Prepare and Pray Lesson 6: Seeds for Tomorrow

12/23/2008
In this chapter, Mr. Robinson and the boys work to retrieve a pinnance from the wrecked ship. We discussed the character qualities they demonstrated. The attitude of the young men working to free the pinnance demonstrated eagerness and diligence. The explosion Mr. Robinson contrived to blow a hole into the side of the ship, and the use of pulleys, blocks and rollers demonstrated resourcefulness, wisdom and courage. Mr. Robinson encouraged physical fitness, for strength to work, hunt and provide for themselves and others.

We talked about the importance of physical endurance and what we could do as a family to build up our endurance. We discussed that Jesus walked long distances and we thought that would be a great idea for us! So we committed to walking more. (We are in a great part of town to do this, I think!)

The survival skills taught in this lesson center around long term food solutions in an extended crisis (war, depression, etc.) As a family, we are building a food storage for hard times. We store grains, beans, rice etc. But, our rule is that we do not store anything that we do not eat on a regular basis. As a result, we started eating from our food storage. I discovered that this is a great way to reduce our food expense. We buy grains in bulk from Wheat Montana, and then pack them in buckets for storage.
Buying in bulk has saved us a lot and served us well. We make our own breads and cereals from the grains. However, this is not a long term solution.

The long term solution presented in this lesson is gardening. By using open-pollinated (instead of hybrid) seeds, we can have a renewable source of delicious and nutritious food. By allowing a small portion of each crop to "go to seed," we can save them for the next season. God created seeds to reproduce after their own kind. Hybrid seeds do not do this- they do not produce usable seed. Jordan learned this the hard way when he planted squash seeds from a squash that was given to us. The plant grew, but did not produce fruit. It was sterile. I am glad I let him plant it! (I almost didn't because of the amount of water and space it took to grow, but the lesson learned was worth it.)

The Bible says not to sow our fields with mingled seed. We believe that "mingled seed" may be crossed, hybrid or genetically modified (GMO) seed. So, we use open pollinated or heirloom seeds - seeds that have been saved and handed down from generations. We follow the techniques recommended by Suzanne Ashworth in her book, Seed to Seed. Last summer was the first year we have applied her techniques. I am excited to plant the seeds that we saved from our zucchini. We hand pollinated them and saved the biggest, healthiest ones! I grew some beautiful tomato plants that I started from seed, but did not get one tomato! My sweet little 1 year old daughter, Eliana, picked every one before they ripened! This year I will have to devise a way to keep her out of them.

This lesson mentions storing seeds for gardening, but also for sharing and bartering. I have thought about this already, but still need to decide which seeds I will buy. I am considering some seeds that are already packed for storage, like Wendy Mae's at Frugal Squirrels.

Well, guess what all of the hands on projects for this lesson are? If you said gardening, you are correct. And it is much too cold to garden and too early to start our seeds. So, we will organize our seeds and make a gardening plan. Here are the projects that we will do in a couple months: 1. Make seed starters. 2. Create a new compost bin. 3. Plant an herb ladder. 4. Make a bean tee-pee and pea trellis. (Plant lettuce in the center bed to be shaded by the growing peas).

One project that we can do is make sprouts.

   

 Here is what we do: Place 1/4 cup of seeds (we usually use wheat and lentils, but will try mung beans this time) in a wide-mouth pint jar. This will yield 1 - 2 cups of sprouts. Cover with cheesecloth or a sprouting lid. Fill jar with water, rinse seeds then pour all the water out. Place jar in a dark, warm kitchen cabinet. Rinse twice daily until 1- 1 1/2 inches long. Eat fresh or store in fridge for 4-6 days. Sprouts are yummy and sweet and make a delicious addition to tortillas and bread! We also learned to identify plants which indicate water available at or near the surface of the water. When it warms up, we will go on a nature hike and use a field guide to identify plants. But, for now, we will just study them!

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