I come from a family that always kept several years worth of food stockpiled. One of the reasons we did this was because we lived in a remote area, where we often lost power or got snowed in. Another reason we had so much food is because grew tons and tons of it. We spent most of our summer's growing and canning or freezing. My grandmother had two extremely large deep freezes, and 3 refrigerators, as well as a root cellar. My mom also had one large deep freeze and two refrigerators. Another reason that we kept a lot of food was because I lived with extended family. Our house was 1/2 mile from my maternal grandparents - my parents built their house on my grandparents farm. My paternal grandfather lived with us at the time too, so there was a lot of people to feed. We also kept water stockpiled too (due to the fact that you cannot pump water out of a well without electricity and we had frequent power outages). We didn't stockpile things like hygiene products, however. Our food stockpiling was not out of paranoia, but out of necessity. We certainly never would have thought about keeping our food stocks a secret, but then all the farmers in the community had similar stockpiles. To be honest, I am a little surprised by the mentality of keeping it secretive...
On to my goals:
I had gotten out of the practice of keeping large stocks of food, mostly because DH and I always lived in very small urban apartments with no storage. When I bought my house in the fall of 2007, I decided to start keeping more food on hand again. I am working towards having several months worth of dried goods to hedge against possible job loss.
I spent much of last fall canning preserves, apple sauce, fresh berries and apple slices, and pepper relish. I plan to can a variety of other foods this year, once fruit and veg comes in season. Because I bake nearly everything from scratch, I started buying flour and other dried goods in bulk from here: http://www.clnf.org/
. DH and I recently assembled some shelving in the basement for storing food (http://www.flickr.com/photos/archymo...7608688239541/
) . I was very excited to finally have a designated pantry area. I don't have a deep freeze and my refrigerator freezer is actually filled with pollen samples (don't ask) so I have to limit my food stores to canned or dried goods. It is doubtful that I will get the money for a deep freeze. But if I do, I would like to purchase a 1/2 beef and a half-dozen chickens to freeze. In the future, I hope to buy extra canned goods each week to slowly build up my supplies and to buy some dried black beans and chickpeas. this week ordered some seeds to get my veg garden going this year (last year was spent preparing the disaster of a backyard and starting my herb garden).
My current stock of dried goods includes:
10# unbleached organic white flour
5# organic spelt flour
5# organic whole wheat flour
5# buckwheat flour
15# organic red lentils
5# organic french lentils
5# powdered milk
10# sunflower seeds
15# whole almonds
10# dried cranberries
8# sesame sticks
20# white rice
2# quick rise baking yeast
I also have a case of rice dream (non-dairy drink) and about a dozen boxes of tofu. Neither of these need refrigeration.