Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gardening from Karen Welch

"Staying close to the soil is good for the soul."
—Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1981, 80

photo source
With the approach of spring, the signs of new life appear—trees begin to bud, plants long dormant send out tender shoots. Now is the time to consider planting a garden. If you have not gardened in years, this might be the year to start anew.

In addition to the tangible benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, gardening promotes independence, provides opportunities for wholesome family fun, and brings you closer to nature. So where should you start?

The resources below have been prepared to point you in the right direction. Good luck with your garden this year.

American Society for Horticultural Science

BBC Gardening Site

Benson Institute

Food for Everyone Foundation FAQ

Gardening Advice

National Gardening Association

Organic Gardening

Square Foot Gardening

US Dept of Agriculture – Home Gardening section

Additional Gardening Links

Gardening Tips on Provident Living

Patio/Container gardening:

You tube videos:
If you go to and type in " gardening tips". You will get several "how to" videos.

Hands-on lesson:
If you want a hands-on lesson on how to garden there is a
Watertown, Ma. adult Education gardening course in May: and download brochure.
Instructor: Scott Clarke, AOLCP
Think you don’t have the time, space, or energy to
grow plants successfully? Think again! In this one-
session workshop, you’ll learn how to make your
garden work by making the best use of your available
space. We’ll compare and contrast various growing
techniques, from traditional row crops to square foot
gardening in raised beds. We’ll also compare modern
sustainable gardening practices with more traditional
methods. There’s more to successful gardening than
planting and watering. Learn the secrets of soil
building, plant selection, companion planting, and
extending the growing season. The session will take
place on the Farm at Gore Place during the Annual
Plant Sale. Some great varieties of heirloom plants
and vegetables will be available for purchase and
everyone will go home with a free variety-pack of
heirloom tomato plants. Wear your gardening clothes
and bring your gardening gloves and trowel. Be
prepared to get a little dirty! Students of all levels are
welcome. Scott Clarke is the Director of Buildings
and Grounds at Gore Place in Waltham and has been
gardening for 30 years. He is an Accredited Organic
Land Care Professional (AOLCP).
1 Saturday $30
May 15 10-11:30am
Class held at Gore Place, 52 Gore Street, Waltham

Potential Ward Activity:
Find a family in the ward that has a vegetable garden or does container gardening and is willing to have a small group come over during planting season to learn and ask questions.

Quotes about Gardening

"Grow all the food that you feasibly can. . . .Develop your skills in home [food] preservation and storage."
—Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1976, 124–25

"We have asked everyone wherever possible to assist with a home garden for the production of food so you may enjoy the efforts of your labors and help provide for your needs. We urge parents not only to engage in this activity, but to let their boys and girls share in helping with the garden. They will not only learn the value and joy of work, but it will help them develop a sense of responsibility as they participate in such family projects."
—Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1978, 4

"Children may be given assignments also to take care of the garden, and this will be far better than to have them for long hours sitting at a television."
—Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1976, 5

"Who can gauge the value of that special chat between daughter and Dad as they weed or water the garden? How do we evaluate the good that comes from the obvious lessons of planting, cultivating, and the eternal law of the harvest?. . . Yes, we are laying up resources in store, but perhaps the greater good is contained in the lessons of life we learn as we live providently and extend to our children their pioneer heritage."
—Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball (1982), 376–77

FHE Ideas for spring for young children
As spring begins our thoughts sometimes turn to our gardens; what to grow this year and when to begin planting. Why not turn some of your planting into a Monday night lesson?! If you don't have a garden, you can plant a potted plant and still have an effective FHE. Below are four topics you can choose from to go along with your spring planting:

  • As you plant, discuss with your family how plants die in the winter but come back in the spring (bulbs) and how this relates to Jesus' death and resurrection. Depending on the age of your children you might want to use this to lead into more talk about the Atonement.

  • For younger children you can teach that growing things should always remind us of the love our Heavenly Father has for us. He created this beautiful world for us to live in, and gave us His only begotten Son to die for us that we might live together forever with our Him.

  • Faith, like the little seeds you are planting, grows a little at a time as we nourish it with prayer, scripture study and righteous actions.

  • Testimonies also grow as we "fertilize" them, by attending our church meetings, sharing our testimony, prayer and the "light" of the Gospel/Scriptures.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coupon Craze!

It seems like coupon clipping is back in style! I'm hearing more and more people talk about it. Everywhere I look people are showing off photos of items they got at the store for only such and such amount. The more you do it, the more hooked you get. Here are some new sites with great deals for you bargain hunters/huntresses out there:
Also I have a friend who created this awesome facebook coupon tip profile (make sure you watch some of their hilarious and helpful videos):

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great Ideas for Food Storage

You know how during the holidays sometimes you'll get a mason jar filled with layers of a mixture to make cookies, hot cocoa, etc? Someone came up with the idea of putting a meal in a jar. Check it out here:

This idea was submitted by Karen Welch, Our Stake Provident LIving Specialist

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two Week Experiment Part Two- Food, Glorious Food!

Market Basket Strawberries never tasted so good as they did today!
Today I went grocery shopping for the first time in two weeks. It was a thrilling experience. We had gone a full week without milk this past week. Any dinner invitation or playgroup that involved free food was enthusiastically attended this week. All in all I learned some things during this experiment and I'm glad we did it (glad it's over too!).

A few things I wanted to jot down:
  • Never plan soup for family dinners- not filling enough to keep the natives satisfied. Make that at lunch item.
  • Stock up on more condiments that make other foods taste better. We ran out of Ranch dressing and peanut butter. I think the ranch especially would have made a lot of our boring, canned good meals more tasty.
  • Mac N Cheese is still doable w/out milk. Not as good, though.
  • It was very helpful to have rationed out my dessert items. I realized how important peanut butter was for us here because I use it for no-bake cookies and it can also spruce up toast and even oatmeal.
  • The hardest part was the milk just for the sheer fact that my kids love cereal. I thought we'd do more oatmeal, but boiling the water seemed like more of a pain in our morning rush. We had a lot of toast. Having two loaves of bread in the freezer worked out really well. {Also I have to confess that we didn't use our stored water!! I think that would have been the hardest thing, maybe another time...}
  • I found that a lot of my food storage dinners took more time to prepare. I was wishing I had more items I could whip up in 20 minutes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Two Week Experiment

The Provident Living Committee is conducting an experiment to live off Food Storage for two weeks in the month of March. Each of us are at different points in this experiment. My family (the Plant Family) is finishing up week one. I knew that week one wouldn't be as difficult as week two so I haven't kept as detailed of notes as I am planning for week two. Here is what I have found so far:
  • We are being less wasteful with the knowledge we aren't going to the store for a while. Kind of refreshing.
  • We have been needing to plan out meals more and be a little more organized.
  • We have used up most of our fresh items with the most recent expiration dates.
  • My meal planning is going to kick into over drive as I try to figure out ways to make our canned goods exciting for our family. Stay tuned for that one!
  • I am wishing we had more treats in food storage to boost morale through the end of next week!
  • We had some missionaries drop in and Josh gave them the LAST of our milk with their cookies! Eek! My plan is oatmeal and canned fruit for breakfast this week.
  • It snowed today and we considered throwing snow in the post to boil with our spaghetti. I chickened out, though! Maybe we'll be desperate by Wednesday.
This is an old archived picture of our food storage. Brave of me to show you our bread and butter eh?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Check out the latest March Issue of the Ensign to see if your ideas about home food storage "have expired. "
There is a new message about family home storage that makes being prepared seem a little easier.

Mark Your Calendars!!

The Provident Living Committee is putting on a Health Fair! This will be during the last two hours of church on Sunday March 15th. Various experienced people in the ward will be sharing their knowledge on subjects like fitness, disease, mental health, children and health, nutrition. 

Stay tuned for more infoSee full size imagermation.