As I have taken a couple years off of blogging, and yet stayed in our community, I have become to understand deeper each year the tenuous state of our dependence on the success of the farms surrounding my house.
I have also come to understand just how far removed we are as a culture, from grasping the significance of how when that area is struggling and suffering right now, that times ahead are leaner and more expensive.
Routinely when my friend would host exchange students, their first reaction in coming into our local grocery stores was one of shock and awe. Many could not believe the selection, or the sheer amount of food just sitting and waiting for purchase. Many could also not believe the junk food offered and sitting on shelves just waiting for someone to purchase it.
My friends….we need to get in better touch with our roots before we are completely, and totally unable to sustain ourselves.
Too often my husband, as a butcher, has had the following things said to him: “Well, I don’t like the farmers who raise cattle, and then sell their meat. I would rather get mind from the warehouse.” As if the warehouse is some magic place where meat dances up to the trays and packages itself in a pretty way, then ships itself to her local grocery. He has even been reprimanded by customers for “appearing gross” when he has had to remove his apron and get called out on the floor to help someone when in the midst of grinding ground beef by the hundreds of pounds. He has had people tell him he is a horrible person for the job he does, and basically spit in his face…as if somehow the raising and butchering of animals for human consumption is all his fault, not something that has been done since the dawn of time wherever there have been humans wanting to live.
But I digress.
Sorry, some people absolutely blow my mind with their willful ignorance, and I can’t wrap my head around it.
We are looking at a lean year ahead, by any standards.
If you saw my last post about the amount of rain we are getting, (read it here), then you know we are struggling as a farming community as we watch fields literally drowning in rain day after day after week after week. I am constantly astonished in talking to people from cities that they have little to no concept of what this means on our food chain, or on the price of goods that will be available in the fall.
Most Americans have less than 2 week’s worth of food in their home at any given time, according to various studies, and many people shop daily on their way home from work and school. If you have followed me at all over the last 8 years, then you know that my approach to keeping food in your home is similar to that of a generation or two ago….better to work now and have food set aside, than to have to constantly increase your budget due to higher prices and less food available.
For many centuries, that was our practices. Many families kept home gardens, and even a few small animals like rabbits or chickens, as they relied on those to keep their family fed, or offset the cost of the groceries they could not produce. We walked away from that in the last 50 years and increasingly have become far less self-reliant, and more reliant on someone else to take care of our basic needs.
It has been time for us to go back to that…back to the soil…back to raising our own chickens or rabbits…time for us to rely a little more on ourselves than someone else. With the catastrophic loss of basic crops all across the United States and our Bread Belt….if you do not live in a farming community…and if you do not have a pantry that you pull from throughout the year stocked with basics and more than 2 weeks of food…my friends….count this your wake up call.
I have heard every excuse under the sun for the last 8 years on why people can not, or could not do such a thing. Living in apartments (go to your farmers’ market and stock your kitchen or closet with basics.), money (buy on sale and start inexpensive, because even 10 bucks of extra food is better than nothing) that I honestly think we would prefer to stick our heads in the sand than do what needs to be done.
For those of you who want to get started, there are so many wonderful posts on this blog if you look. I have series on building food storage, learning to can the basics, raising animals, and such. I will be bringing more of them back over the summer for those of you who are ready to move forward….or who have loved our Welcoming House for a long time and would love a refresher.
Starting this week we will be posting revised editions of our “Living Like a King on a Shoestring Budget” series from 2015…which covers all the basics you can ever want, tweaked for today. <3
See you then.
Blessings to you and yours,