Our family’s spring break adventure last week was awesome! We took a 4,700 mile road trip to visit Mormon church history sites ranging from Missouri to New York and everyone had a great time. Well, with all that driving there was a lot of spare time in the car. Luckily, while in a book store in NY, this book caught my eye and helped to pass a portion of the time. I ‘m really happy I found it and I’m excited to share it with you!
The book is called “The Forgotten Skills of Self Sufficiency used by the Mormon Pioneers” by Caleb Warnock. If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll tell you a little bit about it. The book focuses on how early pioneers were able to plant and harvest, both during the main growing season as well as early/ late season so as to nearly always have fresh food to eat. I’ll tell you, speaking personally, if there’s one draw back to cooking with food storage you learn early on it’s the measure to which you find yourself missing fresh vegetables along side a meal! I’m really excited about the ideas contained in this book as well as the author’s plans for subsequent books to be coming out in the next year or so. Here’s a bit of what you’ll find…
- Tips on which vegetable varieties are best for early planting
- Hardy varieties that can withstand cold temperatures (the author BTW lives in Central Utah and does quite well even with it’s short growing season)
- Vegetables that are “earliest” in their harvest (such as an 18 day radish)
- Which vegetables work best as “fall crops”
- Tips on various homemade cellars and how to store different vegetables successfully through the winter.
The book also explains how to save seeds (and which type of seeds to plant in the first place) if you’re wanting a garden from which you never have to buy seeds again. This is important to know if your keeping seeds “just in case” since vegetables grown from most seeds you buy from the store will not yield successful seeds for a second season due to the way our seed supply has been altered over the last 100 years.
A couple other topics from the book that I’m interested in trying…one that I’ll actually do and another that doesn’t fit our lifestyle right now (but maybe someday…). First, pioneer yeast — not necessarily a sour yeast — is discussed, how to use it, keep it alive and bake with it so that you have a continuous supply of yeast on hand. Secondly, keeping chickens –this book has lots of advice on the subject from someone who’s kept chickens for many years.
I’ll see you again (with a recipe) tomorrow!