Monday, June 15, 2015

What If You Can't Garden - Part 3

There are circumstances where canning and dehydrating don't work for some.  There may be physical limitations or financial ones.  The initial costs of canning equipment and a dehydrator can be prohibitive.  And not everyone has access to Farmers Markets.  And there are some who just plain dislike this sort of activity.  I know if I didn't like to do the physical work involved in the processes, it would be hard for me to be as enthusiastic about it as I am.

That being said, I don't think I can stress strongly enough the necessity of having some sort of backup plan for feeding our families.  We have all read the articles that talk about grocery stores having only three days worth of food in their storerooms.  They count on regular deliveries.  How long do you suppose it would take to clean out a grocery store if those deliveries were interrupted?  I know that if a winter blizzard is forecast for my area, it doesn't take any time at all to wipe out the bread and milk isles.

There are tons of websites and videos out there telling us what we should store and how much of each item.  They have lots of good advice.  However, I have found that I need to pick what works for me and toss the rest.  For instance, many say that a person should store wheat.  And for many, that is good advice.  But if I store wheat, I need a way to grind it into flour.  And common sense tells me that if it is necessary for me to grind wheat to make a loaf of bread, chances are pretty good that the electricity is gone.  Which leaves me having to grind wheat with a hand crank grinder.  That is just not going to be possible for me.  So I store flour. 

I tend to store the basics - flour, yeast, sugar, salt, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, etc.  I know what my family likes to eat, so I store the ingredients. 

Just because people like me enjoy the process of preserving foods, doesn't mean that you need to do things that way.  There is absolutely nothing wrong building up your food storage with commercially canned and dried foods.  The "prepper police" aren't going to show up in your kitchen and slap your hands for not doing home canning.  There is no right way or wrong way to build up food storage.  It is all about the personal preferences of your family.  If nobody likes beans, then storing a couple of buckets of pinto beans is just silly and a waste of space and money.

There are those who say they can't afford food storage.  Where is it written that you have to buy all of it at once?  Even tossing one extra can of tuna or one extra small bag of flour into your shopping cart each time you do your grocery shopping, will help.  It will add up.   It has taken me several years to reach a point where I am comfortable that my family will survive on what I have stored. And who says that you have to have tons of freeze dried food or buckets of whatever.  You don't.  If your family likes pork and beans, then buy a few extra cans when they are on sale.  If spaghetti is a favorite, just put back cans of spaghetti sauce and boxes of noodles.  You just need to keep adding to your storage so that when the time comes where you can't get food, you will have some put back for emergencies.

There are those who go all crazy over foods that are not organically grown or are genetically modified.  I understand this.  I agree with much of what they say.  But the simple truth of the matter is that this granny who lives on a fixed income can not afford to buy all organic or non-GMO.  And at the end of the day, I think what really matters is that there is food to fill a growling stomach.  I seriously doubt that those people world-wide who have suffered famine would question whether the morsel of food they had to eat was organic.  If you look back into history, I think you will find that starving people ate things much worse than genetically modified corn.

I guess what it boils down to is that there is no right or wrong way to build up food storage.  What is important is that we have food put back for emergency times.  There are lots of other things to consider like water and medicines, but those discussions are for another time.

I was talking with someone in my neighborhood a while back.  The conversation came around to the question of what would we do if the grid went down and we no longer had electricity.  Her statement was that the government would bring food to feed her and water to drink.  I asked if she actually believed that an agent of the government would come knocking on her door with food and water for her.  She said, in all seriousness, that she believed that would happen because the government has to take care of us.  I just quietly walked away.

I understand that my food storage methods are not sustainable.  There will come a time when I will run out of food.  There is nothing, given my particular circumstances, that I can do about that.  But the bright side is that we won't starve right away.  We will have a cushion of perhaps a year to see how things shake out.  That gives us time to work out the next step, while others will be busy just trying to stay alive.  Although far from ideal, that's worth something.

For me, the bottom line is this.  I do not ever want to hear my grandchildren cry because they are hungry and I have nothing to give them ease their pain.  I don't know what the future holds.  But more and more I hear rumblings about bad times coming in the fall.  Maybe so...maybe not.  But whatever happens, I sure don't want to be standing in my kitchen amongst empty cupboards, waiting for someone from the government to knock on my door with food and water that I should have had enough sense to store myself.


  1. I wouldn't tell local folks about my prepping if I were you. Come hard times, you may be their first target.

  2. Gorges...I keep a low profile. Nobody in my building or my neighborhood knows what I do, except my landlord, and that can't be helped. He is like-minded so I'm not terribly worried about him.

  3. Good luck to that friend of yours. It's amazing how many people actually believe that.

  4. Harry...I have come to the conclusion that those who believe the government will take care of them are the same people who don't pay a bit of attention to what is going on all around them. Mention the possibility of the grid going down and they want to know what the grid is. Ask their opinion of Jade Helm and they want to know what movie he is in. I still try to get through to family who don't get it, but as for the rest, well, I guess I'm getting tired of having a headache from banging my head against brick walls.

  5. It amazes me how unaware of the world around them most Americans are.

  6. Harry...I think it is called bread and circuses. Keep them fed and entertained and those in power can do pretty much whatever they want. Sometimes I think the only way the general population will ever pay attention is when the EBT cards no longer work and the electronic devices fail. But by that time, it will be way too late.