The response to my first post has been good and while you are working on trying out the oven method of dry pack canning, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you. . .
My name is Mary Lou Hill. My husband and I retired to Alabama in 1995 and we settled in the Athens community about eight years ago. We LOVE to garden and put up our bounty. He is an avid hunter and fisherman as well. Most of the knowledge I have gained about storing, canning and other methods of preserving food have come from experience gained on my own as well as the teachings of our church. Being self-reliant is very important to us and I'm hoping this blog will help you in your efforts to become more self-reliant too. For a number of years, I had the responsibility of teaching members of our church in 13 congregations about 'food storage'.
Having lived on a budget my entire life and LOVING to cook and entertain, I have developed a reputation as a pretty good cook. Loving to eat hasn't hurt in that endeavor either. I have authored a cookbook titled NEVER Trust a Skinny Cook! They are currently available through me so if you're interested in getting one, let me know. It contains over 600 recipes that are all tried and true and about half of them are my very own concoctions. It is still a goal of mine to get it published by a real publisher but for the time being, I have put that on the back burner.
Part of my introduction to you is to explain why I started this blog at this particular time (aside from the urging of my friend). When I was growing up, our government stored food. They had an enormous cache of wheat, other grains and commodities stored. They freely gave them to poor citizens and seniors. . .they also shipped much of it to other countries who were much less fortunate than we are. At one time, our government had enough food on hand to feed the entire world for about six months. That's a lot of food. Over the years that supply has dwindled for reasons that I won't go into. I was down to about a one month supply but the latest reports indicate that they now have less than a days worth of food to feed the world population.
You can investigate this for yourself . . . however, my point is that if (or should I say when) the bottom falls out of our economy, we cannot count on our government to feed us. We MUST be prepared to take care of ourselves and our families.
All of you have noticed the rising prices of our food. This is going to continue at an escalated rate. It's not only the high fuel prices that are generating this acceleration (though every thing must be trucked and farm equipment doesn't run on water). Throughout the world there have been major crop failures over the past few growing seasons. Droughts and floods here in the US have caused some crop failures. The worldwide rice crop has not been good for a few years running. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes also disrupt crops. Ponder for a minute how this affects not only us, but virtually every nation.
Our church sells food in bulk to its members through our canneries and storehouses. They have already notified members that the prices will rise between 11% and 49% during the year 2011. They sell to members at cost! What is really worrisome to me, is that I firmly believe that there WILL be food shortages in the near future. Even if you have money, you may not be able to find available food to purchase.
There is wisdom in storing basic foods . . . job loss or illness can happen to anyone and yet we all still need to eat.
My intent is not to cry, "the sky is falling. . . " but please consider what happened following WWII in Europe. As economies are collapsing worldwide at an alarming rate, food shortages are happening too. In Germany after WWII, it literally took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread IF you could find one to buy.
My intent is not to alarm anyone but to help you prepare for the worst case scenario. Y2K prompted many to store food and then everyone seemed to forget about it but we are indeed living in perilous times. Prophecies are being fulfilled at a rapid rate. The signs are all around us but are we heeding them.
I'm not suggesting that you take your life's savings and start hoarding food. I am however, suggesting that you buy a little more each week and store it properly. Build yourself a month's supply at a time and be sure to buy and store foods that your family will eat. Also, let me know how many posts you would like to read each week. I'm thinking that once a week is good but I want to hear from those of you who read this blog and my goal is to meet YOUR needs. As you embark on this journey, keep in mind that there are non-food items which you and your family depend on. A little shampoo, dish and laundry soap, and toilet paper are very nice to have!
Also let me know what you want to learn about or ask questions and I will be happy to try and answer them for you. We live in perilous times and being properly prepared is critical to our well-being!