Food prices are rising. Utility bills are going up. Relationships in the world are…strained at best. Regular, everyday items are getting harder and harder to find in the store…
How are you going to feed your family if things get worse? What will you do if you can’t get enough groceries at the store to feed your family? It’s time to stock your home and learn to grow enough food for a year.
“Halifax, Canada – Empty shelves with no toilet paper” by Indrid__Cold is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
In just the last few days (from the date of writing) the news has reported…
Business Standard: Trudeau warns of ‘difficult time,’ food shortages due to Covid-19
We need to stop depending on the grocery store.
It’s time to stop trusting that the grocery store will even have what we need.
Because, pretty soon…
They might not.
Believe me when I say, I’m not trying to scare you…
I’m really not.
But, I do believe in being prepared…
I do believe in planning ahead…
And I want to help you do the same, because even if you stockpile now and the worst doesn’t come…well, at least you’ll have saved some money!
So, how do you prepare for economic breakdown?
You start with your food and water.
No matter what happens in the world…
You need food and water. Without it, you can’t do anything else that you’ll need to do to survive.
Sure, you might be able to go without food for a few weeks, but, you can’t survive more than a few days without water.
So, stockpile your water first and foremost.
Plan to store at least 1 gallon/per person, per day, with enough to last each person 2 to 3 weeks of time.
Now, onto the food storage…
First and foremost, buy as much food as you can afford from the grocery store now.
Stock up on canned goods, dry goods, boxed goods, spices and bottled drinks.
Pay special attention to stocking up flours, sugars, spices and baking supplies! These items are a lot more difficult to source than meat, fruits or vegetables if you can’t go to a store.
Don’t worry about stockpiling as much fresh or frozen food. Those items are unlikely to store for long periods of time and you need to choose items that have the longest expiration date possible to ensure the safety of you and your family.
Okay, great…I’ve stockpiled as much food as I can and now, I’m broke…
Start gardening and raising meat.
In days of old, long before there was a grocery store on every corner, people actually had to grow and raise their own food.
Gasp! Can you imagine?!
Wait, what? You mean, the meat doesn’t come from the basement of the supermarket?
Nope, it does not.
In fact, your beef likely came from a disgusting feed lot, where that unlucky cow spent the last days of her life being force fed grain to make her nice and “healthy” for ya…
So, let’s actually start with meat…
If you don’t raise your own meat source, then…
BUY YOUR MEAT FROM A LOCAL FARMER!
If you don’t listen to anything else I say, then listen to this…
BUY YOUR MEAT FROM A LOCAL FARMER!
STOP buying that nasty, dried out beef from the grocery store!
That cow did not have a good life and therefore, is not providing you with good, life sustaining, vitamins and minerals.
That chicken sat inside a tiny box her entire life…never seeing the true light of day. Never having the opportunity to put her toes in the grass and forage for bugs…
Sounds healthy, right?!
Furthermore, you’re paying way more than you need to pay to feed your family.
The Cost of Beef from a Farmer
My cousin is a cattle broker in Upstate NY and we’re lucky enough to get our beef through him. He buys the cow directly from a local farmer and takes it to a local butcher for us.
Yes, I know I live in Vermont, but Upstate NY is my homeland, it’s fairly local to my current home and well, he’s family!
This year, we split a cow with my sister and ended up paying around $3.40 per pound, cut and packaged.
That includes all the ground beef, roasts, steaks and yes, even Filet Mignon and brisket for just $3.40/lb.!
When was the last time you paid $3.40 a pound for high quality beef in the grocery store?
It’s been awhile. A long while…
Just this week (week of April 2, 2022), my local Hannaford store has Angus Rib-Eye steak on sale for $8.99 per pound and at my local Price Chopper, the cheap, pre-packaged ground beef is on sale for $5.49 per pound.
Yes…you read that right…$5.49 per pound for ground beef!
That’s just crazy! But, you know what?
You can’t blame the farmer because they certainly aren’t making all that extra money. As you can see from what I paid above, the farmer AND the butcher are splitting their portion of the profit. So, where does the rest of the money go?
I currently buy my chicken meat through Misfits Market and it’s delivered directly to my house. The chickens are responsibly raised on a mission run farm and spend their days running around in the pasture until it’s time to dispatch.
Unfortunately, it’s not raised locally and we are considering raising our own meat chickens this year.
Side note: I do raise my own egg laying chickens and while we could eat them in the future if necessary, I’d rather keep them for a consistent food source (the eggs) instead.
However, I love the mission of Misfits Market and I’m proud to support them in the meantime.
Never heard of Misfits Market?
Be sure to head over and check out their website! They are an online grocery that works directly with farmers to source high quality meat, organic produce, pantry goods and refrigerator items and it’s all delivered directly to your door!
Not only are you saving money when you support a local farmer (or a good cause), but you know you’re feeding your family good, healthy meat that came from an animal that was raised with love and care.
It doesn’t get any better than that…unless, of course, you’ve raised it yourself. 🙂
Okay, so now that the meat is covered…let’s move onto fruits and vegetables.
Grow a garden and learn to preserve everything you can from it.
I can’t stress this enough!
In the past, I used my garden as a sort of “extra”. A place to grab some salad greens, grow some tomatoes for canning and cucumbers for pickling…
It’s never been a necessity. But, this year, I’m seriously increasing my production. I hope to grow at least 75% of the fruits and vegetables we eat in a year.
But, keep in mind, my girls are in college/living on their own. They are not home full time. So, the amount that my husband and I need for a year might be much less than what you need if you still have children living at home.
Either way, we’re growing a giant garden this year.
As of this writing, I’ve already started a variety of tomatoes, several types of cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, multiple types of peppers (sweet and hot), onions, leeks, peas, pumpkins, carrots, spinach, kale, a variety of lettuce and many different herbs.
In the next few weeks, I’ll begin direct sowing a variety of other vegetables in the garden, too.
In addition to the garden, we have a large patch of wild raspberries and blackberries and a variety of apple trees on our homestead that provide us with lots of fruit throughout the season, too. Plus, they offer a bountiful amount to preserve for the winter, too…
As long as we get to them before the birds do!
No space for a giant garden?
You can still grow a great deal of your own food. Even if you live in a tiny apartment in the city…
What to Plant to Grow Enough Food for a Year
Please keep in mind, that not everyone can grow each of these fruits and vegetables. What you will be able to grow at home is determined by your location, your final frost date, your gardening zone and a variety of individual factors. Please do your own research on what grows successfully in your area!
On another note, don’t grow things your family doesn’t eat. It’s not only a waste of food, but it’s a waste of space in your garden and your food storage!
How Much Fruit?
Apples – 2 dwarf trees per person
Bananas – 3 dwarf plants per person
Blueberries – 3 bushes per person
Blackberries – 4 to 5 plants per person
Cranberries – 2 bushes per person
Grapes – 1 vine per person
Melons – 3 plants per person
Meyer Lemon – 1 tree per person
Oranges – 1 tree per person
Peaches – 1 dwarf tree per person
Pears – 1 to 2 dwarf trees per person
Pineapple – 5 plants per person
Pomegranate – 1 tree per person
Raspberries – 25 plants per person
Strawberries – 25 plants per person
Sweet Cherries – 1 dwarf tree per person
Watermelon – 3 plants per person
How Many Vegetables?
Asparagus – 5+ per person
Beans – 10 (pole beans) to 20 (bush beans) per person
Broccoli – 3 per person
Brussels Sprouts – 3 per person
Cabbage – 3 per person
Cauliflower – 3 per person
Corn – 15 per person
Garlic – 15 + bulbs per person
Cucumbers – 3 per person
Squash – 2 per person
Onions – 15 per person
Peas – 20 per person
Peppers – 2 per person
Potatoes – 15 per person
Carrots – 1/4 ounce of seeds planted per person
Kale – 4 per person
Lettuce – 4 per person
Spinach – 4 per person
Tomatoes – 5 + per person
As you can see, you need A LOT of plants to grow enough food for a year! It’s not an easy undertaking and it’s certainly not something you will succeed at overnight.
You’re going to have failures. There will be plants that die…whether from disease, lack of care or just because they weren’t a good, viable seed to begin with. But, remember, that every single step you take toward self-sufficiency will help you and your family survive no matter what comes in the future. So, get out there and get your garden started today.
“Life begins the day you start a garden.”. – Chinese proverb
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Have an Awesome Day!
Vanessa Hamlin is the owner and founder of Food Life Design and VLHamlinDesign. With her passion for frugal living and homesteading, Vanessa loves to write about easy recipes, making money, gardening, home remedies and everything else that a good life entails! When she’s not writing for Food Life Design or creating products for VLHamlinDesign, you’ll find Vanessa reading, drawing, gardening, cooking or spending time with her family.