Disruptions in the food supply chain are dominating headlines across the country and many are seeing the error in their ways and are turning away from relying so heavily on local or state governments to take care of their needs and starting to take the first steps at self-reliance. In reality, there’s nothing you can do to get food on the shelves at the grocery store. But you can learn and improve your self-reliance.
It’s important to learn from COVID19 how quickly emergencies snowball. One event triggers another. This was discussed in The Prepper’s Blueprint.
“A crisis rarely stops with a triggering event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. Because of this, it’s important to have a well-rounded approach to our preparedness efforts. Due to the overwhelming nature of preparedness, we have created the Prepper’s Blueprint to help get you and your family ready for life’s unexpected emergencies. To make a more comprehensive, easy-to-follow program, The Prepper’s Blueprint has been simplified and divided up in a way to help you make sense of all the preparedness concepts and supply lists provided. We have divided the chapters into layers of preparedness.” You can read more about this best-seller here.
When the supply chains become disrupted for any reason, the idea is to not look for help outside yourself. The solution is to create your own food supply chain and remove reliance on a store or the government onto yourself.
How To Create Your Own Supply Chain
With so many disasters that threaten our supply chain, it’s time to take steps at creating your own. In an emergency, if you’ve already established local contacts, you can contact them immediately before they are overwhelmed with orders or shut their doors.
1. Grow your own garden. Ultimately, you should find a way to grow some of your food year-round. Whether it’s a small salad garden on the patio, or a robust garden full of all of your favorite vegetables. We recommend trying heirloom seed sources like those in the Homestead Vegetable Garden-In-A-Can or try your hand at starting a fruit orchard. For more information for the first-time garden, try reading this garden guide. Once you have your vegetable garden going, add some herbs. Not only can you can homemade medicines and teas, but you will attract beneficial pollinators.
Moreover, get to know the local farmers in your area. Many of them sell their produce at farmer’s markets. Getting in contact with the ones in your area will help you create a surplus of food fast in an emergency.
2. If you eat meat, contact your local ranchers and meat processors who are willing to sell to the public. We buy most of our meat locally and get an entire pig or a whole “beef” at once. This is a lot easier to do in rural areas such as where I live than elsewhere. It may prove exhausting for you, but it”s well worth the time it takes to find a rancher and butcher you trust. There is no shortage of meat where I live, and we’ve got a whole cow already purchased for meat. It’ll be ready in September.
3. Get chickens (or ducks). We love waking up every morning to duck eggs. Because we get plenty of eggs from our of 4 female birds, we haven’t had to buy any eggs at the store since the first of the year! This proved beneficial during the beginning of the panic over the pandemic as people bought all the eggs off the local grocery store’s shelf. FYI – our ducks took just over 4 months, or 18 weeks to start laying eggs, so this needs to be set up sooner rather than later if you like eggs. My suggestion is to “do right by your ducks.” Treat them well, feed them high-quality food, give them space to forage, give them lots of water, and they will give you an egg per day. They also eat little store-bought food in the spring and summer if you let them forage all day. Ours love eating the bugs and pests off our plants in the garden, and that’s a win-win!
4. Find local water sources. If the local water is turned off due to a disaster, you will need to find a local water source if you are not already on a well. Make sure you have a way to purify the water. We like Berkey Water filtration systems in this case. Otherwise, purchase water storage systems like Water Bricks or a Water Bob.
5. Get some gas to run a generator in the instance that there is an off-grid event. If you have a freezer full of food, you need to do everything you can to save your food. Last year, we went through blackouts in California that lasted 4 days. If we didn’t have a generator, we would have lost a majority of our food investment. Here are some tips to prime your generator so it’s ready when the time comes.
6. Secure your medicines beforehand. Essential pharmaceutical companies may not be open. Do what you can to gather prescription medicines ahead of time and stock up as you can. As well, when disasters are concerned, bruises and cuts may not be the only ailments you will be dealing with. There could be a host of medical concerns that could be both physical and mental. For example, during the pandemic crisis, many are feeling heightened feelings of depression and anxiousness. Looking into alternative medicine, such as CBD oils or herbal tinctures, could be a saving grace in this case.
These 6 steps can get you on your way to becoming more self-reliant. Keep in mind, that anything you produce may be able to be bartered too for something else. For example, I have a lot of duck eggs and might be willing to trade a few for some cucumbers. Mutually beneficial bartering may need to take place in the near future if the supply chains weaken any more.