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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Reusable Canning Lids?! YES and NO BPA

I was at the library an going through one of their Mother Earth publications and saw an advertisement in the back for reusable canning lids that are also BPA FREE!!!

In that same magazine was an interesting article about the harmful effects of BPA on humans (like cancer, early puberty). They use it to line most cans; another reason to can/jar your own food! However, even the lids purchased at the store are lined with BPA – although it’s a lot less than an entire can.

These reusable lids apparently were on the market back in the day and now with the resurgence of the do-it-yourselfer, they are back in production and can be purchased at http://www.reusablecanninglids.com

There are also youtube videos you can watch too. I will order these this year and make sure they go onto lids that will remain in the household with me as they are a bit pricier than the other lids.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Canning/Preserving

 

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Start your seeds now…

So, the local DB store sells the jiffy seed starter greenhouse kit for $3 (tray, 72 cell pack insert, plus dome lid). I bought one; I have 2 of just the trays only from last year. I found a website that sells the jiffy 72 refill cell packs to insert in my 11×22″ plastice jiffy trays that I purchased last year. Note: the peat pellets just dried out too fast. Found reasonably priced too at http://www.promaxcommerce.com for $1.23 for a 72-cell refill pack PLUS shipping of course – but still cheaper than local store (IF you can find one that stocks just the refill cells).

Where I live we are about 8 weeks now before our average last day of frost (May 9). Although I have been told that our zone here in the treasure valley has been changed…I have not checked up on that. I prefer to go by local folklore and look at the snow on the mountains I can see from my kitchen window for most of my plantings.

Today I started the following seeds: Broccoli, Cauliflower (new), Walla Walla Onions, Leeks (new), Green onions (new), turnips (new), Cabbage (new). These are either cool season crops or long growing crops (onions) that will be okay to transplant into the garden in Mid March. In late February or by Mid-march (depending on weather) I will direct seed lettuces/arugula/peas. See Reference Tab for Specfic dates on when to plant what vegetable.

when I receive my additional refill packs next week (as I have 2 remaining trays from last year), I will start my peppers and tomatoes too and grow them indoors for several months; planting early with walls of water around them in May or June.

 

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Seed Starting Supplies at the Ready!

It is that time. Time to get your seed starting supplies out and get going. Don’t worry too much. I still have a mental inventory going in my mind of what I’ve got and what I need. I will have everything going no later than mid february. I am still waiting for seeds I ordered from seed-savers – and will deal with those when they arrive. ALSO MAKE YOUR GARDEN PLAN!!! (I need to get on this one too! will publish soon, last year’s is under resource tab)

I decided to switch out my starting strategy and NOT use the expandable peat pellets. Why? They dried out too quickly and the roots tended to stick out too much for the length of time I keep my starts indoors.

Instead I will purchase a couple of the plastic “cell” type starters. Like what you’d buy a 6pack of flowers in at the store – instead this size is about a cookie sheet and has (i don’t know) 60-72 cells? I will purchase soil to put into cells. This system should retain moisture much better and it’s reusable. The peat pots to me are just too expensive for the amount of starts I will do.

Remember, heat is what counts for germination (not light. Seeds are underground; they don’t get light; they respond to heat). The right temps are usually mid 60’s – 80 degrees. Cover with saran wrap to create a green house effect. I don’t have a warming mat. I cover with plastic wrap and put in a sunny window and this works for me.

Refer to my Resource Tab that has date table for seeds/starts. Start cool season crops brocolli, root veggies, onions from seed, lettuce (if you want-these usually germinate in colder temps fine), and other crops you want to get a jump on like peppers (for walls of water), tomatoes (for walls of water), zuchinni. Direct seed peas, lettuce. Plant potatoes in soil in mid-march. Just getting you thinking.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in 2012 Garden