Sunday, August 16, 2009

Food Storage Update

Our latest addition to the food storage is a can of Heritage seeds.

Why would you want Heritage seeds?

In case you haven't been gardening much in the last 10 years, you probably wouldn't realize that you pretty much can't buy a fruit, vegetable, tree or even plant that will give you fertile seeds.

WHAT? Plants make fruit and the seeds make more plants! What are you talking about?

Not hybrids. Hybrid seeds are (almost always) genetically altered so that they will not reproduce.

I KNOW!! Look, it's just wrong in a way isn't it! But those hybrids are resistant to pests and diseases, specially developed to produce bigger, more colorful, healthy plants and fruit, veggies, grain. (WHAT? They're messing with the grain too? Oh yes, and for longer than the rest.) So the companies that develop these specially resistant, healthy, bigger plants "copywrite" them by making them so they won't reproduce. THey do get seeds, just not fertile ones. So you have to buy them again. Every year.

Heritage seeds are unaltered and will reproduce seeds that can be saved and planted again. If I need a garden that bad, I am going to need a SUSTAINABLE garden. What if some calamaty happens? If I am desperate enough to cultivate, plant, water, weed (ough!) and tend to my plants, I am going to have to have more seeds to use next year or next season (we have a long growing season and often can get two crops in.) OF COURSE I hope that Home Depot and other garden supplies will be there for me indefinately, but how cool to have, and if I do use them, how cool to learn together with my kids how the great Circle of Life is supposed to be... not Driving back and forth to the store! Planting, harvesting, planting again.

Also adding more powdered eggs to the food storage. We have used the can we bought quite a bit and I decided it would be a super addition to the pantry. There are a lot of things you can make with eggs that you just can't without! They're incredible!

Spay and Neuter your Pets Please!

What to do about stray cats?
Do you feed them?
I will state my opinion and then get some quotes for ya. I think a lot of people feel sorry for the cats/kittens and put out food for them. Then there are stray cats around. And they make more.
If I find a stray I either ignore it completely, hoping it will go away, or catch and release-- catch it then give it a good home. If I keep it, I take it to the vet, spay or neuter, and care for the pet. I have done this with dogs and cats. Sometimes animals just come in to your life, sometimes you go find them. Regardless, responsible pet ownership means shots, and fixing. Sure, kittens are cute, but really, unless you are a breeder, and make lots of money with your kittens, you really don't need to add to the surplus population.
Our "no kill" pound is full and won't take more animals. No tiny kitties, no puppies, no purebreds. You can take bred dogs to the specialty pounds, like there is a Great Dane Shelter somewhere about 3 hours north of us. They only take Great Danes. For many the only other option is The Pound, where the kittens will be put up for adoption for three days if there is room. You are more likely to get a kitten a new home if you find them one. However, too much of this will wear out your welcome with your friends and neighbors.
From a great metropolis in California, there is a website that states:

The kind people at the local dog pound hesitated to give an exact answer the first few times that my child and I asked how many animals a year they euthanize, only answering, "way too many." They later gave me some statistics which show that, unfortunately, the number in the Sacramento County area alone is in the thousands.

In 1998, of 25,302 incoming live animals (2,963 came in dead), only 4,231 were adopted/redeemed. That leaves over 13,000 animals that were "put to sleep."

Do you get it? Can you imagine being down on your luck and needing a job so bad you would be the one to handle that problem? IN ONE YEAR-- that means roughly in a 5 day work week you would euthanize 50 animals a day. And go home and try to sleep. And that's just in one shelter in Sacramento.

The Asheville Humane Society, one of the “Founding Lifeguards” of the campaign launched in January, recently released a six-month report that shows an increase in animals' lives saved. From January through June, 3,239 dogs and cats were taken in at the AHS animal shelter, compared with 3,487 animals during the same period last year. Of that number, 1,280 lives were saved, including adoptions and pets returned to their owners, reflecting a 40 percent rate of lives saved compared with a 37 percent rate for the same period in 2008.

So 40% chance. THey are thrilled that the numbers are better, and thank all those who adopt from shelters.

So please, please don't add to the problem! Keep your kitty from making more, and don't encourage a congregation of strays where they can breed and make more too. If you care about a stray, take care of it.

Something else to note: Our city, and many others, actually do a "catch and release" program. Our neighbor just never got around to fixing her cat. I volunteered to pay for the cat's fixing, but one day the cat disappeared. Three days later Tigger was back with a missing part and a clipped ear. We discovered that the city catches and neuters cats they find that are not feral. Though I don't condone waiting for someone else to fix the problem, it's a great idea and hopefully keeps the population down and is cheaper than the alternative - euthanizing more animals.