I’ve been reading about managing Solonetzic soils (again) and getting anxious to get out and start building some new garden beds. Our soil is classified as Solodized Solonetz and without getting into too technical an explanation, it means we have a lot of work ahead. But given all of the work and research by independent and government agencies put into developing these soils, I’m confident we’re on the right track with our soil building and raised gardens approach. In fact, there seems no other real option.
Recent announcements about rising prices have me a little concerned. Some of those prices- gas for example, and coffee, and fresh produce- have already taken a substantial leap. And living in a rural area, our costs for groceries are quite high to begin with never mind the fact that we often can’t get the same foods as our city neighbours. Gardening for us isn’t just something we hope to do as a past time. It’s necessary if we want access to fresh foods. Yes, I will also be glad to eat food that hasn’t been genetically modified and/or grown and processed with the addition of chemicals. But mostly I will be glad to eat when costs become prohibitive.
In addition to seeds and food we will harvest from the garden, we have stocked cans, assorted dried beans, rice, pasta, flour, grains and other supplies. We’ve been building our stock for some time now and have a pretty decent cache. Luxuries like coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate bars, and myriad baking supplies round out our cupboards. We’ve also stocked up on everything from Exedrin to lozenges, toilet paper, toothpaste, aluminum foil, and assorted first aid supplies- according to Procter and Gamble’s recent announcement, none too soon.
Can I just say this- being prepared is not something that should not be the sole domain of “preppers”. My grandparents weren’t preppers, and they always had a fully stocked basement. They bought everything from toiletries to food items when they were on sale and stored half of what they’d purchased as a matter of ‘good sense’. And they knew how to garden, harvest, and store foods. Not preppers- just solid, practical people who weren’t willing to depend on a never changing or ending cash economy to provide for all of their basic needs.
I understand some people’s hesitancy to accept the lifestyle we’ve embarked on. We’ve gone from city dwellers with good jobs who never gave a second thought to simply spending money on whatever we needed and wanted to owning an acreage in the middle of nowhere Alberta with less money than land, and plans to live in what amounts to a very large mud hut with primitive heating and plumbing. We don’t buy baked goods, we make them, we won’t vacation in planting or harvesting season, and we scavenge the transfer site with the same excitement as some people anticipate boxing day. I get it- it seems like quite the leap. But I worry about people who haven’t made any plans for the possibility of economically challenging times.
I have friends who admittedly live paycheque to paycheque and yet they still shop more than I do- just not for necessities. I’m really concerned for them. Some of them have children, some are single parents, many work in the general workforce without any specialized skills to protect them in times of downsizing. Rising food costs are a serious threat to their standard of living and job loss could result in total calamity. And still- they refuse to prepare. I just don’t understand the lack of any planning whatsoever.
This is not a Chicken Little lifestyle. I’m not running around screeching ‘the world as we know it is ending’, even though it
very well may be is. (Okay, I won’t lie but I’m not screeching about it.) I’m simply preparing for inevitable change. Eating is important to me. So is staying warm. And I like to pee when the urge strikes, even when there’s a power outage. It’s the little things…
I understand that contemplating a radical change in lifestyle may be too much to bear, but are you prepared for change of any sort? Job loss, rent increases, rising property taxes, fuel costs, the high cost of ‘living’… What have you done to insulate yourself and your family from the impact of these possibilities? You don’t have to be a prepper to be prepared.