Off-grid pantry planner

Do you plan for a garden? I’ve been planning for this spring since the end of the last growing season. Here are a few things that I am doing new this year.

I’ve got gardening on my mind and it’s that time of year to start planning, if you haven’t yet. Using some of my links may keep my coffee cup full. My disclosure link is at the top of this page.

Last year I expanded my gardening education and experiments. I had a very successful time sprouting seeds via a quick method using damp paper towels in plastic containers in a shadowy spot on a shelf above my gas stove in the kitchen.

The most, I don’t know that this is the right word but I feel it is, TEDIOUS part of growing my own seedlings in a home with three cats was moving the plants around as needed to harden them without freezing them. Here in my part of Ohio we can get snow late in spring and I think the last freeze expectancy is the end of May.

One of the things I’ve done to make the seedling part easier on me this year was to buy an indoor/outdoor greenhouse almost exactly like the one pictured below. I will use this in our sunroom (which is not heated) while I grow seedlings before it’s safe to leave them outside.

Quick-method Seed Sprouting

I start my seeds in small leftover food containers on damp paper towels in a somewhat dark and warm part of my kitchen. I had seeds sprouting within about a day or two. Look up Youtube videos on this. I learn so much thanks to Youtube.

I collected some of the hot deli containers (that you bring fried chicken home in from the store) to use this year once my seeds need some dirt. But I have used plastic storage containers (like cake size) for this also.

After they sprout I can fill these “fried-chicken” trays with potting soil and put the clear lids on top to create a greenhouse for them (for the large plastic storage I used shrink wrap which can become difficult).

Transferring my Seedlings

Once they really get going though I will move them into these trays that I plan to order soon. I did see these at Walmart and I picked out two to buy, put them in my cart, went about my shopping and at the other side of the store noticed that were cracked. Since I can get them through Amazon for the same price I decided to wait and order them later.

The green is the largest and it didn’t look all that huge to me in person. I think it will be perfect for what I want and save me from transferring the seedlings more than I want to.

Adding more Raised-beds

Back when I found them on sale at Walmart last year I purchased two kids’ size raised-beds for planting. They were marked down to $15 each. I have to assemble them yet. These should easily fit a smaller area outside where the sun might be better but where I can’t have a big garden.

Last year I used a huge old plastic tote and a kids’ sandbox as raised beds. My husband drilled holes in the bottoms for me. I didn’t fill them completely with soil though, I used branches and paper and whatever under the soil. I planted kale and tomatoes mainly in these and while the kale did really well I transferred my tomatoes to the ground but not IN the ground.

Long story short they didn’t have the depth they needed, I believe. I never got a ripe tomato off the vine and had to pick a lot of green tomatoes before a big freeze around September or October. These eventually ripened after I put them in a shoebox and I made and canned homemade salsa.

I need to finalize my plans for what exactly I want to plant and where I will plant it once it’s ready for the ground.

Becoming more Self-sufficient

Last year I really took a big step in learning skills that would allow our family to become more self-reliant and this year I will continue building on those skills. I shared in this post how my word for 2022 turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy somewhat.

The one new skill I plan to focus on this year while I’m practicing the others is natural medicine. I plan to devote more time to learning exactly what herbs /herbal oils are good for what ailments.

Because, hey… before modern pharmacy plants were medicine…and they still are; however, I think the majority of us in the USA have been taught to rely on modern medicine almost, if not, exclusively even with all the negative side effects.

If 2020 to the present has taught us anything it should be to not put our trust in three-letter agencies whose existence is supposed to be solely for our good ...or for their profit?