Monday, December 13, 2010

Pantry Pinch

The latest edition of Backwoods Home hit my mailbox today!  I've already read it from cover to cover.  With winter here, I plan to sit and catch up on all those I only got to browse thru.  Including Countryside!

I always love the Jackie Clay articles.  I bet she would be one cool lady to meet!  Her feature article this issue was "Sitting Pretty as the Economy Tanks".  I know most of you don't even need to be told what all the topics might be, the title alone pretty well says it all!  But for those of you who don't, she talks about making the most of the land you live on (or scares the hell out of you if you don't live on 'land', i.e. an apartment), your pantry, heat source, finances, power source and so on.

So over dinner, Pig Pen and I were talking about it and I asked him, "If something catastrophic happened, where would people go?"

His answer scared me a little!  He said, "Here."  Meaning our house.  Don't get me wrong, I'd pack them in like sardines.  But, could I feed them?  Heat them?  Bathe them?  Protect them?

The answer is mostly, Yes. 

I've certainly canned alot.  There is plenty of meat in the freezers.  We'd sleep in the garages however because they both have wood burners but the house doesn't yet.  We are on a well.  And of course, yeah, we can protect them.

But for how long? 

Every garden year/canning season, Pig Pen will say things like, "I don't think we need to plant as many tomato plants (or whatever), we still have some left."  And of course I always disagree.  Then do it anyway.  :o)

I had previously vowed that this winter, I would expand my canning to include other things such as broths, beans (from dried), soups, stews and such.  I would even like to can meats.  With my new dehydrator, I can do other forms of preservation also.  Why not??

So my question is...if an event occurred that placed you in a position to care for your loved ones:  your aging grandparents, parents, siblings, your children and infants...could you? 

Could you sustain yourselves even?  For how long?  A week, month, six months, a year?  Years? 

Seriously, how long could you last?  When you think of getting by or getting thru, how long have you planned for?

I would like to think we have enough food stuffs to last a year.  Shockingly, I am pretty sure that the one thing I would run out -of all things...toilet paper.  It haunts me.  So I am going to reassess not just my preserved goods, but my bulk goods too.

Think it could never happen?  If so, think harder.


  1. BHM? I get that too. Do ya by any chance visit their forum? I go there daily and they do have a chat room, the only one I go to on the net, the others skeer me. lol
    Di I think we share a lot more in common than we thought.

  2. Stella, nope haven't been to the forum yet but will do! I have so much 'homework' to do and I know that is a going to be a great place to run to. I know what you mean about being scared/skeered of those things. I'm the same way! More in common... :)

  3. Gosh, those are a couple of my favorite magazines! They really have some good stuff in them.

  4. I just went and "favorite placed" Jackie Clay. Thanks!

    Very good post APG and a discussion we've had too. Anarchy wouldn't be pretty at all. That's why we ALL need to start preaching self sufficiency to our friends and neighbors because none of us would last very long.

    Your hubby is spot-on. We all need to think like we're at war (like back in the 40's) with the Victory Garden movement. Hubby and I went so far as to also discuss getting a gun...(I'd prefer a rifle myself for hunting) but from a "protection" point of view it would likely be worthless as the influx of people stealing food and resources from each other would be a tidal wave.

    Nope, we all sink or swim together IMHO.

    BTW I know what you mean about the TP...I buy bulk from Sams...after that, well, there's always tree leaves (grin).

  5. Great post. I love Backwoods Magazines website and subscribe to Jackie's feed but it never occurred to me to subscribe to the actual magazine!

    What you're talking about is something I think about often, especially since our food raising efforts are in full public view near the road (where all our sun is.) Of course we'd want to be able to welcome family in the event of a wide-scale food catastrophe, but in spite our best efforts there is only so much one person or family can do. For me it always ends up being an exercise in faith and trust. We just try to be obedient to our calling and leave the results to God. One thing I'm trying to do is collect and save as much seed as possible, to give to neighbors to grow their own. They've watched us for nearly two years now, and hopefully one of these days what we're doing here will make sense to them.

  6. I think about this stuff all the time! We are "closet preppers" in that not only do we not want to alienate some people by our survivalist scenario ideas, but we also don't want to advertise too much, you never know! We have so much left to do, and a future property that can sustain itself with wood is high on the list, but I am at least thankful that as of right now, we do have a well and enough garden space to grow enough to feed our family and put away too. Good post, in this economy it's good to remind ourselves of all we CAN do, instead of what's currently out of reach.

  7. Good to know you and Pig Pen are thinking of these things. People think first and foremost of food which is, of course, important. But spend a few days writing down everything you use (yupper, toilet paper is high on the list) and you will be amazed at how your life would quickly change if you didn't have a back-up of those things we take for granted every day.

  8. I would like to think that we would be ok in an unforeseen event. That's the goal of a self sufficient lifestyle. The best 'prepping' you can do is to always increase your knowledge.

  9. So happy to know I have a place to go!!!! Kind of a scary conversation though!! See, I keep telling you that you need to make your own TP!!! :-)

  10. Alla, oh yes! And I just added 2 others to my list of must haves. Now I just gotta get'em! Grit and MENews.

    Tami, a subscriptioin for your stocking to the magazine would be just in time, huh? And you know, folks who lived thru those times are a plethora of info. I think we used to 'make fun' at them, but most likey, jokes on us if it were to happen again. So much to think about!

    Leigh, hmm, another stocking filler? Seeing as how just this week I made the terrible confession that I have never grown heirlooms, I will tell the world. I was chatting w/ Stella and she 'learned' me up. Now can I just say that it has been silly of me not to delve deeper sooner. Guess what I am doing this year?? Mmmhmm. I will be planting heirlooms and seed saving. What a wonderful idea that you have suggested to give! And you nailed it, faith and trust and the rest to God. He can handle it better than us anyway. No matter what.

    Erin, 'closet prepper'. That's a good one! I think over the past few years we are slowly 'coming out'. People actually make fun in many ways, and heck, I even call us the hillbillies in the family. But when jobs are scarce and money is tight, we make it work. It's shocking...shocking I tell you...on what we can get by with. I know one day soon you will have that property and then LOOK OUT! You are going in guns a'blazin!

    MamaPea, yeah, that is pretty well where the thoughts ran to last night. Ok, so we have certain aspects in the works, now we have to basically go room by room and figure what the other essentials are. Adam built his wood burner in the garage (I'll get a picture) and he is talking about building a boiler for the house. Trust me, he can. We have the space, minus the jim dandy fridge like yours to store grains etc in ;) but yeah, we need to think more all-around. I'd like to say we need to do something like Jane is working on. My concern is that he wouldn't buy into that because...could it run air compressors, welders etc. He sucks alot in that way. So we have work to do. Probably always will have something chruning.

    Jane, blogging alone has been a great source of info! You guys inspire me and keep my little brain in motion. I LOVE that! I think I have accused you several times actually!

    Jan, bring TP when you come!

  11. Ha. Eric might survive, but I wouldn't. I'll admit, I've lived a very spoiled life. My dad has always been of the mind that if he can pay someone to do something he will (he is/was a pipefitter/welder by trade, now the business manager). We live in a small house in an older subdivision in town. We have little property and surely couldn't squeeze another person in this house if we had to.

    I only stock up on groceries and paper goods long enough to last us a month...something I've only started doing since Ethan was born. Before I went shopping weekly. I suck, I know.

    Eric was raised on a farm and his family has tons of farm ground. If we moved there, we would be okay. They have cattle, grain fields, and a personal veggie garden that is so large it could be commercial. Plenty of wooded areas for lumber, several wells, and a small lake with fish too. So I guess we would be okay if we went to the farm. At home...fogeddaboutit. :)

  12. Tricia, there are alot of great books out there with great ideas of how to maximize minimal space. The Backyard Homestead being just one. Check it probably have alot more space than you think! Grass is just grass, why not make some of it a garden? Your little guy would probably enjoy watching stuff grow and it would be a great way of teaching him too! Sounds like Eric's folks have a dreamland!

  13. I'll have to check that out. I was 25 and single when I bought this house. I never expected to be married and have kids in this house. LOL We were only married 8 months when I got pregnant and was put on bed rest at the beginning of the 2nd trimester. We never had the chance to even look at other houses. Being on bed rest for almost 6 months and then developing heart problems, I had to quit my job. Kind of tough to look at bigger homes with one income.

    I'm constantly purging items around the house. I can't stand the clutter. I'll definitely be looking into the Backyard Homestead.

  14. I can't even hardly stand to comment on this post because I have **not** received my latest issue of BHM or Countryside. I'm totally distracted thinking about the fabulous articles I haven't read yet. So. Jealous. Of. You. .... :)

  15. MamaTea...Countryside came last night. Not to salt that wound or anything ;o) And you were right, we do fight over who reads them first. How'da ya know that??

  16. I love Backwoods Home best, but also read Hobby Farm and Hobby Farm Home. Backwoods Home is published in the my home town, I drive by the office every day taking my daughter to school. I like to stop by and visit with the wonderful ladies in the office. I see Dave and Ilene and Annie around town, but don't know them well enough to chat. I should get brave, I guess!

  17. Hope...Whoa! You live in the coolest town on earth then! Oh my, I vote that you be brave and get to know them all! How awesome that you can just pop in and chat with the ladies! You are my new hero!