Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gardening in the Desert (SRS Meeting - February 5, 2009)

There is so much information about "Gardening in the Desert" that I never knew existed. I cannot post everything (of course) about desert gardening and landscaping, but I will post a lot of wonderful online resources. Thank you to Natalie, Kimberly & our guest speaker Brandy for LOTS of great information!!

Gardening with Kids

Kids Gardening has a wonderful website with an email newsletter than you can sign up for.

Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening.

  • Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
  • Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
  • Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
  • Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
  • Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
  • Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
  • Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots.
Vegetable Gardening
A few gardening/planting tips (for Las Vegas):
  • Remember: just because our nurseries sell it, doesn't mean it grows well here.
  • Typically vegetables like location, timing, sandy loam soils, good drainage, deep watering and fertilizer.
  • There are Warm Season vegetables and Cool Season vegetables - just follow the planting times here from Linn Mills (Review Journal Columnist). Star Nursery also has a Warm Season list and a Cool Season list.
  • If you have $1.00, spend .90 on soil and .10 on seeds.
A couple of great books to have:
  • Western Garden Book by Sunset
  • The Edible Garden by Sunset
Helpful websites:

Monday, February 2, 2009

72 Hour Kit - Helpful Tips

Here are some helpful tips for 72 hour kits. A lot of this information (and more) is found at Equipped to Survive. Kira also has some wonderful 72 hour kit information on the Greenway Self-Reliant Sisters Blog.


  • When purchasing flashlights LED lights are the best. If you use incandescent lights, make sure you have spare bulbs. LED lights have the advantage of not needing the spare bulb.


  • Never use so-called "heavy duty" batteries. These are old-fashioned carbon-zinc batteries that have a very short shelf life and run down quickly. Alkaline batteries have a decent shelf life about five years. Lithium batteries are even better, they typically have a ten year shelf life, work better than alkaline in the cold and also weight about half less. But, lithium is usually found only in AA and AAA sizes.


  • Have small bill on hand for cash. People won't have change in an emergency & the ATM's will run out quickly too.

Perishable Items

  • Keep a list of all the items in your 72 hour kit and when they expire. This will make it a lot easier to rotate them.
  • I bought shampoo, deodorant & toothpaste in the brands that my family uses. Before the expiration date, I pull them out and give it to the kids. They think it's fun to use travel size items for a few days.


  • Have copies of your important information - Birth & Marriage Certificates, Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Information, Immunization Records, Insurance Policies, etc.
  • Laminate or keep these in a Zip-loc bag.
  • Have photos of each family member and a group family picture
  • Consider backing up your pictures & genealogy onto a CD/DVD or a Portable Hard Drive.

Any other tips? Just leave a comment :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Simply Living Smart

Thanks to Tonya who told me about a great website called Simply Living Smart. This website is full of easy to understand information. Their website includes:

"Start Step by Step Guide", calculators, 70+ online videos by topic showing step-by step the most modern, affordable, convenient way to organize, plan and prepare to build a smart food storage.

23 free beginning and intermediate, step by step lessons on Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness, as well as e-books, handouts, and recipe e-books.

All of this is FREE! After this, they have money saving memberships if you want to upgrade to advanced, online, live lessons.