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Lately, the nation’s food security is looking more like a fairytale than a sure thing, and the reasons are numerous.
As we’ve seen, time and time again, when a disaster threatens food supplies, store shelves get stripped in hours.
The whole “stores have 3 days of food” fairy tale may have been true at some point, but today stores don’t have big racks full of food “in back” and get restocked 1-3 times per day in high population density areas.
Now, more than ever, we should not leave the ability to feed ourselves and our loved ones to chance. Luckily, there is a solution. Putting aside a one-year food supply AND heirloom garden seed will help take the worry quotient out of an uncertain time. And, if you are prepared to hunt, gather, snare and fish for a portion of your food, all the better.
The premise of a one-year food supply isn’t arbitrary. It will provide the buffer you need from the start of a crisis until a garden can begin producing fruits and vegetables critical for survival during a long-term crisis.
It can also be a buffer to last you through a short to medium food availability situation.
Or to feed your family during a job loss or after a medical emergency when money is short, if not non-existent.
If you’re not familiar with gardening, now–even though it’s fall–is an excellent time to start.
It isn’t too late. Try planting cool season vegetables that are fast growers like one or more of the following:
Gardening takes practice! It’s important to get in there, get your hands dirty and see what a few seeds and water can bring to the table. And don’t forget to test your soil. The pH of garden soil can make the difference between a bountiful garden and one that fails, and failure during a protracted crisis is not an option.
Know what lies in wait to eat your garden–insects, deer and rabbits, just to name a few, would all love the chance to help themselves to your hard work. Protect against them by researching what your region’s biggest offenders are and be prepared to keep them away from the food security a garden represents.
Just in case that first season of gardening doesn’t produce all that you need, consider storing extra beans and rice, above and beyond a one-year storage. Beans and rice are inexpensive when you buy them in bulk and they have a shelf life of between 20 and 30 years when stored properly. Together, rice and beans form a complete protein, and considering the workload that’s going to land on our doorstep when a crisis hits, we’re going to need it!
If you’re comfortable with a few weeks or months of food storage, the following may clarify why increasing food storage in not necessarily an overblown approach.
Rise In Volcanic Activity Could Impact Food Production
We’ve all noticed a sharp increase in volcanic activity. Michael Snyder’s September 16th The Economic Collapse article, The Number Of Volcanic Eruptions Is Increasing And That Could Lead To An Extremely Cold Winter brings up important facts about volcanic eruptions that Preppers should take note of.
The following are excerpts from the article:
The number of volcanoes that are erupting continues to rise, and scientists cannot seem to explain why this is happening. In 2013, we witnessed the most volcanic eruptions worldwide that we have ever seen in a single year, and this increased activity has carried over into 2014. In recent months, we have seen major volcanoes roar to life in Russia, Peru, Hawaii, Reunion Island, Indonesia, and all over Alaska. It is highly unusual for so many volcanoes to all be erupting at the same time. According to Volcano Discovery, a whopping 34 volcanoes are erupting around the globe right now. This is sending a massive amount of dust and ash into the upper atmosphere, and it may explain why many parts of the planet are experiencing strangely cold weather at the moment. If this trend continues, we could potentially be facing years of crop failures and widespread famines all over the world.
And what we have witnessed already may just be the beginning. There are several more very large volcanoes around the globe that scientists are extremely concerned about right now.
Later in the article. . .
In 1883, the explosion of Krakatoa (Krakatau) created volcanic winter-like conditions. The four years following the explosion were unusually cold, and the winter of 1887-1888 included powerful blizzards. Record snowfalls were recorded worldwide.
(Sarcastic note: It must have been the release of all of those greenhouse gasses that we KNOW cause global warming 🙂
The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, a stratovolcano in Indonesia, occasioned mid-summer frosts in New York State and June snowfalls in New England and Newfoundland and Labrador in what came to be known as the “Year Without a Summer” of 1816. A paper written by Benjamin Franklin in 1783 blamed the unusually cool summer of 1783 on volcanic dust coming from Iceland, where the eruption of Laki volcano had released enormous amounts of sulfur dioxide, resulting in the death of much of the island’s livestock and a catastrophic famine which killed a quarter of the Icelandic population. Northern hemisphere temperatures dropped by about 1 °C in the year following the Laki eruption.
In 1600, the Huaynaputina in Peru erupted. Tree ring studies show that 1601 was cold. Russia had its worst famine in 1601-1603. From 1600 to 1602, Switzerland, Latvia and Estonia had exceptionally cold winters. The wine harvest was late in 1601 in France, and in Peru and Germany, wine production collapsed. Peach trees bloomed late in China, and Lake Suwa in Japan froze early.
Drought & Disease Equals Skyrocketing Food Prices
A National Geographic News article, Hefty Price Hikes for Fresh Food Amid Drought, Disease, written by Andrea Stone, June 27th, 2014 explains the sticker shock we’re experiencing at the checkout stand. The following is an excerpt:
Consumers will likely see higher pork prices, which increased 3.2 percent for two months in a row [12.2 percent since a year ago]. One of the reasons is porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, which has increased the number of piglets that die.
Both potatoes and lettuce had the highest rates of inflation, which contributed to the overall category of fresh vegetables going up in May. [Up to] 85 percent of the lettuce grown in the U.S. comes from California, which is suffering from ongoing drought conditions. We also saw a slight increase in exports and a slight decrease in imports last month, so there’s a smaller supply of lettuce.
Fruit was really led by citrus [up 7.3 percent since May 2013] in Florida. That’s because of the cold winter in Florida and the widespread citrus greening, a disease on the trees that causes [oranges] to fall off the tree earlier.
Dairy prices are increasing [up to 4 percent in 2014] due to really strong domestic demand for milk and cheese. There also was a cold winter in the Midwest, which harmed the hay production, lowering output per cow.
(Another sarcastic remark: I’m sure that using cow food (corn) for fuel (ethanol) had nothing to do with an increase in the price of beef and dairy products.)
In Fact, Wells Are Running Dry In The Town Of East Porterville, California
As reported on September 21st on My Fox, Tampa Bay, contributed by Scott Smith, Some California wells run dry amid drought, hundreds of East Porterville, California residents have had to resort to donated bottled water.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
But many East Porterville residents, like Serrato, say all they want is to get a glass of water from the kitchen sink. Her well dried up nearly two months ago, she said, making life challenging for her husband and three children.
To bathe, they each have to fill a bucket from a 300-gallon tank in the front yard, carry it inside and pour water over their heads with a cup. They’ve lived in their home for 21 years, she said. “It’s not that easy to say, ‘Let’s go someplace else.’ “
What we can take from all sides is that preparedness is prudent, and as food prices continue to climb, and volcanoes and drought threaten the possibility of crop failures, putting food, garden seed and plenty of water aside should be at the top of everyone’s priority list.
October is the traditional month for canned good sales, usually refereed to as an annual or semi-annual “case good sale,” where you can expect to save from between 25 to 50%. Time-frames vary, so it’s best to make a few calls to your local grocers so you can plan ahead to fill those food storage shelves.
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Are they perfect? No. But an 80% solution that’s DONE beats a 100% solution that you never execute every single time. Put another way, if ISIS attacks next month, are you better off with a 1 year food supply that’s not perfect that’s in your possession or a perfect 1 year food supply that you haven’t pulled the trigger on yet? The answer is obvious…take action. Get SOMETHING done NOW and perfect it later.
Also, this is a good time to re-mention how important it is to identify law enforcement and other first responders in your neighborhood and set aside food specifically for them. Law enforcement personnel will make the best decisions in disaster situations if they know that they can obey their moral compass and still feed themselves and their families.
Historically and globally, food insecurity is one of the biggest factors that causes law enforcement to take immoral and illegal action. Tyrants often use food and other fundamental needs to co-opt law enforcement and get them to do what they want rather than what their moral compass tells them they should do. Get to know your local law enforcement. Take care of them. And prepare to take care of their families after a disaster.)
Have the volcanoes, drought, and changing weather patterns brought you to the conclusion it’s time to increase food and water storage, or do you feel that a few weeks or months will get you by? Please post your comments below.
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva