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Sonlit Acres

Encouraging sustainable living

WILL WE HAVE FOOD SHORTAGES?

Hello Everyone,

 We Continue to pray you are all fine and doing well through this unprecedented time in our lives. Much is in play as our economy has been shut down in so many ways with a whopping 22,000,000 or more people unemployed.

What I have been concerned about and have also put much thought into is our food supply,  I am hearing of crops being plowed under millions of chickens being euthanized, meat processors shutting down, milk being dumped, and ranches being told to be ready to euthanize their ready to ship cows. It seems with many restaurants across the nation shut down the demand for these food items are at an all time low.

My thoughts on this goes to what is going to happen over the next several weeks when these establishments start opening and push the demand up for all of these food items. What will happen? Will there be shortages as our farmers are now put under pressure to increase production? My thought is that as farmers begin to ramp up, they will be a growing season behind the ball. They have to replant what was plowed under; chickens will have to be hatched and raised and beef just isn’t going to happen with the snap of a finger because the cattle we will need for beef have to be raised.

This in my opinion will cause an accordion effect in food availability. Meaning there is a very good chance we will see food shortages this year at some point because of the lag time in production. A farm can’t just push a button or pull a switch and have their products start coming out one end of the farm, everything takes time to grow. And it is very likely regardless to what we’re being told. After all the same people telling us we won’t have shortages are the same people that told us there wasn’t anything to worry about with the new corona virus.

I believe fear is the biggest driver during this pandemic, we are not sure our food supply is safe because we have no idea that those handling our food are infected. We worry that the food could be contaminated, and rightfully so. There is so much we still don’t know about Covid 19 we hear so many conflicting stories. Yes, fear drives mankind it always has and always will. But the fear factor is also dangerous to not only the individual, but those around them. When we are afraid, we tend to become someone other than who we are.

The COVID-19 crisis is driving more of our neighbors into food insecurity and as a result has have gone crazy when purchasing in the store by hoarding items, it has also put some strain on food banks to provide more meals, trying to feed many. The massive job losses since March has put millions of folks looking for assistance.

The strain on our supply chain spotlights the long coming crisis that underscores how fundamentally flawed our food supply system has become, we need to rethink our food system. It isn’t sustainable and hasn’t been for a couple generations. At no time in the history of mankind have we been so far removed from our food supply. Most people today don’t give it a thought until something like a pandemic comes, or some other crisis strikes.

  Ensure your individual food supply: I feel the first thing we must think about is whether we want to produce more of our own, we should purchase it from farmers within 100 miles of home. We frequented a pick your own and went to that farm’s roadside stand Each year to purchase the vegetables, we were either short on or didn’t grow. Tomatoes were our biggest reason to be there, for years we picked 8 to 10 bushels to make our puree. This year that farm isn’t planting their fields. This is a sad time for many because a viable and reasonably priced food source is gone.  Our answer was to purchase a small greenhouse to plant our own tomatoes because tomatoes are hit or miss for us because our growing season isn’t quite long enough. With this small greenhouse we can extend our growing season and be able to grow our own as well as a few pepper plants. If this works well, I see a permanent greenhouse being constructed on the homestead.

I don’t have to get into how we came to homestead because I have written about it for some time now, the real issue here is what you want to do to insure you can be more secure in your food source. If you live in town with no place to plant, frequent your farmers markets, and roadside farm stands. You don’t need to have a garden to can fresh fruits and vegetables, many farmers or farm stands will pick as much as you want if you let them know ahead of time. Then simply take it home wash it and follow your canning instructions. Have you got a small back yard? Till it and turn it into a garden, design an eatable landscape. There are many ideas out there on the web and in books.

There are as many ideas on how to grow your own as there are people, I know many homesteaders and we all do it a little different. Be bold and try something, anything. If you only have a porch use buckets, we had friends that lived in an upstairs apartment with large flat garage roof as an outside area. They grew vegetables in kid swimming pools and large planters. It worked very well for them. The ideas and ways to grow your own are as limited as your imagination.

A few years ago, my wife bought me the book Surviving Off Off Grind for my birthday. It isn’t a how to homestead book, but a why we should homestead book, I highly recommend it for anyone. It can be found on Amazon.

Another thing I hear more of are places that prevent people from even having a garden in your yard, this is insane and anyone living in such a place should get with their neighbors and organize to petition their leaders into doing away with such laws. There is so much land in our country wasted on lawns, imagine how much food could be raised in this country alone if our lawns were eatable landscapes.

Sometime along we will be posting pictures of the things we are up to on the homestead. I have recently replaced our broken camera; all I need to do now is remember that we have it so we can make short videos and take pictures of these projects as they are being done and how we did them. Please be patient as we get it together in that respect.

As I mentioned we did get a small green house this past week, we have also built a new pig fence that we cam move rather than fencing them in a permanent spot. Yes, I think they will be turning more ground to grow on. I know my family has grown and they are on their own, but the day may very well come that we may still have to help feed them.

Do I believe there will be food shortages? I believe we will see some or sparsely filled shelves. 

I will get pictures and post them soon; I pray you are all well and thriving. If anyone ever has questions you can either leave them in the comments or e mail me and I will do my best.

 

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