Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thoughts on Preparedness

Recently there have been lots of discussions over the internet about the Fed's new QE2 move. That is quantitative easing and basically what it means is that they intend to print and distribute billions of dollars. Well, since we aren't on the gold system basically these dollars come out of thin air and what happens when you flood the "market" is that what is already out there becomes less valuable. It is the law of supply and demand. When things are in short supply they are worth more and when they are plentiful they aren't worth much at all because they can be found everywhere. That is the simplified version for folks like me that do not have a background in economics. Folks are worried and rightly so. This same exact thing is what ushered in the hyperinflation (inflation on steroids)that collapsed Zimbabwe, Argentina, and Chile in just the last decade or so. The United States is no more immune to this happening than they were. So anyway, when this topic comes up as it has often recently most people talk about stocking up on food and supplies, learning to grow gardens, maybe having some livestock, and possibly even looking to move to more rural areas so that they can do more for themselves. Very often there is someone who scoffs at these ideas. Recently I read someone's response to advice about stocking up on food and supplies. This person said that was the wrong advice to give because a person couldn't stock up without advanced knowledge of the subject and purchasing supplies already prepared to be stored long term. She also said that this advanced knowledge could not be gained until the person spent countless amounts of time studying and then purchased expensive equipment to be able to use their stored supplies. This person stated that all of this talk was just bringing in fear and panic and instead a person should just learn the skills needed to take care of themselves if the time ever came. Now, she had some good points but missed the mark. So here are my thoughts. Reading about gardening, canning, baking, livestock, etc. is great. However, and this is a big however, it will not give you the skills to actually do those things. Reading is a tool in this lifestyle but learning actually comes from doing. I have had many failures and from those failures came knowledge. There were even things that I did right, but couldn't have told you how I did it. Without stored food, what is a person to do when the garden is a failure and the country is in the midst of a hyperinflation situation like Chile was with no food in the stores even if one had the money to pay for it? Gardens do fail, livestock does get killed, winters can be brutal and is the nature of this life. Just because one has read all the right books and bought all the right equipment doesn't mean they are ready to take on self-sufficiency without a safety net. That safety net is their stock of food that they have on hand. Without a stock of food to last what if things go bad in the middle of winter? You certainly can't run outside with your seeds that you might or might not have and plant a garden, especially if you live up north. My sister in Maine does good to get in and out of her driveway during the winter, I highly doubt her gardening attempts would work out in mid January. So don't you see, while a person is learning the skills and practicing they can have the peace of mind to know that they have that safety net. Food in the pantry is better than money in the bank, especially these days. Anything can go wrong in life. For instance, at the beginning of December 2008 my husband was cut to part time hours. One paycheck paid our health insurance and the other one didn't even cover the rest of the bills. At the end of January he was lucky if he worked 2 days a week. His entire months wages did not even cover health insurance, we were paying for him to work. Thank God that I had a well stocked pantry and food supply because even though he was taking whatever work he could find to try to pay the bills there was no way we could have bought food during that time. For 7 months we struggled along this way and I never set foot in a grocery store because I had been prepared for whatever might come a long. My children never missed a meal and I never had to look at their little faces and tell them there was no food. I had been gardening and trying to grow food at that point for several years and had a couple of good years and a couple of bad years and a couple of really bad years without even one single tomato. My gardens back then were practice gardens. I was learning skills that I wanted to learn to do on a bigger scale. Meanwhile, I had that safety net. During that time I purchased my first rabbit for meat. She was pregnant. She was also a first timer. She had all 10 babies on the wire and promptly kicked them all out of the cage in her enthusiasm to "clean up". All 10 babies died. Good thing I had plenty of meat because I wasn't getting any from her anytime soon. It has taken time in doing to learn the skills that we need to know or feel that we need to know. We are still learning. Currently, I am struggling with the learning curve of incubating eggs and making cheese. There are many things that I have learned to do and gotten passibly good at just so that I know how to do it. But I never would have learned all the ins and outs of something without doing it. Reading about it just isn't the same, but it is a good start. Read, read, do, read some more, try again and so on goes the game until you have sufficiently acquired skill at something. In the meantime don't forget your safety up that larder. Blessings from the farm, Kat


teekaroo said...

I agree completely. It just seems silly to me to not have something stored away. I'm still in the practice garden stage, but someday, I want to feed my family totally from the garden, or at least mostly. Those that are prepared like you say, don't have nearly so much to fear from the future.

Janice said...

Great post. We're also in the practice garden stage. Fortunately, I did learn some this year and plan to implement it next year. I have this sense of urgency where I don't feel like I'm accumulating knowledge and skills fast enough though. I guess I'm needing a lesson in patience as well!

hearttoheart said...

I wrestled with this whole issue of of how much to prepare a few years ago. Came to the personal conclusion, it is not a lack of faith to have a stash of food any more than a squirrel storing up food for the lean months of winter just common sense. "I wise man sees danger and hides himself." enjoying reading your blog! DM