mealworms, Zone 7 planting
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January 14, 2017 – OathKeepers Preparedness
A New Year, A New Start – On our homestead so far for 2017, we have had 9 baby goats born, added 400 quail eggs to the incubator, acquired 4 new New Zealand meat rabbits (1 buck and 3 does), we stocked up on a months’ worth of Quinoa, flax seeds, Himalayan salt and popping corn seeds. We have planted 60 6-pack planters full of medicinal herbs.
We are continuing our fodder for animal feed and also have meal worms growing for extra protein foods for our chickens.
What are some of the things that you can do to be better prepared for the new year?
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Raising Your Own Mealworms – http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/30444/how-to-grow-your-own-mealworms-instructions
1. Find a clear plastic container with approximately six-inch high sides. It may be the size of one to three square feet. For ventilation, drill about forty 1/4 inch holes in the lid. If condensation occurs, drill even more holes, or cover the container with a screen.
2. Put about three inches of one part chick starter (or laying mash) and one part wheat bran (optional) in the container. Mix well and level it. This is food for your newly hatched mealworms.
3. Cut an apple in half. Turn the round side down and push it down into the feed until flush with the feed and bran mixture. This is to give them moisture. If the skin of the apple is removed, the moisture in it will get into your feed and will spoil it. For this reason, do not peel your apples. Check your cultures every week to make sure they aren’t out of apples.
4. Add thirty to forty mealworms per square foot of container. Get them from your friends, or you can find them in a farmer’s feed building, usually under his feed bags. They can also be bought. Add four layers of unprinted paper such as the regular brown grocery bags. Put paper on top of the feed mixture, apple halves, and mealworms. Mealworms love to hide between the layers of paper. I record the date I start each culture on the top layer of paper.
5. Store such a started culture at room temperature, or warmer. These mealworms will each turn into a pupa, then the pupa will turn into a beetle. These beetles will mate, then lay their eggs between the paper and feed. After this, the beetles die. This is their complete life cycle. Soon, you’ll see many tiny mealworms when you run your fingers through the top of the feed. They will produce up to 3,000 worms per square foot of container. This complete cycle will take only two to three months, if your culture is stored at, or slightly above, room temperature. Temperature plays a big role in the length of the beetle’s life cycle. I start a new culture every month. This strategy keeps me in plenty of worms.
6. Replace the apples whenever they are completely eaten or half spoiled. After the young mealworms are seen, keep two halves, rather than only one half apple, per square foot of container. Keeping plenty of moisture (apples) available keeps the worms growing faster. Potatoes also work, but apples work better because they supply more moisture for the worms.
7. Put fully grown worms into another well-vented container with only some feed and a bit of apple. Store these in a cool place, or even in the refrigerator. This delays them from turning into pupae for up to six months. Set container out to room temperature for one day every week to allow the worms to feed.
Zone 7 – Vegetable Planting Calendar Guide
Zone 7 has medium length growing season. Most vegetable varieties will have no problem maturing before your first frost date. With a last frost date of April 15th and first frost date of November 15th. These dates will vary a week or two so it’s important to watch the weather before planting. Annual minimum temperature for zone 7 is 5ºF.
Zone 7 Hardiness Dates
Using the planting schedule below will help you get the most out of your garden. Starting seeds indoors before your last frost date will give you a jump start on the growing season. Knowing when to transplant seedlings outdoors will help to maximize your harvest.
Monthly Food Storage Purchasing Calendar Compiled by Andrea Chapman If you are just starting out, this calendar can be used any year. Just start with the current month’s items. We have tried to keep the costs down to between $35 and $45 per week. This might seem rather costly, but if you want to build a good food storage in only one year, it will cost you more each week than if you spread out acquiring it over several years. Be certain to buy only items your family will use, and rotate and use the items in your storage throughout the year. Milk is an expensive item and prices keep soaring, so you might need to invest in a bit higher food storage bill to buy it right now. * The items in the first few months are basic essentials and are the most important to purchase and store. It is vital to get WATER – STORAGE . If you don’t have water, you will not be able to use many of the foods you have that are dehydrated or require water to cook. Many times in natural disasters, the electricity goes down and you will not be able to access your water. Sometimes the water is contaminated from flooding and cross-contamination from sewage. You will need water, at very least, you will need 3 days worth. ___________________________________________________________________
1 case canned fruit
2 #10 cans instant potatoes
3 #10 cans dry milk
3 #10 cans dry milk
9 pounds yeast
Anything you have missed from above ___________________________________________________________________
Water Storage Containers-buy either 55 gallon drums, 5 gallon water containers (available at all emergency preparedness stores and some super markets) and spigot, or start to save water in pop bottles and plastic juice containers. Also purchase 100 lbs. hard white wheat and three plastic storage buckets with tight fitting lids. Check out the local mills in your area for best prices.
25 lbs of sugar or 20 lbs of honey
5 lbs salt per person bucket opener
4 #10 cans shortening or 4 – 48 oz bottles oil
2 #10 cans of dry instant milk
2 case canned beans (like refried pinto, black, kidney, white, pink etc.) or 25 lbs dry beans (preferable) and bucket to store them in.
50 lbs dried corn or popcorn (about $10.00 from a mill or food storage company) and a bucket to store it in. (Can be ground into cornmeal as well as for popcorn.) (All grains and beans can be put into #10 cans at the LDS cannery.) (If not, the buckets work well.)