The Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Gift Basket Trip
This weekend I will be visiting a number of northern relatives. I wanted to make them gift baskets containing local southern food specialties. I went to a store that advertised that they carried local food and always reminded you to being your "green," reusable shopping bags.
You could garage a bunch of Cessnas in this supermarket. And I spent an hour and a half walking every single aisle. Except for a few items in produce, I think I came up with maybe 20 local items, and that was stretching the definition to several adjoining states and three craft beers.
If we ever have a long-term supply-chain disruption, this place is toast. Seriously.
So, okay, I found some very local barbecue sauce and a local soft drink, and a southern fried chicken breading mix, and a somewhat local Vidalia onion and pepper salad dressing. I added some pickle- flavored local potato chips, for fun. But I put in some home-canned goods to fill up my gift baskets. Those are as local as I can make them.
Grow your own. Because in the event of a currency crash or an oil shock. your oh-so-green grocer may not be as green as he says he is.
And, in case of emergency, his shelves may be bare.
It took us 7 years to get to the point that I think we could live from what we produce. It is an amazing amount of work to put up a meaningful amount of food. At one point I bought shopping carts full of canning jars and my wife thought I was nuts! Several weeks later we were back at the store buying more.
Food is my biggest worry, we can do without a lot, but not that. I have a buddy that is putting his savings into MRE's. There is NO WAY I am going to eat MRE's when I can GROW better tasting food than I have ever had before! If you are a foodie, this is living, I am here to tell you.
So often people focus on their plans for the weekend, what's on TV, the typical bread and circuses mindset. Never entertaining the thought "what if". If only people were more concerned with the consequences of a "what if" rather than the probability, behaviors' would be different.
One activity I see that I suspect very few who read this website see is the burgeoning 2nd-hand market. The re-purpose and do-it-yourself trend has become very popular. Garage sales and Estate sales and 2nd hand stores these days are packed!
Wendy perhaps you have sparked an idea for a Cottage Industry, Home-grown products for gift baskets. I do see these items at Bazaars, Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs, but making a living from a Cottage a Industry is a challenge. Perhaps during SHTF times those who can create products will have a definite leg up on People who have no skills.
Thanks for sharing your observations.
Here are some of my thoughts: it isn't just food. It's all parts of what is needed to live. So my thought is, learn how to survive on a minimum of carried goods, and then make yourself a go-bag. Be willing to travel light, because you can.
So what goes in a go bag? Well, my first favorite is in line with the gardening: I go to http://www.growbiointensive, and buy "Seeds for Kids" every year, to have a selection of all kinds of edible foods, at 50 cents for a huge stuffed seed pack. That isn't to eat: it is to grow when things are stable. But what else do you need?
A small book of edible wild foods. A book of crafts.
Some lengths of different strengths of Dyneema/Kevlar/Fiberglass rope, for one; and a scissors that can cut it. But also…
Get a chain saw ; a wire saw, and a good multi-tool knife/pliers set with locking blades.
Learn to make from tin cans, a smokeless stove.
Get a good flint firestarter, but also learn to make and use a fire piston. These can be quite light.
Learn to build a rope ladder.
Build yourself a bicycle cart, and carry that, and a full complement of bicycle repair tools.
The list goes on. It's not so much what goes in it, as it involves you learning to live light, and survive well with a minimum of skills. Later, it involves knowing how to expand your lifestyle consistent with what you have.
I think it is a good idea. I enjoyed the lines alot " Grow your own. Because in the event of a currency crash or an oil shock. your oh-so-green grocer may not be as green as he says he is". http://www.swiftairportparking.co.uk/
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