Dear Karen issue #43: Gardening : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Some good gardening tips in this issue....

FREE E-zine "Dear Karen..." Advice for Women on the Concerns and Effects of the Year 2000 Problem (Y2K) By Karen Anderson Copyright (c) 1998-1999 Karen Anderson

Issue #43 May 17, 1999

Topics: Gardening and ROW: EcoFuel (Safe Cooking Fuel)

Update: Good news! I'm in the process of changing servers to be able to offer you more on the Y2KWomen Web site. The process should be invisible and occur sometime at the end of this week. One of the new additions will be a discussion group where you can post information and respond to others with questions. (Unlike a chat room where you have a bunch of people talking all at once, with a discussion group you can post comments and questions and then follow them along as others respond over time.) It should be fun and hopefully, it will be a great way to help each other out. I'll let you know as soon as it is up and running!

Favor to ask: As you may know, my new book "Y2K for Women: How to Protect Your Home and Family in the Coming Crisis" published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, should be hitting bookstores any day now. Would you mind letting me know if you see it in your local bookstore? I'd really appreciate knowing when it gets out! Thanks!

Dear Karen,

I am looking for a blueprint for the perfect veggie garden for my back yard and I am unable to locate one. If you could get some information for all the new gardens that would be great.

Thanks, Keira

Dear Keira,

Spring is finally here and it is the perfect time to start a Y2K garden! Now, I'll be up front with you... I've never been big into gardening (you know how I hate bugs!) but I'm learning.

For those of us who are novices at gardening, I think it is important to realize you don't have to start out with a huge garden big enough to feed the whole world! A garden can be as large as your backyard or as small as a pot on the balcony of your apartment with some tomatoes and everything in between. In fact, you can begin where you are comfortable by simply growing herbs on your windowsill or sprouts in your kitchen.

I also think it is important to realize that gardening takes time - not just in the planting and maintenance of your garden but when the food is ready to be harvested, you will need to have time to put it up. When I was growing up, I remember planting zucchini and we ended up with tons of it! If you were alive and able to draw breath, my mom gave you a zucchini. We had stir fried zucchini, zucchini bread, steamed zucchini, you name it. (Have you ever noticed that zucchini can grow about two feet over night?)

My point is, don't bite off more than you can chew when planning your garden (sorry, I couldn't resist ). The important thing is to begin somewhere! I've found that many people who are into gardening are *really* into gardening and would be only too happy to help you and give you advice on what works and what doesn't. After all, it is invaluable to gather information from people who know what works in your area so you have the highest chance of success with your garden.

There is a wealth of information on gardening now that it is spring. You all have been great in sending in helpful hints. FYI, I'm going to discuss sprouts and sprouting in an upcoming issue as well as seeds, resources for non-hybrid seeds and home canning and canning safety. If you have tips to send in, please send them to me at and put Tips: Canning or whatever in the subject area. I have found someone who can help me organize them and I'll get them out to you ASAP! Thanks, you all are the best!

Here are some of the great tips you sent in regarding gardening...

Garden Space

Please get the word out about Square Foot Gardening. There is a website under the same name and a book as well by author Mel Bartholomew. In over 25 years of gardening I have NEVER had this kind of success, which is sorely needed for Y2K! This method of above ground intensive gardening grows more in less space, provides little water usage, little weeding and actually makes gardening successful rather than another extra job to do (like all my past gardens)! It can even be utilized in as little as 4 square feet of space and can be built up on a platform for wheelchair access if necessary, and can even be done on an apartment patio or anywhere there is the 4-sq. ft. and some sunshine. There is also an adaptation for all winter long gardening. Y2K women HAVE to see this method. Cherisse

KA: I recommend Square Food Gardening as a resource in my book "Y2K For Women: How to Protect Your Home and Family in the Coming Crisis" since I used this book and found it very helpful, especially when we lived in a townhouse. (By very helpful, I mean that I actually got things to grow!)


I have found that several of the seed companies are backlogged several months. Out of curiosity I visited my local garden center. I found several different varieties of vegetables that were heirloom or non-hybrid. You may recommend to your readers that they visit their local garden center to see if they have any seeds that haven't been snatched up yet. If their local government has ignored the fact like ours has, they may be lucky enough to get their seeds at a reasonable price and receive them in time to plant this spring. Paula


Here's a hint from an old gardener who knows how to garden under harvest time pressure. That's when your garden is producing at its peak, the weeds are still growing but you need to spend more time processing your produce. It's less likely you, or your inexperienced volunteer helpers of all ages, will miss vine-ripened produce if you plant viewer friendly varieties to begin with. Beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers will all be easier to spot on the vine when you plant non-green varieties. Yellow or red snap and pole beans, gold and orange squash, yellow cucumbers, red, yellow and black peppers - they all "stand out" from their green foliage. They're much less likely to be overlooked to get over-ripe on the vine. Check your garden catalog for viewer friendly varieties, preferably open pollinated rather than hybrids. Maggie

Dear Karen,

I live in a very cold country, but it has its advantages. We still have wood for cooking and heating. Have a creek in our front yard for water, also a well with a hand pump, when the lights go out, and the electric pump doesn't work. Have lots of room on our 80 acres for our garden and greenhouse. I have for the past 24 years raised a garden and canned for a hobby. Now I will do it for real. There is a book out called Saving Seeds by Marc Rogers, you can buy one, or get it at your library. That way, you can have your garden seeds for years. Also, if you put your seeds in a small file cabinet, and put in labeled folders, then you don't have to dig for an hour for what seeds you want to plant. This book tells how to store and save your seeds. I have nothing to do with the book, except using it!

We have lots of berries in the summer, as well as greens to eat, if you know which ones you can count to be safe. I have bought a vacuum package machine, to put cereals, crackers, candy and just anything that I need to keep for future use. I also put the bay leaf in my flour, to keep it bug free. I will be using my cabana frame for drying meat and fish. You can make jerky, store it in 5-gallon buckets, then reconstitute it at anytime you want. As for stews, any kind of meat dish with pastas. I know people in the cities don't have the same options as we do in the country, but they can still be invented. Since I live in snow country, I will be making snow ice cream, like my mother did in Arkansas, when I was a kid. She used canned milk and a little sugar. If you are lucky enough to have blueberries, as I am, can some, then put sugared blueberries on your homemade ice cream. Remember, you have to feed your emotional mind as well as your physical body. Only buy foods you enjoy, and none will go to waste.

I don't like the idea of going back to the "good ole days", and doing without my easy life of modern conveniences, but I will do what I have to do, because I want to see my grandchildren past the year 2000! My biggest problem is my grown children, who don't believe anything will happen. "They will fix it, Mother" or "This is the nineties." Oh well, I just bought extra beans, for when "They" don't get it fixed in time! And my garden will be a little bigger this year and I will can more.

Thanks for all the info from your page, it has been a blessing. Sandy

Recommendation of the Week: EcoFuel (Safe, Cooking Fuel) 1-877-Y2K-FUEL 1689 Hiatus Road PMB 113 Pembroke Pines, Florida 33026 (Mention when you order and you can get free cans of fuel with your order)

KA: Many of you have written asking for a safe but inexpensive way to cook especially if you can't cook outdoors because of inclement weather. That's why I was thrilled (and amazed) to find this little product. EcoFuel looks and functions like a can of Sterno - except that's where the similarities end. The difference is the fuel... the fuel that is used is odorless and self-extinguishes, meaning that if the fuel spills, it will not continue to burn. It needs the igniter to keep the flame going. It is the safest, non-toxic fuel that can be used in your home and stored safely indefinitely. (Honestly, I don't really understand how it works, but I saw for myself that the fire really does go out when spilled.) You can read more about it at the site

But here's one of the things I thought was neat. If you use four of them in your oven you can generate enough heat to bake. (Someone else said that you can even gerry-rig, make a small oven out of cardboard and aluminum foil and can use that for baking when camping although I'll let someone else verify that!) What really appealed to me was that I realized if you just wanted to scramble a couple of eggs for your kids for breakfast, you didn't want to use a whole lot of fuel so this seemed like a great option. I was also worried about elderly folks in apartments and thought this would be a great alternative for them. (As a reminder, I think the Flamestop Fire Extinguisher is a great complement for any cooking where there is an open flame (see for more information.)

EcoFuel is not available in stores. The single cooking kit consists of a fold up metal stove (that can hold quite a bit of weight) and two cans of EcoFuel.

I've made arrangements with the manufacturer for you to get two free cans of fuel when you order the single cooking kit and four free cans when you order a case. All you have to do is mention Y2KWomen. Happy cooking!


* Non Flammable outside its container.

* Unlimited shelf life - open or closed.

* Will never evaporate - even if left opened

* Fuel is 100% usable - none is wasted!

* Non-Toxic Burn Odorless Only fuel permitted on airlines

* 8 hours of burn time per can at 200 degrees, 4 hours of burn time per can at 450 degrees

* Environmentally friendly - each can is 100% bio-degradable or inert materials.

EcoFuel cooking kits (which include the stove and 2 cans of fuel) are available for just $28.95 each plus UPS shipping to your door. Cases of EcoFuel (24 cans/case) are available for $69 each plus UPS shipping to your door.


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(c) 1998-1999 Karen Anderson PO Box 656, Colleyville, TX 76034

-- shellie (, May 19, 1999

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