Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekly Challenge and Assignment (Week of March 20th)

Hi Carson Ward Family,

Today I learned about two great websites for the California coast line and Los Angeles areas regarding Emergency Preparedness. They are really great and have a lot of information. I must say I am very impressed, and looks like they are ready and trained for natural disasters the best anyone could be. I learned that the HOAA is well prepared to worn the people in this area about Tsunamis and there are many Tsunami detectors placed in the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to along the Pacific Coast line. They have just put up Tsunami evacuation signs in areas that could be hit by a Tsunami, Ventura, Marina Del Rey, the Harbor area and in Orange County. We just noticed one a few days ago on the corner of Anaheim and Figueroa showing to go up onto the 110 Freeway (Harbor Freeway).

Check them out and take advantage of the information there. The websites are:

1) NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)


"We feel the need to empathize with greater clarity the obligation for members of the Church to become more independent and self reliant." (Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, April 1983)

"We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear." (First Presidency letter, June 24, 1988)

As the days have gone by we have watched and listended to the events unfolding in Japan due to the 9.1 earthquake, huge Tsunami and Nuclear Plant issues that hit Japan over a week ago. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and their loves ones who live here in the United States. Their cries fill the air as they hear about their loved ones who are lost and the devastation they see of their homes, towns and county. Their unbelievable patience and kindness, though going through a horrible tragedy, is amazing!

This is a county who is prepared more than any other county in the world, but no one could prepare for the devastation we have witnessed. Because of their preparations, they are able to work though some of the loss and pull together to help each other.


We procrastinate, give excuses, and delay putting together a backpack for each family member in our house hold. All you need is some food for 3 days, water, maybe a change of clothes and a family first-aid kit. Go to a thrift store to purchase the backpacks to save money. The other items in the "72 Hour Emergency Kit" listed on this blog would make life a little bit easier, but at least have food, water, a change of clothing and a first-aid kit. Add the other items as you can.

Also, continue to add food to your 3 Months and Year's Supply of food storage. All it takes is a little at a time, and before you know it, you will have it. I am hearing on the news channels we should have at least 3 Months Supply of food and water stored. If there was a major earthquake, like they are predicting, it could take weeks, months before food and water can be brought in and water restored.

I know many of you are really frightened right now. But remember the scripture, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." I believe this will all my heart. If we stay close to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and stay in tune with His voice, He will guide us. Yes, I am really afraid of earthquakes like most of us, but I know I have the things I will need to take care of me and my family, this gives me great peace of mind.

The counsel given to us by our church leaders, in the quotes above, is as true today as it was then! Let us all strive as best as we can to be as prepared as we can!

Weekly Assignment:

With rain on it's way this weekend it is not a good time to plant our gardens. So we are going to set a goal to plant them next weekend. Even if you just plant one tomato plant in a large pot, or a small herb garden in small clay pots on your window sill, it is better than not planting anything.

Yesterday my husband and I finished digging up our garden area. And to our surprise, we found lettuce seeds I planted last year, which did not germinate, growing. What a wonderful surprise!

This week I will discuss fertilizing your vegetables. As I mentioned I have a great book, "Garden Way's, Joy of Gardening" by Dick Raymond that I love and simplifies gardening. You can purchase it online at different websites between $15-$25, get the $15 one.

Fertilizing your vegetables:

I must confess, the only fertilizer I have ever used is "Scott's Miracle Grow for Vegetables" and it has worked well for me. But this year I think I am going to follow my great vegetable garden book and see if it makes a difference.

1) Carrots and Radishes: Make rows about 12 inches wide and about 5-6 high of soil. To coax the best root crops add a little phosphors fertilizer to the seedbeds before planting. Broadcast a common commercial fertilizer such as 5-10-10 over the soil and mix it in the top 2 or 3 inches of soil. Then sprinkle some bone meal or super phosphate (marked 0-20-2 on the bag) over the seedbed. .Mix all this into the soil. Put down the seeds you have let dry on the paper towel (see last weeks posting for carrots), place on the seedbed and cover with about 1-2 inches of soil. There is no need to side dress root crops later in the season. The reason to plant radishes with the carrots is that the radishes grow faster, as they mature and you pull them out it aerates the soil for the carrots and gives them more room to grow.

2) Celery: One of the harder vegetables to grow because they need cool weather. Best to plant them early in the spring, but plant small plants, not seeds. Mix in about 1 cup of 5-10-10 per 10 feet of row, and dig a trench 4-5 inches deep. Plant the celery in the bottom of the trench, spacing the plants 8-10 inches apart, and set them half an inch deeper than they were in their pots. As they grow, fill in the trench with a little sand, soil, or mulch or compost. This keeps the roots cool and closer to water. They like a lot of water. Add a side dressing of 5-10-10 fertilizer as they get bigger.

3) Onions: Plant the onion bulbs about 2-3 inches apart in a wide row (you can plant several across the wide row and continue down the row). To get big onions you will need to side dress the onions 3-4 times throughout the growing seasons with a fertilizer. First when they are about 6-8 inches tall and then again about 3-4 weeks. Use a balanced fertilizer 10-10-10. For at least one of the side dressings add a little bone meal or superphosphate. Sprinkle the fertilizer close to the ground so as to not hit the tops (will burn them). Use dehydrated manure to fertilize onions, sprinkle it liberally over the wide rows, it will not hurt the green tops.

4) Bell Peppers: Dig a whole for each plant a little deeper than you will plant the plants, rip off about half of the book of matches and place them in the hole, cover with about 2-3 inches of soil, put in the bell pepper plants and cover the rest of the hole. They love the sulfur in the matches, which lowers soil pH. Do not let the plants comes in contact with the matches. At blossom time, use only a small amount of 5-10-10 fertilizer, 1 tablespoon per plant. Spray your plants with Epsom salts when they start to blossom, good source of magnesium. Mix a teaspoonful of Epsom salts in a Windex spray bottle filled with lukewarm water, shake well and spray on the leaves and blossoms with the plants first blossom and again in 10 days. To get red bell peppers, leave them on the plant longer and they will turn red.

5) Tomatoes: If you planted tomatoes in your vegetable garden last year, this year, plant them in a different place to avoid disease. Plant on a cloudy day or late in the afternoon or evening. If a windy day, place plastic around the tomato cage, they do not like hot sun or wind when first planted. To fertilize, dig a hole about 5-6 inches deep, add a handful or two of good compost or a tablespoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer, mix with the soil at the bottom of the hole, cover with an inch or two of soil, plant your tomato plant (but remember to wrap a 2 inch piece of paper bag around the stem with half below the soil and half above to prevent cutworms), cover the rest of the hole. Tomatoes require a lot of water, but best to water the ground and not the plant so the water gets to the roots. Place the tomato cage or stakes around the plant. If windy, place plastic around it until the wind stops. To side dress, wait until you see the first blossom or small green tomatoes, add 1-2 tablespoons of 5-10-10 fertilizer per plant.

6) Vine crops like cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins, and winter squash, summer squash and zucchini: Fertilize when you plant the seeds by sprinkling in compost or other natural fertilizers, or place a thin band of 5-10-10 fertilizer in the bottom. Vine crops like fertilizer, put it where the roots will find it. Plant the seeds about 1-2 inches below the ground, about 10-12 inches apart or more. Plant 3-6 seeds in each hole and thin as needed when they germinate or in case some do not come up. Fertilize the vine crops when the blossom appear, about 1-2 tablespoon of 5-10-10 in a trench 3-4 inches from the stems of the plants and cover. It is important to cover the 5-10-10 with soil so that the leaves don't touch the fertilizer and get burned. Remember, vine crops take a lot of room, you can grow them on a trellises. If the vegetable gets to heavy, secure with netting around the vegetable, tied to the tresllis.

Note: Someone had a question about end rot on squash (zuchini, summer and winter squash). This can also affect tomatoes. End rot is a brown area that forms where the blossom was on the vegetable. It is usually cause by not end water, the ground needs to be kept moist. With squash it can be due to calcium deficiency in the soil and/or lack of water. Other possibility is insufficient natural pollination by insects. Go to "How to prevent end rot in squash" on Goggle and it will tell you how to do this.

7) Broccoli and Cauliflower: When the head begins to form, side dress the plant by digging a trench along side the plants, place 1-2 tablespoons per plant of 5-10-10 fertilizer and cove the trench.

8) Corn: Because corn takes more plant food than most other crops, you need to side dress it twice. First when it is about knee-high, second time when it starts to tassel and silk forms on the the stalks. Use about 1 tablespoon complete fertilizer or 5-10-10 ferilizer per plant. Make sure to cover the 5-10-10 fertilizer.

9) Pole Beans: Make a tepee out of dowels, about 5-6 dowels, tie them with strong string. Push the dowels into the soil making a tepee. Place 4-5 beans around each pole about 1 inch below the soil. Pole Beans do not need fertilizer as a rule. Watch them spiral around the poles.

Side-dressing and equivalents:

In stead of using 1 tablespoon of complete commercial 5-10-10 fertilizer you can substitute the following:

1) 2 handfuls good compost or
2) 2 handfuls dehydrated manure or
3) 1-2 tablespoons alfalfa meal

Weekly Challenge:

If you have not started or completed your 72 Hour Emergency Backpack(s) and 72 Hour Family Pack/Bag, then start or continue by following the blog posting starting with August 1 Weekly Challenge and Assignment and continue to follow through the weeks following until complete.

Continue to add items to your 3 Months Food Supply and Year's Food Supply. Also store water.

Important/Remember: Post your name at the end of this posting to have your name entered into the March 27th FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing. I will not be posting a "Weekly Challenge or Assignment" next week due to being on vacation. Please plant your garden and continue to add items to your food storage.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekly Challenge and Assignment (Week of March 13th)

Hi Carson Ward Family,

Ward Conference Dinner Emergency Preparedness Display: answers to some of your questions about the items:

Many of tonight at the Carson Ward Conference dinner asked me where to get the Emergency Lights that you should have instead of the regular flares. They are called "9.1.1. LED Emergency Beacon" lights by FlareAlert. You can find them on the following website and order them. They are $4.95 each. Go to You may be able to purchase them at other stores like auto stores, Walmart, etc.

You also asked me about the Seychelle filtration water bottle. You can purchase them from the church store online at for $16.50 with one filter. The bottle with two filters is $22.00. The church distributes these to our missionaries all over the world. They filter out 99.999% of bacteria and germs. One filter will filter about 100-150 gallons of water.

The blue hand squeeze LED flashlight are currently on sale at for less than $3 each. They usually run around $6-$10.


"In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of 'famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes,....' (Matt 24:7) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man's manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature's God, but that they will come seeks certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse -- a divine disclosure of future events." (Ezra Taft Benson, "Prepare Ye," Ensign, January 1974, page 68)

The past few days of events, and the past year's, testifies of this scripture in Matthew and this quote from President Benson. The devastation in Japan the past few days is upsetting but we need to be aware of the things going on around us to help us prepare what is predicted to happen here in Southern California, a 10.+ earthquake, probably followed by a Tsunami. Are we as prepared as much as we can be in a situation like this?

One news reporter on CNN said, regarding the Japan earthquake and Tsunami, there is loss of life, no electricity (the earthquake and Tsunami hit close to the evening and on into the night), no fresh water, no food in some areas, water and food are contaminated due to the Tsunami water, no public transportation, roads washed out or flooded, the couple of roads that are available are jamp packed with vehicles, buildings floods and/or destroyed, homes and farm lands destroyed, fires, and a Nuclear power plant is leaking toxins and possibility of a melt down. We here in California experienced some of the Tsunami affects as the Tsunami hit the coast line, of course, nothing like in Japan, but it could have been worse. We did have rising water, large waves, docks being torn up and boats destroyed, loss of life, and contaminated water in some areas.

When will the "big one" hit Southern California, as predicted? No one knows when! How prepared are we? Could we evacuate in just a few seconds, minutes if told too? Do we have our 72 Hour Emergency Backpack Kits and 72 Hour Emergency Family Pack ready? Do we have an evacuation plan and have we practiced it with our family? Do we keep gas in our cars? They only had 15-20 minutes before the Tsunami hit the coast of Japan, destroying everything in its powerful path! Do we know where to go? The Tsunami water spread in 6 miles in many directions. Here that would be through Wilmington, way into Carson, Harbor City, Lomita, Torrance. What are we waiting for?

Am I trying to scare you? You bet I am, if that is the only way I can get you to see how important it is to "be prepared". I find it interesting how we become so concerned and say we are going to get prepared when something like this happens, then after time goes by we become complacent again! No more excuses for not getting our 72 Hour Emergency Backpack Kits and 72 Hour Emergency Family Pack completed. Purchasing all the wants in life will not provide for the needs in life. We need to prioritize what is most important to us! Hopefully, it is protecting and providing the necessary "needs" for our loved ones!

Let's all strive to be as "prepared" as we possibly can! This website/blog has all the information you need to be prepared, read it, use it. And there are many more websites that will also help you. I cannot force you to do anything, but I can strive to provide you with as much information as possible to help you accomplish it. I cannot fish for you, but I can teach you how to fish!

Weekly Assignment:

Continue to work on purchasing different ways to cook if you could not cook the regular way in your home. See last week's posting, "Week of March 7th" and the blog posting, "Cooking, Heating and Lighting".

Weekly Challenge:


"We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees---plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard." (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, April 1976, page 1971; or Ensign, May 1976, page 124)

Our Challenge this month is to continue preparing a space or purchase containers (and the potting soil) to plant a vegetable garden, even if it is a small one. If possible and room, plant one fruit tree (one your family will eat the fruit). At the end of this month we will plant our vegetables gardens. See the previous blog postings for ideas and how to plant a garden. Also go to the blog posting "Vegetables Gardens" (listed on right side of blog under "Postings".

Helpfull Hits:

1. Best time to plant a vegetable garden, or any plants, is on a cloudy day or late in the afternoon so as to not shock the plants to much. Give them plenty of water.

2. Next week I will give you information on fertilizing your vegetable garden, what to use for what vegetable, when, how much and how often.

Note: There is a great vegetable garden book I love and use that simplifes gardening. It is called Garden Way's "Joy of Gardening"by Dick Raymond, published in 1982. I found it listed online on several website ranging from $15-$25.

Remember: Post your name and comment, if you wish, in the "comment" section below for our Monthly FREE Giveaway Drawing to be held the last Sunday in March.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekly Challenge and Assignment (Week of March 6th)

Hi Carson Ward Family,


" If in 1936 we had told the Saints, 'You should better prepare, because the time is coming when'---remember, in 1936 the problem was money, -- there was always enough to buy, not money -- if we had told you then that the time would come when you could not buy all the meat you wanted, and perhaps not any at times; that you could not get butter, and that you could not get sugar, and that you could not get clothing, and that the farmers could get no machinery, and so on down the whole list of things that you cannot get now and that therefore you should prepare for a stormy day, we would have been laughed to scorn. But I say to you again, the advise given is good today, and you would better prepare for the times ahead, that you may not be like the five foolish virgins with no oil in your lamps." (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., "Church News", March 2, 1946)

This advise was given to the Saints 65 years ago, but still holds true as much today as it did then. For the past year or so, I have felt such a strong urgency from the spirit we need to be prepared for what is coming, with food and water and cash in small bills (kept in our home). Once again, we may have money to purchase the things we need to sustain life and provide for our family's needs, but their may be nothing to purchase. Many countries throughout the world have suffered great produce losses this year due to weather conditions. Wheat, rice, sugar and other items have almost doubled in price, food prices are continually rising and will continue to rise. Also, the American dollar is becoming more and more less valuable. There will become a time when the dollar will not purchase even a grain of rice or wheat.

When our son Adam was serving his mission in Honduras in the Tegucigalpa Mission, his Mission President had been inspired to stock up on food and water for the missionaries in his Mission. He did not know why, but he heeded the warning. While Adam was serving his mission, Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras and other surrounding countries at an unbelievable force, torants of rain came barreling done causing flooding and mud slides. Many, many lives where lost, flooding resulted in the loss of homes and buildings, loss of food and shelter, and loss of income for the people living there. Adam and his companion were evacuated by people in the area just before the rushing water hit their area. He spent a few days sitting on a cold wet cement floor with his companion and hundreds of other village people with the only clothes on his back and his backpack with his scriptures inside. When the Mission Home located them, they were taken to the Mission Home with the other missionaries, all were safe and well. Because his Mission President had heeded the warning by the spirit, he was able to provided for this missionaries and the missionaries in the another Mission Home.

I want you to think of the worst case scenario that could happen to you and your family. Could there be a huge earthquake they are predicting? Could your home be destroyed? Could you be without electricity, heat, a way to cook, water, food, and shelter? Could you or other families members be injured needing medical treatment? Yes, all this can happen! Would you be prepared to provide for you and your family's shelter, a way to cook, food to eat, fresh water to drink, and medical supplies to help the injured? How well prepared are you and your family, your loves ones, your neighbors? Sister Cummings asked me if she could share this website/blog with her neighbors. Of course you can, please do!

Our Government and City Officials says we need to be prepared to take care of ourself and our families for at least several days, I say at least two weeks or more. Look how long it took FEMA, Search and Rescue Teams and other volunteer groups to get into the area when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. If a major earthquake hits California, roads will be impassable, airports will be shut down, it will take weeks, maybe months before supplies can be brought here and gotten to the people. FEMA is saying they cannot handle a huge devastation. Once again, how prepared are we? Will we be able to take care of ourselves and our family?

I do not mean to scare you, but may be that is what it will take to get the members of our Ward to start preparing and be prepared. You will be on your own, except for the help neighbors might be able to lend, if a major disaster hits this area for many days, may be weeks. Let us each strive to be as prepared as we possible can be prepared!

Weekly Assignment:

Now that we have completed the 72 Hour Emergency Individual Backpacks and the 72 Hour Emergency Family Pack/Bag we are going to start thinking about different types of ways to cook, and purchase some of them. If our gas or electricity is not working, or our home is uninhabitable, we will not be able to cook the regular way. Check out the blog posting "Cooking, Heating and Lighting" on the right side regarding different types of ways to cook. There are several listed there.

This week's assignment:

Purchase, if you do not already have one, a Butane Fuel Stove and some cans of Butane Fuel. You can purchase a one burner stove at Murukai in Gardena on Artesia and Western and in Torrance on Sepulveda and Hawthorne near Limburg Nutrition, across the street from Toys R US for $12. The Butane Fuel is about $1.65 a can, you can purchase a 4 pack for about $4.95. If you can, have at least two of this type of stove on hand, that way you can cook more than one thing at a time. If you already have one, may be purchase another one, especially if you have a medium or large size family. I cooked on one of these stoves for 3 months while our kitchen was being remodeled. I must say, I got pretty good at it, it was like camping out for 3 months. You can use these stoves in your house, just keep away from flammable things. I would have on hand a chase or two of the Butane Fuel, purchase a 4 pack a couple of times a month until you have a case or two.

If you already have the Butane Stove and Fuel, then purchase extra bags of charcoal for your BBQ or an extra bottle of Propane for the gas BBQ. Make sure you store it in a safe place away from the house, in a cool dry place. This also goes for the charcoal.

I want us to have several different ways to cook, Butane Stove, Charcoal and/or Propane BBQ, wood pit, Dutch Oven, etc. We will discuss and add other ones as the weeks go by.

Weekly Challenge:

Always continue to add to your 3 months food supply and year's supply. Use the 7-14 day menu plan as mentioned in previous blog postings.

Continue to dig up an area for your vegetable garden, purchase containers for your container vegetable garden and purchase seeds only right now. We will not purchase the vegetable plants until you are ready to plant the vegetable garden.

Container vegetables gardens-- make sure the container is deep enough for the root system and big enough for the vegetables. Most flower containers 12+ inches wide will be deep enough. Carrots will need a deep container since the carrots grow about 6-10 inches below the dirt. A round container will work just as well as a row in ground garden. Most vegetables will need their own container, like tomatoes, zucchini. You may be able to get two bell pepper plants in one container if wide enough. Celery, carrots, radishes you can plant several in one container. Make sure you put in a good vegetable fertilizer before planting the vegetables. Also, put marigolds around like in the ground vegetable garden (see tips below).

Tips on how to plant and have a successful vegetable garden:

1. Carrots-- Most people find them very hard to grow, I did before last spring/summer. I usually planted the small carrots seeds right into the dirt, but the ants/bugs carried them off or they were tiny carrots. I bought some carrots seeds that were on a strip of paper towel. I planted the strips with the carrots seeds and to my wonderful surprise, I got beautiful big carrots. So this year I got the idea why not make my own, much cheaper. I am taking a long strip of paper towels, about 3-4 feet long, depending on the length where you will plant them, cutting the long paper towels into about 2-3 long strips (you need enough width to fold it over and have about 2-3 inches width once folded), wet the paper towels (light soaked), lay it out on the counter top, sprinkle on the carrot seeds, not to heavy, fold over the paper towel and let it dry. When you are ready to plant the strip, build up a mound of dirt about 6-8 inches tall, knock off a thin layer of dirt, lay down the carrot seed strip, cover lightly with dirt, about an 1/2-1 inch, water gently. Keep the seeds moist, you may have to water a few times a day if too warm, until they germinate. See carrot seed package for germination time, sometimes takes a little longer that it says.

2. Bell Pepper-- I like to buy this in plants, not seeds. Decide where you want the bell peppers, read the direction on the plant how far apart to plant them, dig up a hole a little deeper than normal, put in match sticks (5-6) in the hole, bell peppers like sulfur, cover the matches with about 2 inches of dirt, put in the bell pepper plant and cover the hole. Water and continue to water every day for several weeks until starts to mature, then water twice a week. When bell peppers start to appear, but in 3 1/4 inches wooden dowels around the plant with string. This will help hold up the plant and heavy bell peppers as they grow.

3. Tomatoes-- Decide where you will plant your tomatoes, usually along the back or side of your garden area so they do not shadow other smaller plants next to them. Plant them about 12 inches apart or enough to put in the tomato cages they will group up in. When planting the tomatoes, do not buy ones that are really tall, take off some of the bottom leaves and plant the tomato plant bottom stem length wise with just the top leaves showing above the ground (about 4 inches), this gives the tomato plant a better root system to hold it up. If you have tuna cans, take off the both top and bottom, cleaned them out, and put the tomato can around the stem before planting it, and press the tuna can into the soil leaving about 1-1 1/2 inches above ground. This keeps cut worms from attacking your tomato plants. If you do not have tuna cans, use strips of a paper grocery bag, cut in strips, rap around the tomato stem, place half below the dirt and half above the dirt. Water and continue to water each day for several weeks until the plant become more mature. Tomatoes need a lot of water. Water in early morning and late after noon when hot.

4. Corn-- Decide on where the row will be, push a hole in the loose dirt with your finger, place the corn seeds, about 3-4 per hole, about 1 inches below the dirt, make the holes about 6 inches apart, cover the seeds and water. Once the seeds germinate, remove the smaller ones and only have one plant per hole. Water as needed.

5. Zucchini and Cucumbers-- Build up a hill of dirt about 8 inches in diameter, about 6 inches tall, and about 12 inches apart. Push in a hole with your finger about 1 inch deep, put in about 3-4 seeds, cover. When they germinate remove all but the two stronger bigger plants. Water twice a day in the beginning. Once mature you can water twice a week. Check out the seed packet for time to germinate. Zucchini takes a lot of room but produces a lot of zucchini. Once the zucchini starts to grow do not let them get too big, they will start to seed. Watch them, they grow every quickly and can become huge in just a few days. Good length is about 8 inches, like in the grocery store. Cucumbers spread out, so they need room. It is ok to let them spread out between the bell peppers, broccoli and other plants. Keep away from the carrots, they are more delicate.

6. Radishes-- They grow quickly. Good to sprinkle the seeds around the corn and carrots. Make sure you cover the seeds, about 1/2 inch of dirt. Once they mature you can pull them up and they help aerate the ground and other plants. Or, you can make a row by building up like the carrots, sprinkle on the seeds, cover lightly with dirt and water, keep the seed moist.

7. Broccoli-- Buy plants. Plant them in a row like the bell peppers, about 8-10 inches apart, see the plant for directions. Water as needed. When they mature do not let them go to seed, I will explain more before harvest time.

8. Beans-- Pole beans, like green beans, kidney, navy, butter bean, etc--you can grow a lot in a small space. Tie 6 tall 1/2 inch diameter wooden dowels together with string. Make a tie-pie with them, do not spread out to far, about 2 feet. Plant 6 beans around each pole 1 inch deep. Water as needed. Watch them grown around the poles.

9. Onions-- plant yellow or white onion bulbs about 2-3 inches apart. Green onions, you can plant seeds or bulbs. Water as needed.

10. Pumpkins-- You usual do not plant these until the end of May or first week in June if you want to have them in time for Halloween/Fall. You plant them just like the zucchini, but they take a lot of room, their vines spread out very far. A fun thing to do with your children is when they are small, carve them name in the pumpkin, not to deep, and watch their name grow!

11. Celery-- I like to use plants, seeds are tiny and bugs carry them away. Plant in a row about 6 inches apart. No need for mounds like the carrots and radishes. Water as needed.

If there are any vegetables you would like tips on how to grow please post a comment question with your name at the end of this blog posting, or email me at


1. Make sure you put in a good vegetable garden fertilizer before planting, I like Miracle Grow, mix in well.
2. Plan out where you will plant things, taller things like corn, tomatoes, pole beans need to be in the back or on the side where they will not shade the smaller plants as the sun comes up from the east.
3. Your vegetable garden needs at least 8 hours of sun a day. So before you dig up your vegetable garden, make sure that area gets enough sunlight during the day.
4. When plants and seeds are starting out they need water, water twice a day, early morning and later after noon (after 4PM if possible), but not at night. Water long enough to saturated the dirt. Do not over water. Water gently, not to hard when plants are young.
5. Check for weed weekly, pull weeds out, do not let them get to big or over take your vegetable garden.
6. Great Tip: Plant marigolds around in the vegetable garden, bugs do not like the smell. Better than inspect insecticides. If you see snails, sprinkle around snail pelts as needed but not on the plants.

I will give more great tips next week. If the weather is going to be good, not to cold at night, you can start planting your vegetable garden next weekend, especially the cool vegetables like broccoli, carrots, radishes, lettuce , celery, and onions.

New Blog posting : "What to do in an evacuation situation" is posted after this posting. I will be moving it to the side with the other postings next week. Read it and discuss it in your Family Home Evening this week.

Remember: Post your name at end of this blog for the March Monthly FREE Giveaway Drawing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What to do in an evacuation situation




What to do if you only have seconds to evacuate:

If at home:

1. Alert your family members to leave the house immediately.
2. If you have family members that will need medical/physical assistance in leaving the house, assign a person(s) in the family to help them. Have a plan on how to get them out of the house quickly.
3. Grab your 72 Hour Emergency Kits and 72 Hour Emergency Family Pack, if not in your car.
4. Have one person in the family responsible for getting one of your pets, and another person for the other one. If you cannot take them with you, make sure they are secure in the house, garage or outside.
5. If time, leave a note where you are going and who is with you. (You could have a form made up ahead of time in your 72 Hour Emergency Kit, check off the family names that are with you and put down where you are going.)
6. If you can use your car, try to take one car so the family is together. If you have to take two cars this is where the Walkie Talkies in your 72 Hour Emergency Family Pack come in handy, especially if cell phones are not working and you do not have texting on your cell phones.
7. Turn on your car radio or portable radio for Emergency Evacuation instructions, following them.
8. If a Tsunami is coming, get inland and to higher ground as soon as possible.

Note: If children are at school try to get them, if not possible, the schools should be prepared for emergency situations, get them as soon as possible. If a family member is at work, try to get them also. If you cannot, have a meeting place where to meet all your family members.

At work:

1. Grab your 72 Hour Emergency Kit.
2. Leave the office building as soon as possible. If a fire, follow the building fire emergency plan. Try not to panic.
3. Do not take the elevator, take the exit stairs. Always know where all the exits are on your floor, follow the exit emergency plan on the wall if you do not know. If the lights are out in the stairway, use the flashlight in your 72 Hour Emergency Kit.
4. If you can, get to your car and leave immediately. Move as quickly as possible but safely, try not to panic, others will also be trying to get out the parking structure.
5. Turn on your car or portable radio for emergency instructions and follow them.
6. As soon as it is safe, if you have texting on your cell phone, text a family member or contact person, let them know you are ok and where you are going.

If you have several minutes (usually about 10 minutes) to evacuate:

At home:

1. Follow all the instruction above (If you only have seconds...)
Before you leave the house:
2. If time, gather all your important paper (you should have a copy of them in your 72 Hour Emergency Kit or Family Pack), which should be in a safe or fireproof metal box, family photos, things you cannot replace (family heirlooms, etc). These items should always be together in your home. If possible, have a family member assigned to a particular item, they should know this ahead of time, it should be a part of your family emergency evacuation plan.
2. Unplug all electrical equipment such as televisions, radios, computers, printers, small appliances, all electronic equipment, fish tank, etc.. Do not unplug your refrigerator and freezer unless flooding is expected.
3. If advised, turn off all utilities. First turn off each circuit break and then the main circuit breaker.
4. Turn off the water at the house main water value, turn off the washing machine hoses.
5. Only if advised, turn off the natural gas to your house. You should have a gas value shut-off wrench by the meter. Only do this is advised by the City Emergency Department, it can take days for the gas company to get out and turn the gas back on. Do not attempt to turn it back on by yourself.
6. Securely lock all doors and windows.

Remember: Have an emergency evacuation plan, practice it often with family members, and most of all STAY AS CALM AS POSSIBLE!