Friday Rambles around the Table -Food/Floods

I have just a few more days to get my corn planted.. and trust me.. I want my corn planted! Each day more goes into the ground..  35 pounds of seed potato’s are in the ground now.. the major planting area’s are going.. tomato’s, peppers, sweet potato’s, cucumber plants and more are in.. five kinds of beans are in..

Still to go.. root veggies.. Corn.. and I am not taking chances this year.. while we will do some fresh eating more things are going to be canned, dried.. I would like to say frozen.. I really do.. and we will have our fruit and veggie freezer.. but I have so much meat this year that I am hoping to hold frozen so that I can have the most flex in how the meals are prepared.


Never mind that within the last year fresh fruit and veggies are up 12 to 20 percent.. and that average everything is up 3 to 8 percent.. HANG ON TO  YOUR HATS!

We ain’t seen nothing yet..  the floods in the mid-west, the droughts and the tariff’s are about give our Ag Sectors a smack down like we have not seen in a LONG time.. yes I know that the here in Canada, there are 150 million this and 100 million this funds all being gifted out to keep the farmers on their land and their bills paid..  They should be.. 40,000 Canadian farms are being effected in regards to the current China ban on rape seed oil sales. Pork is next.. and you think that is the end of that.. wait! They are just starting to flex and get the point that they can mess up global trade in a big way..

I remember write essay’s in the 80’s in school that Global trade on works when we are all “flush” as soon as hard times come it will fall apart.. and believe me.. with what is coming down the climate pipeline.. its going to fall apart.. trade deals be dammed.

I expect that you will see programs happening in the states as well.. and I am happy to see it to be honest.. we do not need more people losing their farms..

Locally the farmers are as behind in their fields as I am on the farm.. depending on the crop between 3 to 5 weeks and there are fields that still can’t be gotten into.. they can try this and they can try that but for my local area if the corn is not in by the 15th.. that’s tomorrow, they can claim insurance..

But the local farmers are doing everything they can to get those fields planted.. because as they said to me.. with so much unplanted, so much under water.. everything single thing we can produce will effect our bottom line.. both in higher priced sale’sand in higher priced costs.

I am listening.. I have been asking this farmer and that.. and I am already adjusting plans on the farm.. We will be heading into winter with very lean breeding programs, very full pantries and freezers..

We had a Haying window.. and I watched with both understanding and also the feeling of o “Bleep” as so many fields went uncut because they needed that time to plant.. and also as I watched what was coming off being put into silage for the cows..

Now I have nothing against Silage but its not hay.. and when I am buying I buy hay.. this means that for me..  and from my suppliers.. so far.. no first cut..  I am not short and my pastures are growing and I have seed for the pastures that will go out over the next few days as well.. but none the less.. I would like to see that first cut coming off SOON.

We have rows of pumpkins and squashes planted and growing but I am thinking it might be a very good idea to see if I can get another row in of squashes that can help be used as feed for the laying chickens.  I have a good amount of sunflowers planted but I think I need to plant more yet.. I can get the smaller faster Black oil Sunflower seeds in and harvested in time yet.. as long as I can get them in this week..

but the biggest push is get more roots in.. I need to get more root veggies in both so that I can put up a two years supply into the pantry but also because I want them as extra feed for the sheep flock..

So from a homesteader view.. I can’t say this loud enough.. plant more food, food for you, food for those you care about, food for your livestock.. look at how you can find ways to put higher calorie producers.. (put down the salad greens!) and plant the sunflowers for the higher calories in the oil/seed.. Put down the green peppers and to a point the tomato’s and plant the potato’s, the roots, beets, turnips, carrots, parsnips..  We can get our micro’s from sprouting.. but we are going to need to be growing the calories!

Don’t have the space.. ask to see if a homesteader will share crop with you if you will give a hand?

Live in town and have a small garden.. look at beans.. look at root veggies..  I still want you to think calories.. Grow climber beans up your fence this year and put up both fresh and dried..

Ok, so lets say you do live in town.. watch for the sales.. they will be there.. but they are not going to be as cheap as normal.. its not going to get better.. so suck it up, buy the half bushel box’s and the bushel box’s and put that food up for when that prices is going to go much, much higher..

And now we get to down the grind..  got very limited money.. already getting most things from a food bank.. staring at your food budget with a hard blink and a possible tear in the eye..

Sales, Sales, Sales of course!

but here is my best advice .. STOP holding things fresh.. I mean you can hold a few things fresh if you know you are going to eat it for sure in your menu plan.. and there are things out there now that are worth investing in (like the current sale happening for the Tupperware fridge smarts) everything else.. preserve it.. YES I know I am asking for a  little bit of work.. but trust me on this one..

One of the biggest things I am seeing happen is that the food quality is going down while the food costs are going up.. you know what I am talking about!? This means that our skills and ability to preserve the food we get becomes even more important.

Freeze it..  Dry it.. Meal Prep it and then freeze it.. Cook it and put it into reheat.. Can it up..  Waste nothing..  almost everything can be used in making soup stock.. think outside the box.. use up the odd bits..

Now I am not going to tell you stop eating meat.. ( I eat meat, I think its got high value in our diets) but I am going to say.. protein can come from milk, milk products, eggs, beans and pea’s..  Don’t fall for this silliness of “no-meat meat” for Bleeping Beep sake..

IF you are choosing it because of health or personal choice in life style.. then I say go for it.. but otherwise, we need to stop them in their tracks..  as much as possible..

If you are going to eat non-meat protein.. great.. beans, peas are waiting for you in the stores.. if you want milk based proteins or any Fowl Eggs.. great.. but please don’t punish the very hard working farmers by falling for this “hot” new meat replacement made from plants.

I have been shaking my head so hard..  so many folks I know that are totally into whole foods and healthy eating are suddenly.. hey.. I buy this mass produced meat-less burger on its white bun with its limp lettuce and thin tasteless tomato and its side of GMO contracted potato’s with side of plastic tomato paste and of course that sweet tea (with more sugar in it then flipping coke does) and pat myself on the back! and look.. they even have a paper straw (depending on where you are buying from)

WTF.. Marketing at its finest!

Truly those this is just going to drive up the split between haves and have nots..  Those who have land.. make the time.. put the call out locally.. see if you can share the work load.. see if there are folks that would like to trade time for food and don’t you DARE undercut your fresh garden produce..

I have had three people this week ask me if I am going to be selling plants, selling garden produce and or selling farm extra’s..   I will sell extra’s if there are extra to go.. but not before I put up that extra years worth of us..

I will be selling plants next year.. I know that and I have told them so.. sorry they are sad that its not this year but that’s just how it work..  I can only do so much and this year is the rebuild year.




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14 Responses to Friday Rambles around the Table -Food/Floods

  1. Nicola says:

    It’s super dry here this year, so I am having to think hard about that. We did save 4000L of rain collection, but it’s not nearly enough and I would really prefer to stress the well as little as possible. Plans for a 2000 L cistern for next year on top of the 4000l. Using lots of grey water on herbs and trees and try to space plants more and mulch more than usual ( though that has pill bug and slug implications). The price of food in the stores has my eyes watering, I wish we were further along in making new gardens, but it is what it is, and we will have to make do with what is possible. I am enjoying the daily handful of strawberries and the sides of greens that we are able to produce right now. Looking forward to the first sno peas next week, hopefully! Husband brought up chickens this week, which was a surprise and a neighbor thinks we should get sheep LOL. Perhaps some small livestock will become a thing here eventually, though with only 1/2 an acre, it’s most likely to be poultry, as at least we can grow some of their feed ourselves.

    • I hear you on that.. I have walked though the store blinking so hard at the costs of food.. Its crazy costly.. I am not sure how people are in fact buying at those prices and if they are.. where is that extra being taken away from? Water is always a tricky thing for sure.. still 4000 gallons can go along way for certain plants.. yes for sure dryland spacing and mulching is needed.. but if you dig in on the net at the seed houses.. you can find dryland seeds and that is what you must be looking for. I went everywhere right now.. I have some seeds for cool wet spring, (whichi s what I have) but I also have for hot spring, hot summer, cool summer.. short season fall, long season fall.. I may have spent a bit more on seeds but I am hoping it will give me a edge.

  2. valbjerke says:

    I feel fortunate to be in a position and on a place that I can adjust year to year as I think fit. Yes more root crops. Goodbye to the squash/pumpkins that I cannot grow here because of a too short season and too hard of frosts. Tore down the greenhouse – put the space to better use by erecting a good sized calf shelter for our two calves we’ll be overwintering – need them separate from mommas as we’ll be milking until next year. Planted a few pots of salad greens – good enough. I don’t care if I end up with a thousand pounds of cream cheese – the pigs will get it next year – good protein. Slowly but surely – getting to the point where there are zero extras for any amount of money. But we will eat well. Not a day passes that I don’t think about/adjust/reconfigure our food plan – and how to use the food we grow to make the extras (soap etc). I’ve taken to calling it the zero mile food chain.
    You are definitely on target with your thoughts.

  3. Widdershins says:

    You’re so right about the root crops … and all the guff around that ‘meat-less’ meat and ‘lab-grown’ meat, is just getting ridiculous.

  4. Cydira says:

    It’s been just wet, wet, and wetter in my neck of the woods across Lake Ontario. It looks like everybody is behind on getting crops in and I don’t know if the corn or the beans are going to do that well. They’re pretty big deal crops in my region. The hay making is just getting serious because it’s been so wet they had to wait for stuff to dry out again. I don’t know how the wet weather has been hitting the local potato farmers but I suspect it is problematic. I don’t have a lot of the skills or the resources for food preservation but I’m working on acquiring them because I have the distinct impression I’m going to need them over the next few years.

    • Hi Cydira.. It has been such a wet year, I know my local farmer still has 700 acres not planted and while its mid june not even the first cut of hay done.. he is hoping this couple days of warm weather will get some hay cut on one 40 acre field that is on sand and therefor dry’s faster then the land on tile. I see folks pushing to get the corn in this week and that is very late indeed. I do post different things on skills to preserving and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask..

  5. mariazannini says:

    re: plant more food, food for you, food for those you care about, food for your livestock.
    That’s the best advice I’ve seen all year. Keep telling them!

    I feel a little guilty. This year’s monstrous weather has actually made our Texas weather not only milder, but given us much needed rain.

    I’m still not fathoming the climate change. Climate change means the entire climate is destabilized and creates years of the same type of weather. Where we live at least, the weather never stays the same for more than two years. I’ve kept records on drought, rain, and freezes and while the drought lasted the longest (2 years) about ten years ago, nothing else has been that extreme or as long lasting.

    Whatever is happening, your advice is still spot on.

    • Hi Maria.. That’s the issue with climate changing.. its not all going to happen evenly.. its going to hit pockets harder then others, it will at times even improve growing in some area’s even as it cooks(heat) floods or burns in other areas. There are so many things at play.. that you can not look at one thing and point.. that of course is what people want.. they want.. this is the issue.. this is how to fix the issue and this is how it will effect us.. HAHAHA..

      Never going to happen.. its truly not that simple.. my hubby is a geologist and to a point he will tell you that this has all happened before and will happen again. However he also admit’s that over that time it killed huge percents of the populations and in certain times and places, it killed off whole populations… We have a lot more people at this point in time.. and we have a huge wide split between have and have nots.. and that is leaving out the 1 percent of truly wealthy..

      So while I “clump things under climate change” please know that at our kitchen table we talk about artic fronts, and melting ice that is effecting the main water temp coming down our coast line combined with everything from the great lake effect, the way our valley moves weather though it to how a volcano going off will effect the particles in the air and cool things down and lead to more rain etc.. how the polars shifting effects the season’s and flight paths on birds and more..

      While I “lump” it for writing sake.. I give a bow and a nod.. its not simple.. it will not happen evenly and its ever changing..

      Glad its currently helping you in the ways it is.. and glad you liked that quote.. FG

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  7. Dennis says:

    I planted a lot more this spring. Tripled my garden space. Then the end of June I had a killer frost. Killed my corn, tomatoes, peppers, melons, potatoes. This was on top of almost zero pollination on my fruit trees, yes I have bees. The strangest thing was it seemed like a micro freeze nobody around me was hit. I’ve done wonderfully in the same area in colder springs. I replanted, still waiting for the corn to sprout. Not sure if I can beat winter. Scary days!

    • Hi Dennis.. I totally understand why you tripled your garden space.. good for you.. I am so sorry to hear about your killing frost.. yes that would for sure have done in all your “heat loving” plants. I hope you planted out lots of the shorter numbered crops.. What is your average frost date in the fall.. I expect you will not get melons or squashes, might be safer to give that garden space to your 45 to 63 day plants.. What zone are you in? if you don’t mind me asking.. Best of luck and maybe plan on some season extenders to get a few things some extra time.

      • Dennis says:

        Zone 6, expect my first frost September 29. Live and learn…I will have plenty of chard, kale, carrots and onions. Potatoes too, just not sure what size. Maybe some fall peas.

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