Most people, at the beginning of a new year, look forward to whatever it brings. I find myself looking back.
Some time ago, someone close to me had a look at the room in my apartment where much of my food storage is located. Their reaction to the shelves and boxes full of food was to ask why. Clearly they were under the assumption that nothing will ever change, that the stores will always be completely stocked and nothing bad will ever happen - at least not in their back yard.
Generations younger than mine do not seem to realize that for us, being prepared is not just some trendy thing to do. It is a lifestyle.
Looking back, I remember the huge garden my Dad planted every year. And how summer and fall we canned and froze as much food as possible to get our family through the long, cold Minnesota winters. Dad didn't farm, but he did rent out our 9 acre field to the neighbor to grow corn or soy beans in exchange for beef. That same neighbor milked cows, so we got our milk from him, and our eggs from another neighbor who raised chickens.
My grandparents raised milk cows and hogs and chickens for meat to feed their family of nine children. Dad told me about loading a wood burning stove onto a hay wagon, along with boxes of canning jars. The family would go to the blueberry bogs of northern Minnesota, where they would camp. The kids would pick blueberries and Grandma would fire up the stove and can blueberries until all the jars were full.
In addition to canning vegetables from their huge garden, Grandma made butter from the cream separated from the milk, and traded the butter in town for flour and sugar. They dug a root cellar in the side of a hill near the house for keeping potatoes, carrots, cabbage and rutabagas over winter.
Families then did not depend on anyone to take care of them. My Dad consdered it shameful to accept any kind of government help. They did as much as was humanly possible to take care of their families.
All of this was common to families older than my generation. They were preppers but didn't know it. Neither did I until I saw some websites about preparedness. This is just what we did to feed or families.
Even if we can no longer raise vegetables or meat animals, we can still be prepared. If you think some government agency is going to bring you a ham sandwich and a bottle of water, you are sadly mistaken. Nobody is coming to help. We need to be as self sufficient as possible. Look to the old ways. Those people survived without all the gadgets.
Most importantly, continue to pray.
Read the article from the woman in Portland who said she was fed three meals a day so she could live homeless and in a tent and do drugs all day. It was sickening.ReplyDelete
My grandmother, widowed while she was pregnant moved home with two little children to live with her mother. They raised food, not sure what. She reared three children without a husband. My mother said the only government assistance they ever took was a pair of shoes. She was ashamed they did that.
Linda...Sadly, there seem to be those who would rather live on the dole than take responsibility for anything. Our grandparents were tough. They did what they needed to do to take care of themselves and their families. We sorely need more of that just now.Delete
Oh my goodness! I'm your grandma, ha ha. We had five acres, chickens, pigs, beef cows, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep. Not all at the same time, though. I made butter, cheese, sauerkraut, canned stuff, etc. Not a huge garden, but we generally had lots of cabbages and at least 400 lbs of potatoes. We did all of our own butchering and meat cutting. Helped that we had very poor TV reception.ReplyDelete
anon...I think that our grandparents and probably our parents as well, did whatever it took to take care of the family. That usually included a lot of hard work. And knowing how to do stuff. On a side note, I was 15 years old before there was a TV in my home. And I don't own one now. I liked it better when folks had conversations. Seems we are too busy now looking at our phones.Delete
Just looked at the weekly sales at our local grocery; what they're calling sales are more than we've ever paid. We definitely can't slow down our preparations!ReplyDelete
sbrgirl...I have noticed the same thing in my area. And much of what is on sale is oddball stuff and not the staples I have stored. I know that I am paying a premium for whatever groceries I buy now, but next month the prices are likely to be higher. You are spot on. We can not slow down preparing.Delete
My parents were in their late teens/early 20s during the Depression with the capital 'D'. Unfortunately for me, neither wanted to pass on any stories from that time in their lives. All my mom would say was that my grandpa learned to do taxes since there was always work and that he often got paid in veggies or a chicken. My Dad looked fondly on being in the Navy and a clean bed and three meals a day.ReplyDelete
My mom did teach me how to grow tomatoes though. Although reluctantly. I've had a green thumb for veggie gardening since I was about 5yo and have the photos to prove it.
Our local store finally has a good sale on this week - chicken legs in 10# bags at $0.49/lb. I'm betting there won't be many available to buy.
Keep stacking it deep and praying.
SJ now in California
SJ...My mother didn't talk much about the Depression. Partly, I think because it wasn't her nature to talk about anything bad, because according to the mindset of the day, if you didn't talk about it, it would go away. And her father had a steady job as a Railroad Depot Agent.Delete
Dad, however, talked about 'riding the rails' with one of his brothers, going to western states where they found jobs on grain thrashing crews or working as field hands. He also worked in a limberjack camp and for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) where he worked building a lakeside park that is still in use today. They did whatever they could to help the family.
I wonder how many of the younger generation even knows how to garden. Many have no idea where their food comes from. I saw an interview with a college student who thought farming should be banned because of the effect on the environment. Wonder what that kid plans to eat if nobody is growing food any more. Idiot!
I haven't seen any kind of chicken for under $2 per pound! Grab it!! And yes - stacking and praying. Important. Especially now!
Many people who don't prep call us "crazy." If our forebears saw how most of America lived, they'd be calling THOSE people "crazy!" My grown sons don't see why I do what I do. They've had such "seamless" lives. They don't understand that the reason there were so few hiccups in their world was because I was as prepared as possible for whatever came along!ReplyDelete
...People can call me what they want... At the end of the day though, my larder is full, and I have "plan B's" for all of the important stuff. If they want to live on day-to-day deliveries to Wally World, that's fine with me... Personally though, I don't know how they can sleep at night, knowing how fragile their existence is!
Pete...Our offspring and in my case, their offspring, have not had to deal with real hardship. I really doubt that they ever had to worry about where their next meal was coming from. And I hate to tell them that the loss of wifi for an hour does not constitute hardship.ReplyDelete
The last cople of days here have been a prime example of why I prepare. It has been snowing. So far Mother Nature has dumped about 9 inches of the white stuff on top of what was on the ground previously. Many are freaking out because they have run out of some supplies. Me...I sit in my rocking chair, cup of coffee in hand, watching the flakes drift down. I have everything I need. And that is because, unlike so many, you and I thought ahead and stocked up.
Do you think our kids are really aware of how fragile their existence is? I am not talking about the conspiracy theories. I know there are those who are convinced that they will need to go hide in the woods to evade the mauraders and that the Chinese will be marching in the streets soon. I mean the upcoming shortages and higher prices to buy what is available and greedy politicians who vote for anything that will fill their pockets with cash. The problems we face are real and dire and I doubt the younger ones even give it a thought.
Hang in there, my friend, and keep stacking!
Vicki~ My Dad's people have either been Farmers or Military. My Mom's people were Farmers, Lumberjacks or Coal Miners. I'm one generation removed from the Land. My Mom taught me to make jellies and to can. Dad taught me to garden. I'm canning home grown organic lemon juice tomorrow. The winter garden is growing and some volunteers have popped up. It's been raining here and my concern is what happens with all the water and snow melt since our Dams are in poor shape due to lack of maintenance and repairs. Keep preparing in the manner you need to do the work. RedReplyDelete
Red...My Dad's people were mostly farmers with a few being lumberjacks to augment the farm income. Like you, my Dad taught me gardening and my mother taught me food preservation in addition to sewing. I wish more of the younger generations had an interest in those skills.Delete
Here in Minnesota we are nearly knee deep in snow. So far in the last two days we had about 9 inches of new snow and it is still snowing tonight. Thankfully we have no dams to worry about when it all melts, although the rivers flooding are always a concern.
Question - I know you pay attention. Have you heard any more about a railway strike? I ask because I live a half a city block from railroad tracks. Normally there are 4 or 5 trains go by daily. This past week that number is down to one or two, and of that number, one might just be a local. I can tell by the whistle which are local and which are passing through to a more western destination. Makes me wonder why there are so few trains moving goods about.
Take care, my friend, and keep on stacking!
Vicki~ To be honest I'm not sure about the Strike status. The lack of Trains passing thru could be Weather related. RedReplyDelete
Red...The slowdown began before the snow came here. And in the past, bad weather didn't seem to make a difference. The trains just plowed on through. I have to wonder if this has to do with the proposed railway strike or if there just aren't enough goods to haul to warrant more trains. Interesting.Delete
Vicki, My parents and grandparents were all city dwellers. My grandparents only grew a few fruits and vegetables on their small lots. I have to go back a few more generations on my family tree to find any family who farmed for a living, and it is the same for my husband. We didn't have anyone to teach us how to garden or raise chickens. Maybe it is in our blood. Or maybe it's just our desire to be self-reliant and recognition that our society is on the verge of total collapse.ReplyDelete
It is entirely possible to learn and do and raise enough food to feed your family. However, the window for learning is drawing to a close.
Jennifer...I believe that the desire for self-reliance is just as important - or even more so - than learning some skills from older generations. We can still prepare without farming or homesteading. All of my prepping has taken place in my little apartment. I am glad I had some skills before, but these days we can learn anything we want to know by Googling the subject. Or running a YouTube search. What is needed is the desire to learn.Delete
I see so many who want what their parents achieved through years of hard work but they want it right now without putting forth the time and effort.
I agree that the window for learning is drawing to a close. Those elders with the knowledge will not live forever and when they are gone, so is a library of knowledge. And because of how we are censored as to what we can say or do, I can visulize a time when internet access could be limited. It is people like you and your super informative site that adds much needed information for us all, and for that I thank you.