How to prosper during the coming depression, food

 

As I write this there is the beginning of a food shortage happening in the United States. Many of the thing we are witnessing happened before during the great depression with farmers dumping milk they can not sell and food rotting in the fields. At the moment this only applies to meat and milk, however fruit and vegetables will be next since those seasons have not started and this virus in nowhere near finished with its agenda.

The last time I was at the local supermarket I saw the empty shelves and freezers wondering where my Cornish hens were and the cheap cuts of beef that I know how to turn into a $50 steak. Everything was gone except for some ground turkey that had been pulled out of a deep freeze.

I had to become crafty in finding places that would not be affected by the current shortage and if you have any granola eating, tidied wearing, “I only eat local” friends you may have a good idea where you can score some food in the coming years.

Two places came to mind in my town. The first is a small market where the owner is middle eastern and has local sources for meat that butcher it in the Halal style that Islam requires. This type of meat is not going to be produced by a large corporation and therefore the majority of his meat is also from similar, smaller, outlets. To this day his coolers have been filled with fresh meat and poultry with no problems in supply.

The second place that I started going to is a newly opened market downtown that is smaller and more expensive but there is an advantage to shopping here. One of the owners is a third-generation rancher and has access to beef all year round. The beef is butchered and processed by the owner cutting out any middle men. This place also has connections with local Indian tribes for smoked fish and Amish farmers who supply them with chicken and pork. These are the places I have found so far for my own food but here are some ideas for where you can look for your own food in your area.

Farmers markets are opening and it wouldn’t hurt to make friends with your local farmers who like having regular customers they can depend on for income. Even better than a farmer’s market is joining a CSA and having your share of a farm delivered every week for a majority of the season. The lump some up front might hurt but not needing to buy fresh produce over several months takes a burden off your grocery bill. While other people are struggling to find produce that might not make it to the shelves of the grocery stores your food is set aside and waiting for you because somebody grew it specifically for you. Some CSA farms also offer meat and poultry as well as vegetables, expanding what is available and making the hunt for good quality food easier.

Growing your own food is always an option even if you have limited space. For those of you who own your own house you have a huge advantage over the millions of people who don’t. That nice green lawn that you might be proud of, you can tear that up any time now. The luxury of having a lawn is an idea that needs to go the way of the dodo. In Europe, royalty would flaunt their wealth by having vast, unused fields of green grass showing the public that they had no need to work that land for their food. It was a gross mismanagement of wealth that continued to the united states and unfortunately didn’t die along with the control over the country by the British. Some of their bad habits stayed with us and now it’s time to kick it to the curb.

Victory gardens are springing up again, a tradition from WWII that kept the publics need for food down and meant more resources could go to the war effort. This time around the Victory garden could make sure you have food on the table while items are limited at the stores and harder to find. Several books are available for new gardeners and I will include a list of titles are the end of this article for those people who are interested.

Foraging is a favorite pass time for quarantine victims looking to get outdoors these days. On recent fishing trips it was common to see people walking through the woods with their heads hung low looking for morels. Mushrooms might be one of the few things to look for in the spring but other times of the year there will be berries, various greens, maple syrup, and nuts. I have spent many afternoons in early July collecting raspberries and black berries to freeze at home or turn into wines or jam. There was that time I collected dandelion leaves for salad and every year I make a batch of dandelion wine from the flowers. Foraging is a great way to learn how much food is located in your own yard.

Hunting is the last subject I will discuss in this post. Living in Michigan, hunting is a part of our culture. This was a subject that I was introduced to later in life, heading into the woods for the first time at 33. I have had some success and while I can’t remember how many squirrels, I have taken home, I can tell you that I bagged two turkeys over the years but have yet to drag home a deer. Hunting is a complicated subject and one should check their state laws before marching into the forests to bring home some meat. The cost of starting to hunt can be high for those who do not already own the equipment for it. Firearms, bows and arrows, muzzleloaders, boots, blinds, warm clothes, calls, bait, the list goes on and on. There is an investment of time to consider as well. We have all heard those stories of the guy who walks into the woods, kills a deer in five minutes, loads it into his truck and drives off. Odds are that will not be you. The years I have spent going to the same public land I know where the deer are, how they travel, and where to be. I have sent guys in telling them where fresh tracks are and the kind of deer in area. Later I get a thank you and find out they bagged a deer either that day or the next right where I told them. They had the time to spend waiting, I did not. It can be as simple as that.

Hunting is a long and vast subject in which I will cover in future posts, but for the moment it is a place to consider getting protein when it is difficult to find in the store. The amount of meat you can get from a deer for the cost of a few hours and a $1.50 shotgun shell doesn’t compare to the cost of a T-bone steak.

List of gardening books:

Gardening when it counts by Steve Solomon

Square foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

Crockett’s Victory Garden by James Underwood Crockett

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How to Prosper during the coming Depression, introduction

 

The following series will be about how to prosper, or at least do well, during the coming depression. Times are again changing and we must do so with them. The current situation with Covid-19 and job losses is revealing huge problems in our economy and our social structure, problems that will not be solved with a magic bullet and will likely last for years to come.

The following post will cover various subjects such as, saving money, various ways to find food, new hobbies that will help you save money, new ways to think about economics, and much more. Things may be tough in the coming years but there are many things you can start to do now to prepare yourself and your family to weather this event. The biggest thing to prepare yourself for is the amount of work it will take to live a better life in hard times. Work has a bad connotation with it and that mindset must change as well.

There was a time in this country when a person could pride themselves on the amount of work they did and how well they did it. Over the years that mindset has been replaced with “work is for suckers” and now people consider themselves too good to do the hard work that is needed to stay afloat in this world.

Many people look for quick fixes for problems including our government and in return we learn that same problem was just kicked down the road to be dealt with again. This would include the stimulus checks that were sent out to keep the economy afloat but ignored that it this payout added 4 trillion dollars to the national debt with no plan to pay it back. During this time, I would like to think that bill is not my problem. What is more important is knowing that my family has a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, and are safe from those who wish to do us harm. It’s all anyone can ask for and that is what this blog is about.

If you are looking for advice on how to prepare yourself for what is on the way this is the place for you. It is a work in progress so if you find anything that isn’t accurate or think something was left out please mention it in the comment section. The information will only help others who are interested in the same thing.

 

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Corona virus, a blessing in disguise

 

There is this myth called the American dream, or at least it has been for most of my life. What has been pushed on the public is a need for debt and over abundance to the point of crippling citizens into an endless cycle they will never crawl out of. When there weren’t enough people maxing out credit cards the next scam was to tell everyone to go to college. When there weren’t enough people going to college with student loan debt the need for an over priced house was sold to us. When the housing market crashed and people refused to invest in the market, car loans became the new get rich quick scheme. People in all of these categories are now out of work and behind on payments. The American dream, what was sold to us as that dream, came crashing down, again.

After 2009, I learned what was real and what wasn’t. This fascination with expensive cars, shoes, watches, cell phones, houses, jet skis, and all the other shit people don’t need no longer caught my eye. These were things I could not afford before and afterwards I knew that the majority of the public was not supposed to have them. There is a trade that takes place with owning things that we are told we should have. My step-dad always had to have a truck. He didn’t have a job that required a truck. He rarely ever hauled anything in it. The most he drove these things was to work and back, the most expensive ride to work one could ask for when it came to gas mileage. When I was growing up there were things that the family needed that we didn’t have, because of the cost of that truck. When people buy things they cannot afford, they trade what their family needs and the future for that item. Trucks came and went but the debt never went away. I hear about people getting married and finding out later that their new spouse has a ton of credit card debt. Again, future happiness was traded for long forgotten drinks, nights out on the town, shoes that were donated to goodwill, you get the picture.

With the unemployment numbers skyrocketing eyes are starting to open to what people have been doing since the 1980s. the version of free market capitalism that the US is dependent on will have to disappear. This desire to watch the stock market as a meter of the wealth of the country is a crummy system to use. It only accounts for how rich the rich are and leaves out the little guy who’s only option to buy into this pyramid scheme is to invest for their retirement which is stolen on a regular schedule.

Around me more people are panting gardens. They are looking for local sources of meat and poultry. Backyard chickens are becoming a new lawn decoration. People are starting to learn and while the stock market will cringe at this, I can only hope that the people pushing this old system will have their own eyes opened. Slow growth is manageable and to expect anything else is playing with fragile house of cards. There were old no nonsense rules of finance that people once followed and those had been traded away for greed in the form of fast wealth. It wasn’t just people but the government as well who started to live this lie, taking the future wealth of the country and charging it on a credit card knowing that someone else down the road will have to deal with it. Who cares as long as their families are taken care of? What matters beyond the rich having their fill and the rest of us being left with the bill?

A trump check was deposited into my bank account and that money was used to pay bills in advance and make sure my family had a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. The economic stimulus that the politicians thought they would see didn’t happen. The trick that was supposed to fix the problem failed and now the only other option they are left with is opening the economy and having more people die because of their fucked-up priorities. The rate of incompetence in this matter is astounding. The Chinese government had people locked in their apartments with the doors welded shut and somehow these people in suits don’t appear to understand what this disease is. Natural or not it is a weapon and its job is to kill. Horrible diseases like this one once plagued the planet on a regular basis. Smallpox wiped out the majority of the native population on North and South America. The black plague swept through Asia, Europe, and Asia again. Polio, typhoid fever, malaria, and measles were common enough to have known someone that had died of it during your lifetime. This is a fear that several generations have not experienced and now it is back. The party is over. The adolescent age of man is over. It is now time to grow up.

Everything has become too easy in our lives. Television has us clicking our next show with a remote to watch at any time. Phone calls are too inconvenient replaced with texting. Relationships have been replaced with quick hookups and relationshits. Money is no longer earned but given to the most recent meme to hit the internet. People who were deadbeat bums are now referred to as influencers. The last person to create a life changing invention is forgotten over someone who plays sports ball.

The president told people at a news conference that one way to cure Covid -19 was to inject themselves with Lysol. This is the level of intelligence that is running the country. It is safe to say we are on our own.

Several people I know are either at the same level of preparation or they are heading that way. Gardens are being planted. Chickens are being ordered. Sources for local meat are being found. Gas tanks are left full. Bills are paid in advance. Weapons are carried at all times. The only person we can rely to save us is… us. The message from the government is clear, they have no idea what the hell is going on. “its just a flu, nothing to worry about.” “As of today, we are on lockdown.” “there is no need to wear a face mask in public.” “it is illegal not to wear a face mask when in a public place.”  If there was a sign that they have no idea what they are doing, I hope this would be it. Down play, over react, repeat.

Along with a disease that nobody knows anything about there is a Great Depression that everyone is forecasting for the future. If there is one thing that this country has completely forgotten it is what being poor is like. Our poor people are obese with diabetes. We don’t know what hunger is. As for jobs, we have outsourced all of our work to foreign countries, buy their products at the local Walmart and then bitch about how they ruined the country. Come to think of it, we deserve this. We had this coming for a long time. Our lack of foresight will be our undoing. We talk about the future of the country only to keep pushing the same ball of debt up a pile of shit that will one day crumble underneath us. Our sins are catching up with us and we can’t deny that we deserve what is coming. I see the litter covering the side of the street, the needles littering the parks, the homeless that joke about scamming people, the politicians who keep their jobs by winning a high school popularity contest, the cash advance centers around town, the liquor stores on every corner, the churches taking their 10% (a nice even price for the cost of a soul) the piles of belongings sitting on the side of the road from the latest eviction, the road kill left behind because someone was to lazy or too stupid to clean what they killed and fill their freezer, the morons who check Twitter before bed instead of reading a book, and the lazy assholes who would rather scam unemployment instead of applying for a fucking job.

There was a man who lived by himself in Alaska for over thirty years. When asked about his own safety he replied that if the water on the lake was rough, he didn’t take the canoe out. When you are responsible for your own safety you tend to be careful about what you do. These days everyone expects a bail out and someone else to flip the bill when they screw up. Those days are over. They have been for a long time and now the bill is coming due for everyone. Governments are in debt. Citizens are in debt. Companies rely on debt. The entire world owes someone and it is the poor that will be stuck with the tab. In Michigan, a person on unemployment can make more in the system than they did at their previous job. Why would anyone want to go back to work after this? When the hammer falls things will be rough. People will panic and try to play the blame game but that bill will still be sitting there and those who it is owed to will want something in return. We have become slaves to debt and for some reason we agreed to it. Those who didn’t follow this example will be caught in the crossfire. Those at the bottom of the ladder will want to be supported and the government will tell the middle class to pay the bill. All hell will break loose and it is only then that all involved will figure out that the system is broken. Something needs to change and unless those above us are smart enough to know this nothing will happen and that big ball of debt will continue to be rolled up that pile of shit.

My bills will continue to be paid. The garden will grow. The chickens will provide breakfast for years to come. I see canning in my future. Hunting season is coming in the fall. Tin foil can be reused if it is cleaned. I’m sure my Toyota has another fifteen years in it. I could care less about the last sports game, who was given a rose on the bachelor, which Kardashian called another useless person a bitch, where the stock market is, or who is running for office. I have my priorities set and my family comes first. If anyone tries to tell me otherwise, heaven help them. I’m tired of people trying to force me to play the same stupid game because they say so and I am not the only one.

 

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