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.
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.
You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
[ all images by pennsif ]