Preparing for the what will come.

It used to be what we could honestly say.. Preparing for what might never happen..

But I am not sure where you can be living right now that you are not being effected at SOME point in the year by the weather patterns..  Be it Floods/Rain/Storm or Heat/Fires/Smoke.

Per the Hip Roof Barn Striving for Victory -Be Prepared Post.

In 2018, we face blizzards, power outages, and forest or grass fires. In September, we focus on preparing our homes and families for natural disasters.

For me, the summer of 2018 really brought home the need to be prepared for any disaster. It began in May with unprecedented flooding. The flooding was followed by raging forest fires and air almost too dangerous to breath.

We are pretty good at dealing with disasters, such as winter conditions, that require sheltering in place, but I know we need to work on our preparations for “bugging out” due to a natural disaster.

Here at the farm this year, we have had two massive ice storms, we have had multi day power outages. a rain storm that caused enough local flooding that my water berms were put to use in the critter field pastures.

Killing Heat (in a city a meer hour away from the farm, during our worst of three heat waves this summer 64 death’s happened that are considered directly related to the extended heat/humidity combo) Drought, and just a few weeks ago, we got to head down to the basement due to the sky turning green and the tornado warnings blaring on the radio.

Though we had a high wind storm that brought down a large section of our large tree’s that lead to power lines down and the need to bring down all our big older tree’s for safety sake.

It would be very fair to say that we have done well overall in the sense that while we lost some of our favorite tree’s and that we have some changes to our yards. We did not have to leave the farm and we were able to stay in place and make everything work.

Thanks to modern news, we were able to put extra water up for the livestock before losing power, we were able to get out our gear to deal with needing to cook with the ecozoom (above) and the Shuttle Chef (below) which is a very fancy Hay box..  I love being able to cook something or heat water and have it stay safely hot for up to 8 hours.

To be honest, I have a feeling that if you talked to anyone pretty much across Canada, you are going to hear something.. in the high arctic, the permafrost is melting, in the west I keep hearing about fires, smoke and drought, over here in the middle, ice storms, flooding, heat wave and drought, on the east coast, they had a killing frost this spring that put many small farmers and fruit growers under water that only time will show if they will recover or not.

Start looking outside our own country and it’s not better.. On my horse group, they talk about no hay in Sweden, on my twitter feed, great article on drought in france, on my sheep groups.. England, Scotland and more are being effected with both heat and drought.

It’s not just the weather effects that are effecting our homes/land, it’s the fact that the weather is effecting this years world-wide ability to produce food in many ways.

This will be felt small-scale (our own back gardens) to our local farmers to large-scale which is already effecting the price of food in the stores or markets.

So Hip Roof Barn listed a number of things she challenged us to work on this week and I will talk about some of them as I am hoping to do a couple of these being prepared.

Today however I am going to stay on the crops/food.. Now I am not saying this is the case at other places (in fact I would love to hear from my readers all over the world if possible!?)  Are you seeing food price increases?

In our case, everything that is real food is increasing and while there are some deals to be had as it is fall and if you shop carefully, you can still pick up loss leaders (however it’s becoming far more common to strongly limit the amounts on these to 2 or 4 per item)

What is more alarming is that we are seeing locally a stop to the sale cycles..  as most budget friendly folks know, the stores uses to be pretty faithful in that they would put things on cycles, sometimes every four to six weeks, sometimes every three or six months an a few things once a year tied to a certain holidays or events.

Most of us that have food pantries count on these sales to do bigger stocking events at a reduced cost. However at our local stores, the loss leader/sale areas of the store are now about 80% household items related and the remaining 20% which is food relate are all processed and typically one the cheapest end..

I saw a higher quality producer of canned veggies (with its reduced can size and weight size again from last year, the ever shrinking amount in order to try to keep the price the Samish was the game for the past two years) The sale.. .02 off per can.. I just blinked hard.. 2 cents off per can..hmmm

Now normally at that point I would direct you to local farmers, to local farmers markets but at least locally good luck on finding anything that would be considered reasonable. and I get it.. I do.. they have limited produce and there are folks out there that can and will pay the higher prices.  If you can afford it..  Go for it.. buy in bulk and process it for storage.

So where does that leave us..

  • instead of buying cases in bulk for stocking the pantry, go back to the old standby of planning and buying at least one extra per shopping trip per week or every two weeks.. It will slowly add up over time.. remember to buy what you will eat.. a sale that puts something in the pantry that never gets eaten does no good at all.
  • Adjust your food budget, sorry folks.. we are going to have pay more.. plan for it.
  • Buy the best quality you can afford and eat less. While calories are Calories, they are truly not all equal.
  • I used to be able to honestly say, move from higher priced meat to eggs but I don’t know what eggs are doing in your area but eggs are not the cheaper protein food of days gone by.. they are still an outstanding choice.
  • Go meatless on one meat per day (I know, I know.. I just heard every Keto person growl at me LOL)
  • Make more soups and stews, they have the ability to be made meat stretch!! and you can go meatless and still make them tasty and filling.
  • Hunt/Fish if you can-Wild game is a very good thing.. in certain area’s they can fill their freezer with wild pork, in other area’s they can take a number of deer per season and so forth.

How are you filling your pantry these days? Have you changed your meal plans? When it come to being prepared in your pantry, are you meeting your goals, do you have three months put away.. six months, a year? or are you on a truly farmer plan where we aim for 18 to 24 months ahead at a time.

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10 Responses to Preparing for the what will come.

  1. Love this! Good, truthful advice. The whole thing about coming up with the money to be prepared is really going to affect my challenge this month. The one thing that you can do that doesn’t cost anything and can really help in an emergency is get to know you neighbours and build a community. It does take time to talk (and really listen) to people, but I feel the payback is worth it. Stay safe!

  2. valbjerke says:

    We kind of operate on the two season system regardless of how haywire things are weather wise. ‘Winter season’ and ‘Getting ready for winter season’. To me anyway – food enough for at least a year, and firewood for the same. We have several systems in place always to deal with livestock – especially water should our well cease to function. Livestock is also priority during fire season – we can load and trailer out the milk cows, pigs should we have to etc. We also have a pump and fire hose and an enormous dugout to pull water from should we feel we can save the place. We can do without hydro indefinitely- excepting for the freezers which we have a generator for. Should our generator fail I can (and have) fired up the wood cookstove and simply started canning everything from the freezers.
    I sometimes think I go a little overboard with my planning/prep for things that seldom happen – but I suppose for me, it’s a comfort level knowing I’m prepared.

    • I hear you.. and I have done that.. we had a freezer stop working and everything was cold still but thawed.. I just started canning like a mad women and making soups/stews that were then canned.. No way was I going to waste it.. a few things went to the critters but very little indeed. I love your set ups.. good for you!

  3. Widdershins says:

    Not having a piece of land that’s our own becomes more and more of a concern as each season passes … and what’s even more scarier is the fact that what we’re experiencing now is as a result of what was happening to the climate back in the 70’s/80’s. The world has only ramped things up since then. I think this decades-long lag is why some people find it difficult to wrap their heads around how bad things really are, and how bad they are going to get.

  4. silveryew says:

    The weather has been all off-kilter here as well. My sister and her husband back home in Norway have a dairy farm, and it didn’t rain properly from the beginning of May until the mid-September. So all the grass they had planted to make silage with didn’t grow, and all the grain they planted to then sell had to be cut and used for animal food. It’s the same across large parts of western Europe, and farmers and people who own horses are reluctant to import feed and hay, as it can carry diseases. My sister’s family still have some feed left from last year but are already having to pick out animals to send to the abattoir now, because you can’t have livestock and then not be able to feed them.
    Even now the weather back home is unseasonably warm.

    • Hello Silveryyew, I headed over to your blog and I had a back read on a few of your last posts and I have signed up, I will look forward to hearing how the rest of the month goes and getting to know you and your story more. I am sorry to hear that about your sisters farm.. its been a very hard year in so many ways for those tied to the land this year. I had to do a hard cull two years ago due to the hay storage.. Its hard to make those calls that’s for sure as it effects the years to come.

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