"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday, 1 July 2011


How do you feel about even contemplating the possibility of a worst case scenario? Be that a natural disaster, a cataclysmic event or an unforseen family / personal calamity. 

How do you feel about preparing for worst case scenario's?

We are all aware of the state of the worlds' economy.  And, I think by now, we are all aware than this situation is going to linger - longer.

So - I'm wondering how you are all fairing?  Do you have stock of dry goods?  Do you have stock of tinned goods?  Are they helping you to get through the current tough times?

Are you, in the Northern hemisphere, preparing to preserve your surplus from your vegetable gardens in the weeks / months ahead?

Have you ever preserved before?  I know I hadn't - until last season. But, LOL, Lynda Brown was all the impetus I needed.
I loved the experience - and the stock in my pantry at the end of the season.

Each container of goods, be they dry, tinned or bottled, that you have in your home / pantry, will help you through your tough times.

I am a firm believer in stocking up, whenever possible and /or affordable.  So I am always on the lookout for reduced prices in those "long life" items.  But I also ensure that the "sell-by-date" on those items is sufficient for me to happily make use of them in the future. Not that dry goods can "turn" - guess the worst that can happen is the infestation of weevils.  (For that, try adding a sprig of bay leaves to your container - and refresh the sprig every few months.)
Re-using empty plastic jars to store some
of my bulk dry goods
I should have been a Brownie, or a Girl Guide - isn't their motto: "Be Prepared"?  Or is that the motto of Cubs / Boy Scouts?  Whatever.  My parents couldn't afford for me to belong to either club when I was a child - little did they know that I would absorb important information from those who did.

Or is it my Scottish / English heritage which has reared it's head as I grew older?  I don't know.  All I do know is that I am forever squirreling away whatever I can, for a "just in case" scenario.

It's the same with a bar of chocolate.  If I have a bar of chocolate I will eat a few pieces, and put the rest away for another day, when I can enjoy it all over again.  I "stretch out" my enjoyment, as opposed to fulfilling a "gotta have it all now" lifestyle.

Guess that could be the key to "having" when the times get tough.  Leaving some of what you have for another day.  Don't just live for today - spare tomorrow a thought too.

I fear for the youngsters of today, for they seem, in general, to be, a "gotta have it - now!" generation.  Especially when it comes to the latest technology / gadget / designer label item.  I wonder, in fact, how many of them even contemplate tomorrow?  And I wonder if they ever give any thought what their basic requirements may be tomorrow...?

If they have grown up in a household where bulk storage / home preserving takes place, then they will be better equipped / prepared that their peers.  Purely through example.  Nobody is too old to learn.  Look at me - I'm a prime example. LOL 
My first attempt at home preserving -
pears, jam and pickled vegetables :-)
If like me, you get to preserving a little later in life, the lesson will still be taken on board by your younger generation - especially if they can eat / taste the benefit of your hard work.

So, if you're not buying dry goods in bulk when they are on special - try it.  It's very comforting to have that back-up when times are tough.

It is also encouraging when you realize that, through generating your own stores, you are:

1 invariably re-using your glass jars - or only having to replace their lids;
2 saving on using unnecessary fuel / reducing the amount of CO2 being expelled into the atmosphere, because you're not rushing to the local store whenever you run out;
3 reducing what goes to endless (or are they??) landfill sites;
4 enjoying the fruits of your labours :-)
5 And, finally, if you have a solar oven, you can preserve your produce without using any power from the grid...

You gotta love it... :-)


Jane said...

I never intended to be a "prepper" but somehow I became one. I am very well stocked and have an alternative method to do just about everything should there be no power or gas. I looked the other day and noticied I had 400 pounds of wheat. I think I have taken it a bit too far.

Dani said...

Jane LOl - 400lbs - that's quite a bit...

Yes - agree - between LPG, the (wood) bbq, my Dover stove and my solar oven we're also set for any cooking eventuality - thank goodness. And with my manual kitchen implements - that, too, is sorted. :-)

Elephant's Eye said...

I try to stock a few weeks of staples. But not against the apocalypse.

Dani - do you use statcounter? It's free, and if you are interested in your blog stats, you can swim in them!

tami said...

Nice post, Dani. I have my moments where I swing from one extreme to the other. I try to find a happy middle ground though, cautious enough to know that I want to be prepared for the bad times, but optimistic enough to hope that I won't be a bag lady in my old age either. I agree with your observation about the kids though. And even more surprisingly older folks (who should know better) are embracing the same motto.

Mrs. Mac said...

We were stocked up at the end of winter .. but have used up quite a bit. This summer will be time to once again can/freeze/dehydrate, etc. for winter's storage/use. We don't live in a high solar area so have to depend on gas/elect. and bbq for cooking. I tried the hay-box method this spring and it worked. I could never live off grid .. but we do try to conserve our usage. I have 100 pounds of wheat and a good grinder that gets lots of use. Having a well stocked pantry and knowing how to cook with what's available saves lots of $$ .. and you can buy goods when they go on sale instead of paying full price.

Dani said...

Elephant's Eye - a few weeks of staples is good - but is it helping in the financial turmoil currently happing?

Statcounter - no - use Site Meter and Blogger Stats :-)

Tami - Bag Lady LOL - banish the thought! Think we're both too wise for that - hopefully...

Mrs Mac - The hay box is brilliant - I agree. Dry food on sale - like a magnet to me LOL