Pennsif's Progress #628 - food security - my three pronged approach

in #steempress2 years ago (edited)

I am a prepper first and foremost.

Being a homesteader for me is a key part of my prepping strategy.

Growing my own food is frontline for my food security plans.

If the bad times come and the supermarkets are emptied, as long as the sun keeps shining, the rains keeping falling and the soil doesn't blow away I will keep growing.

There were several other reasons why we moved to our homestead in Wales nearly 20 years ago but having land to grow was one great big part of that equation.

I know though growing our own food won't always be enough. Although we are moving towards almost full independence on vegetables, there are food production areas such as grains and fruit that will always be more difficult with our land and our climate.

Of course we will always be at the mercy of the weather, and pests and... my health for example.

So we definitely need more than one layer for our food security.

Food stockpiling and long term food storage are areas we are continually developing.

I would really like to grow our skills and facilities for canning but that is still in its infancy for us.

We've been making sauerkraut successfully with our surplus cabbage, and we have done quite a bit of dehydrating.

Freezing is our default, fall-back quick and easy method for preserving surplus fruit and veg. We did use that a lot last summer and we had frozen veg from our garden for several months into the winter.

But we are still not producing enough from the garden to build large stocks and relying on electricity consuming freezers is not ideal.

Food Stockpiling

I do therefore take the 'commercial' food stockpiling route. I regularly make trips to a nearby trade cash and carry that I

have got an account with.

The choice of what to stockpile is always an issue but I generally look for long shelf life 'neutral' products like tinned fruit, beans, soups etc. I also look out for good offers as well.

Tinned fish (especially sardines, tuna and sild) used to be firm favourites as protein sources but since I have become vegetarian / almost vegan that needs a bit of a rethink.

I also keep an eye open for good bargains in supermarkets - buy one get one free type offers etc. Amazon's Subscribe and Save scheme with 15% discounts can be worth checking out as well.

I have also added cheap vitamins to our stocks recently.

All this I would class as the near/medium term food stocking strategy.

Currently we hold around 6 months food supplies. Which combined with what we grow and produce on the homestead I think could see us through 2 or maybe 3 years of society breakdown type food shortages.

I would very much like to increase our stockpiles and continually improve our food production resilience to head towards a five year food security setup.

Should we plan for longer?

That is an interesting question... they never seem to in the movies.

But when I look at some of the more hardcore prepper videos online, particularly from the USA, I really think I need to get to my act together and prep on hard.

Alas long term freeze-dried food is more difficult, and I believe a lot more expensive, to obtain in the UK than in the USA.

However I have been dipping our toes in the water and bit by bit buying supplies from Mountain House, LDS, Wise Company etc.

We still though only have maybe 3 months of long term supplies at best.

This will need some more serious investigation, trialing and budgeting to build up.

With the cost of freeze-dried foods I have even thought of investing in freeze-drying equipment. But that is only a fanciful idea at present.

So this is where I have got to with our family's food security program.

Further along than most of the population I suspect but still a long way short of where I want us to be.

PS - while writing this I thought of another valuable element of a food security policy - foraging. But that needs a post of its own.

And what about scavenging...

And what about security !!! If we've got food and the others haven't, what comes next... Too scary to think for the moment.

While you are here check out these to see what else I do :

[ all images by pennsif ]


Not really wanting to cast a dark shadow over your efforts, but in my opinion, in the case of total collapse, food's going to be your smallest concern.

Society, or a group of people on which you can depend, will be the greatest problem.

People will never survive as loners, or single families. At the very least I'm thinking groups of 10-15 families living together in a small space. And even that probably won't be enough to fend off marauders.

Not sure if you've read Lucifer's Hammer? A favorite of mine! Describes pretty much what I envision would happen. Tribes, feudal collectives, shared labor, strict rationing...

Your food stockpile is just a club swing away from being someone else's. Your greenhouse is a magnet for hungry bands of pillagers. Even if you keep an arsenal in your house, you cannot possibly keep a band of marauders from taking your stuff and your life. You probably know that the more you guard a thing, the more lucrative it appears to outsiders, even if it's just a bucket of bolts.

So I tend not to think too much about those topic as it's pretty much obvious that most of us are going to die in the conflict anyway. I'd rather have good life while I still have it, instead of nervously stuffing the basement with beef jerky and pulling back the curtain every hour to see if the riots have started.

I love hearing other people's ideas and plansfor food storage. I've been working on ours for several years, but I'm constantly gaining knowledge and insight from other people.

Well written post. You are way ahead of most people. I like the three prong aproach. I think to often preppers get stuck in one mode of doing things. I like how you diversify within the food storage types.

I really hope you don't need your hoard, although I've heard there may be a crumpet shortage!

Really good post, awesome, not sure if you know but you can get better discounts on Amazon if you use I get 28% off couple of percent for buying bitcoin so about 25% after fees. It's a bit of mucking about but you can make some decent savings.

I find it extraordinary to have the capacity to produce food to support the family for up to 3 years. Everyone should prepare to grow something in the space where they live, there are many alternatives, but unfortunately, the world today has led us to the conviction that buying is easier and faster. As the world of today goes, I think it is a good idea to learn to cultivate in order to be prepared. You never know. Greetings. Good topic!

Yes i think duration and food endurance is a big and key concern. A 3 year comfort period is definately a good place to be.
In my opinion a good selection of food from across the spectrum would always ensure redundancy and robustness. Especially if you know what to forage for too.... Personally i can only accomodate for a 90 day period and am fully stocked... But it's more than just food; there are a whole load of other aspects out there from Water security (although not a problem in Wales) to defence and medications... Either way, you are definately in a good situation....
Good job!

Like you.. my homesteading and prepper ways of life are entwined.
From growing my own food, to preserving that food to making my own products.

I have a bucket of those food items also. I actually won a contest last year and received it form there. It has over 80 meals from breakfast to lunch to dinner and some snacks and treats. Basically enough for two adults for about a month's survival.

Your post is featured in my Preppers' Curation Day- Weekly Edition 18 post!!

ALL PROCEEDS from this post are EQUALLY divided between the three featured authors' posts.

I am learning a lot reading your prepping series. At one time we purchased some prepper pre-prepared food. Don’t know now if we would be much good at keeping ourselves alive. I think about what @celicastor has been going through in Nicaragua and know they had a plan to stay alive. 🐓🐓