Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Food Security

A couple years ago, Angie and I went to an Earth Day event at the local agrihousing development/commune (or whatever you’d like to call it) Hundredfold Farm. It was a fun event, a little cold, but still. I attended several talks (including one at their greenhouse/wastewater treatment plant that was wonderful) but the most interesting one I sat in on was called ‘Food Security.’

Going in, I wasn’t sure what exactly they were going to be talking about, but being colored by my day job I thought it might be security of the nation’s food supply, as in national security.

Nope. It was security of your personal food supply. Specifically he was discussing the problem that is Global Agribusiness, GMOs, and the rise and fall of oil prices and what it will do to the grocery store. He was calling us all to protect ourselves and our families against the downfall of the current ‘cheap food’ method of eating. It was very interesting and funny, believe it or not, and I wish I had a tape of it.

So….fast forward to Spring 2010. Two years since that talk. Since then I have expanded my garden. I don’t think we’re headed for a world war. I don’t think we’re headed for communism (or OMG Socialism!!!) or anything like that. I do think we are headed for some serious economic problems that will affect how we live (and I’m a bleeding-heart liberal, by the way). I don’t think cheap food is going to be cheap forever. It can’t sustain itself.

Since the talk, the economy has tanked, a lot of people are out of jobs….and a lot more people are keeping chickens and tending home gardens, etc. Hm.

Last fall, I was worried about my job due to our contract being up. Matt and I talked and were very happy that….we had our garden’s bounty preserved in the basement. We were happy that…..he knew how to hunt. It turned out to be ok, I’m still working. But there it is. It was very interesting to realize this.

This spring, rumor was flying of layoffs at Matt’s workplace. We were coming out of heating season, it was the time to do it. So, we sat and talked again. And you know what? We were both glad that I had already ordered and received the seeds for this year’s garden (in addition to the saved/traded seeds from last year), and several tomato plants were on order and paid for. It was already planned. It was taken care of. We would, just barely, be ok if he lost his job.

We dodged a bullet. Two other people were let go at his workplace and Matt’s job is secure.

For now.

The talk I saw 2 years ago hit home. After the first panicked “What will happen?” went away, the first thing we both found ourselves thinking was…..thank goodness we canned all those veggies.


Angie said...

Always be prepared!

Jody M said...

The Yorkie Scout moto.

LindaSue said...

May sound stupid but how did you afford to buy all the canning jars and stuff you would need to use. Were you able to get them cheap thru garage sales, inherited them, I need to get some but just can't afford to buy very many. And, I don't know where to start.

YD, sometimes with Samantha and June said...

I agree with Angie, always be prepared. Not only that, have you seen Food, Inc. before? I watched it last night, it makes me sick. It's another really people should learn to be self-sustained.

Jody M said...

I do get some of the canning jars at our local thrift shop. 25c for small jars, 50c for large jars. That comes to almost as much as they are in stores, though, for a dozen. They run $6.50 thru $9+ at our local grocery stores a dozen. You can probably find some on Craig's List, too.

Otherwise, I just pick up a case when I can at the grocery store. I know generally now what I use for what, and what I don't use. It is really almost a one-time purchase.

I kept watching the price of the pressure canner I wanted on Amazon and bought it within a 3-day period when the price dropped $20! Lucky.