has happened and we all know that a tsunami wave could be coming but we want to stay 'normal' until we actually SEE the water pulling back from the shore. The problem is, then it's just too late.
It's exceedingly hard with such tight finances, but it's not the same as being helpless to do anything. Little things count, because they do add up over time! 
I just keep hoping you'll join me in trying some things that will build a hedge against the worst possible outcomes (like simply gardening).

Just sticking those green onion roots into the ground around your flowers. It would take about 2 minutes of your time.
Watch them take off without any care at all, then in 3 or 4 weeks you have grown a free bunch of green onions.

It's something. By itself may look like too little to matter at all. But it's not. 
Because suppose that once a month you take the green tops of those green onions and slice them up and lay them out to let them dry (dehydrate). It would take 5 minutes of your time.  (One paper towel or open newspaper spread out on top of the dryer over the weekend, in a 170 degree oven for a few hours, or for a weekend on a patio table -wherever the wind wouldn't scatter it). Then tip that paper and let it slide into a jar. 
It would take 3 minutes of your time, max. 
After all summer, for only 10 minutes each month, you'd have a jar full.
That's just from ONE bunch. Imagine if you had 6 bunches going. By the end of summer you'd have 6 jars full and that would equal enough green onion to flavor a meal once a week for 6 more months. 

It's a small thing. I mean, having dehydrated green onion flakes is hardly conducive to surviving skyrocketing groceries (or lack of them in the store generally). But it is one way to stretch bland food like rice or pastas or potatoes. Other herbs would work as well, just not quite as universally. (Dill pasta anyone? LOL) 

The point is to help mitigate financial circumstances that will hurt. If banks close for bank holidays to prevent a bank run, or the electric goes out and there are NO ATM's to withdraw from, then what? 
If you have the gas grill, and water, then you would be better off than others, but when the situation leads to looting and panic, who's going to run to the store when the pantry is empty -all but the Top Ramen? 
If you have some dehydrated flavorings (from vegetables vs just herbs), that will continue to propagate themselves, and you have boxes of mashed potatoes and some salt...then you have something relatively cheap and easy to story and prepare, and that is way better than nothing

The next logical thought is for protein- and that's where chickens come in (for the eggs). 
Top Ramen is pretty damned tasty with green onion and eggs. (Beans or peppers or peas would make it even better...)

Of course, this "seems" to be worst-case scenario, but it's now happening in Greece. And they are about to start having rolling blackouts because their national electric company cannot secure the loans it needs to buy coal to power the plants! 
Every single nation is now facing the same outcome. There is no growth possible that can overcome the debt levels, even if a nation prints and nationalizes their banks. It's going to end badly, eventually. So, if you and I both know how bad things could be, what better to do while we're waiting?

I've started 2 organic bunches of celery (3" from the bottom end). We'll see what happens. 
**Update: nothing happened but a little bit of trying to grow. Mostly they rotted.

Of note:
I DID have success with growing the 1" root ends of bunches of green onions. I put them into plastic coffee containers and they grew great! I trimmed them (for eating) at least 12 times before they went to seed.  (I kept them in east-facing windows over winter and by January they looked like chives- but still edible! It's now June and some of them are putting up seed-heads, but I got ONE YEAR's worth of green onions from each root!!!)


I'd love you to share any shortcuts or tricks or tips you've got for growing things! (Like potatoes in stacked tires, using straw rather than soil??) 
Keep ideas coming, because we could all use them!








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