After riding out the Roanoke derecho in June/July of 2012, and spending 5 days with no power in 100 degree heat, our family has decided to make an effort to be more prepared for the unexpected. We don’t have a lot of money to devote to this, so we’re taking baby-steps towards our goal. My intention is to do a series of posts on the small projects we undertake, mistakes and all. We thought a good start would be: 2 weeks of stored food, 2 weeks of stored water, and developing some alternative methods of heating, cooling, cooking, etc., in case we have no power.
One of my great loves is gardening, and so I started there. The family garden is our “alternative method” of obtaining food. Every year I start seeds indoors, and I usually buy a prepared “seed starting kit” from Lowe’s. This time I decided to make my own, out of items that were laying around the house. Long ago, I remembered reading that seed-starting pots could be made from newspaper, wrapped around a jar and then folded.
We had some old newspapers and an empty salsa jar, so I was game to give it a try. The idea is not to use anything that won’t degrade in the garden-no paper clips, no thing but the newspaper. Of course I worried that I’d never get the pots to hold together, and would have a mess on my hands once soil went in.
As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. A few tucks of the paper, and it held together nicely. I screwed the lid on the salsa jar to help compress the newspaper and make good strong seed-starting pots.
The pots can be planted right in the ground, so there is no need to transplant the seedling when the time comes to put it in the garden. It worked out beautifully, and I am all ready to start my tomatoes this Spring.