2009 Food Storage Challenge (March Update) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 109 Old 01-02-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to invite you all to my 2009 Food Storage Challenge.
Here how you do it:

Read my 2009 Food Storage Challenge http://jyotsnasjournal.blogspot.com/. Photograph (or make a list) of the foods that you have, and share your plans on your blog. I plan to save enough food so that I have at least 1 months worth of food, and I plan to up that to a 3 month supply. I'm reading Sharon Astyk's blog http://sharonastyk.com/

I challenge you to find ways to store food, whether it is through buying foods that don't spoil and holding on to them, canning or freezing foods. Make sure it is food that you can eat without heat. Also, please find a manual can opener in case you are using an electric opener.

Read through Sharon's Food Storage Friday Quickies. These blog posts will give you ideas on how to save some food, and you can expand on your blog.

Please extend this challange to all your friends and family, and link their blogs to yours, and refer them to mothering.com to discuss the challenges of food storage.

I'm storing food for economic hard times, and for natural disasters.

Post to my comments under 2009 Food Storage Challenge to give me an update on how your challenge is going, and also post to this thread to get ideas for improving your food storage.

Okay, GO!

Jyotsna

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#2 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, 36 of mothering folks have looked at this. I thought someone would like to do this with me. I have been reading about peak oil for some time, and I really think that whether it is going to be soon, or later, that we are all going to be on some hard times.

I live on the New Madrid Fault line (which possibly means there is no point in saving food!) and we tend to have dramatic weather crisis here. I've always thought it would be good to start storing food and I did for a while, till my nearly teen son started eating anything not nailed down.

So, I'd love to have some partners in : food storage! What do you think???

Thanks,
Jyotsna

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#3 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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I have a goodly bit of food stored. Most of it does require cooking though - theres just not a lot of non-perishable ready to eat food available (at least, not that I'm willing to eat on a regular basis). Personaly, I subscribe to the 'eat what you store, store what you eat' philosophy - and thus thats exactly what we do.

I canned lots of tomatoes, pickled jalapenos & bananna peppers, and froze lots of green beans last summer. We're still eating on all of them. We did can some beans to, but personally, I'm just not a fan of them, so we froze the vast, vast majority. Other than that, I have around 150# of legumes and 150# of grains stored in big glass jars (4 gallon ball ideal jars), 25# of sugar, 50# of salt & about 4-5 gallons of oils (olive & coconut). Along with a couple of deer, a dozen or so odd chickens, some lamb and goat meat in the freezer.

Another thing to think about is water. Either you need a way to have access to it no mater what (we just put in a hand pump on our well), or have lots and lots and lots stored and be rotating through that too. We have a generator to keep our freezer/refrigerator running and as it takes less than a gallon a day of gas we should be able to keep them going for a good long while (we have some gas stored, would like a lot more though)

How long could we live off of our food? I don't know. A good long while though. Probably at least 3-6 months.
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#4 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm planning to can tomatoes, green beans, ect this year. What do you think about buying food to can? Obviously I don't have any garden foods yet, and would like to get a move on it. I have a friend who can teach me to can foods (she just told me yesterday). So what is your opinion?

Also, I do eat alot of beans (I keep them dry, and if I have to do so, I'll sprout them instead of keeping them canned). I'm a vegetarian, and that's why I eat them. But for non-vegetarians, you can always keep beans to help spread out what you already have. They are a good source of protein, and I would think that when a person is hungry, they would eat beans, vegetarian or not! : ) They store for a long time.

I also agree with you, about storing what I can eat. And, since I don't have a cow in the backyard (I live in the city...with plans to live in the country one day) I feel that powdered milk would be worth keeping on hand.

Now, for everyone else... I know there has to be alot of mamas out there who are not prepared with a 3 - 6 month supply of foods. If you are like me (unprepared at this moment) then would you mind joining me so I can meet my goal?

I'm planning to store at least the following, with plans to increase:

Rolled oats
Dry beans/canned beans
Canned tomatoes
Canned veggies
Canned fruit
Canned applesause
Dried raisins and other fruits
Raw nuts (watching closely to rotate)
Dry milk
Peanut Butter
Cumin
Corriander
Chili powder
Cinnamon
Brown sugar
Cooking Sterno
And with a goal of finding or purchasing a Solar Oven (my sisters can reach well over 300 degrees)

Also a plan to buy a new/clean potable water storage (like at Whole Foods).
Food Storage containers
Much more....

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#5 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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I bought some of the tomatos & jalapenos that I canned last year from farmers markets/farmers stands on the side of the road. My tomatoes just didn't do very good So, I'm definetly all for that. I wouldn't buy them from a grocery store, but during the summer in season localy? Absolutely. Most all the tomatoes & peppers I bought while not organic (since it costs a TON to get certified), were at least not sprayed, and thats what counts to me, personally.

As for herbs/spices, yeah, I do store some of them too. Mostly garlic (which we just use an absurd amount of... I probably buy 1# of it every 2-4 months...), though I did also buy 1# each of parsley & oregano a year or two ago... and which we're still going through! I'll probably buy them again though.
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#6 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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I'd like to do this. Right now we are living in a temporary place without much room to store anything, but we will be moving in the next few months. I have no way of knowing what the storage situation will be when we move, though, so it's hard to plan.

I'm going to be following this thread and :
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#7 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I am in.
I would look at storing foods with a high moisture content, fruits and veggies. That way if water is scarece, you will still be getting some water, and be using less of your bodies supplies in digesting dry food. There is also more nutrients, and little to no preperation needed.

Id like to learn how to store foods in cold storage, and get away from needing the fridge. The only problem I see with storing foods, is if you need to be mobile.

Decluttering 500/2010
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#8 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
Hey, 36 of mothering folks have looked at this. I thought someone would like to do this with me. I have been reading about peak oil for some time, and I really think that whether it is going to be soon, or later, that we are all going to be on some hard times.

I live on the New Madrid Fault line (which possibly means there is no point in saving food!) and we tend to have dramatic weather crisis here. I've always thought it would be good to start storing food and I did for a while, till my nearly teen son started eating anything not nailed down.

So, I'd love to have some partners in : food storage! What do you think???

Thanks,
Jyotsna
I looked at the thread, but didn't reply. I already have about 1 year's worth of food, stored well, with oxygen absorbers, much of it home canned, and rotated regularly, so I don't really need to join the challenge. We have been stocking up for years as a natural extension of the way I was raised (parents were young during Great Depression). Good luck with your challenge. I think it's important to have a good sized pantry.

ETA: You might search for older threads. There were some a few months ago about stockpiling and there were a lot of great ideas people were throwing about. A couple of the threads were hundreds of posts long.
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#9 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I looked at the thread, but didn't reply. I already have about 1 year's worth of food, stored well, with oxygen absorbers, much of it home canned, and rotated regularly, so I don't really need to join the challenge. We have been stocking up for years as a natural extension of the way I was raised (parents were young during Great Depression). Good luck with your challenge. I think it's important to have a good sized pantry.

.
What is an oxygen absorber?

So you might be a good person to pass along hints?

Decluttering 500/2010
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#10 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BunnySlippers View Post
What is an oxygen absorber?

So you might be a good person to pass along hints?
It's a small packet, I think iron oxide, that you put into your *sealed* dried goods to extend their lives because they absorb the oxygen (one of the 4 main things that destroy food... oxygen, light, moisture, temperature).

I don't know if I'm good for hints. Everyone should have a very specific food storage plan based on their own family's needs. I'll help if it's applicable, though.
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#11 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did you all see this? I frankly want a different thread, because these are new times.

https://www.mothering.com/discussion...php?p=12757207

Jyotsna

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#12 of 109 Old 01-03-2009, 07:15 PM
 
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I will join in. I won't be taking pics but I am going to start taking notes on what I have and what I need.

I just got some really good books for Christmas from my mom about long term food storage and being prepared for disasters ect.

I proabably have two months worth of food right now in the house but it is not very organized.

For my family I have stocked up on rice, peanut butter, soups, canned beans and loaded our freezer with bread, bagels and meats purchased very cheap.

I have a full pantry of cereal, granola bars,canned fruits ect too that would last awhile. I do need to work on water storage though. I am lacking there.

I am also stockpiling paper products and personal products. Basically I would like to have everything we need to survive if there were no stores open for a few months. POssibly even no gas, oil or electricity as well. We just had a major ice storma nd there were people in our area with no power for almost a week.

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#13 of 109 Old 01-05-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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DH and I started a long time ago. We had about 4 months of food stored up. I've used up some of the more convenient foods in order to avoid the grocery store.

I need to get going again and restock.

Last year we acquired a grain mill and lots of wheat berries. I need to practice my bread baking some more.

I too am a fan of Sharon Astyk. I know her IRL, she doesn't live that far from me. We share the same bulk food store

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
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#14 of 109 Old 01-05-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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I am definitely in.

We have a rather large garden and I would like to get into canning this season. I gave lots of veggies away last year because I didn't know how to can. We're in the midst of earthquake country and I would love to have a good stockpile in case of emergency. I would also like to reduce the food we waste as a family. I'll be checking in here regularly.
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#15 of 109 Old 01-06-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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I'm in!

:

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#16 of 109 Old 01-06-2009, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Stone Fence:
That's so cool that you know Sharon. She is one smart lady.

Hi Everyone,

I'm taking Sharon's Food Storage Class right now (month long) and one of the women posted a link to her blog (http://touchtheearthfarm.blogspot.co...ity-part-i.htm)

I was really impressed with this womans food storage, and it looked neat and large. My hope is that I can work towards this type of storage in the next year.

Meanwhile, I'm going shopping tomarrow, and I will stock up on rice, legumes (beans), cans of tomatoes, oatmeal, raisins, almonds, peanuts, cashews ect. I'm going to get started with my goals, then just improve my storage shortage each month.

Once I have my food in the pantry, I'm going to replace the photos on my blog with those (gosh my pantry is bare looking).
Those who talk about food shortage also say that it is our duty to store food for outselves because we shouldn't expect the government to hand out food to us in our worst time, afterall we have seen what the government can do during our worst times....speaking of Katrina and other disasters including midwest flooding, California firestorms and in my area, earthquakes, tornados and ice storms. Forget our economic crisis for a moment, and think about the extreme range of disasters our country has faced this past year, and then think about how you could be prepared in the event that you and your family has to face any disaster of this type.

The US government advices that we should have at least 2 weeks of food stored. However, 2 weeks is what the average American keeps, so I'd say at least 3 months on non-perishables and semi-perishables like potatoes, onions, garlics ect.

Okay, how is it going? Anyone made any changes yet?

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#17 of 109 Old 01-06-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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Well, I just got a stand mixer yesterday and today I (succesfully) made bread for the first time :dance: It turned out fantastic! I'm SO happy! So, now I'm thinking about storing more wheat and am trying to figure out how much I want... I'm starting to lean towards 100-200# of wheat (75-150 in hard red spring the rest in soft white). And I'm also trying to figure out my yeast situation... I think I want to start buying it in 'bulk' that is to say, in something besides individual-use packets!!
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#18 of 109 Old 01-06-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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I think I could go for a month on what we have now.
I went through my cabinets last night. I have a bunch of dried beans/lentils and rice.
I'll be shopping at the end of the week and I would like to get more canned food and flour though. Maybe some powdered milk.
We do not have a large freezer space so I'm going to focus on non-perishables.

I'm doing this more for security in case our finances tank rather than disaster survival.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#19 of 109 Old 01-07-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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I am in and I will be back with some more info in a little bit I'm trying to get my crazy children to bed.
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#20 of 109 Old 01-07-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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I hit some crazy deals at Shaws and got about 160 dollars worth of stuff for around $40. I stocked up on baby wipes (even though no baby- I read these are good to clean yourself if there is no available water source) Sanitation can become an issue in long term situation like that.

I got 4 bottles of dish soap
15 boxes of cereal

I also got a deal on peanut butter on amazon and got 12 jars of that.

These were all things I was looking to add to my stockpile so I was excited.

We also got 48 pack of water and 12 cases of soda for my husband who refuses to drink any water whatsoever..

So I feel like I am on my way to a decent stockpile.

I am also interested in taking measures to provide more than just food and water. We have handcrank flashlights, loads of candles and lighters. I am looking to get a handcrank radio, some kind of campstove, (we do have a grill already and a fireplace outside we use,) and other things that would be useful in long term power outages and other disaster situations.

We have a small generator, but are thinking of a large full scale model to rn more things in the house.

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#21 of 109 Old 01-08-2009, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've written a blog post about "To tell or not to tell".

Would anyone like to have a discussion about this?

Jyotsna

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#22 of 109 Old 01-08-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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LOL, Jyotsna, those who believe in keeping their mouths shut likely won't chime in at all! They don't want to blow their cover!

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#23 of 109 Old 01-08-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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My family, and two friends KNow I stockpile. They are people who I would share with though. One of my friends stockpiles also and we compare note, share sales, ect.

I think I probably wouldn't put it all out there on the net with pics of the outside of my house and stuff but honestly I don't think people are going to hunt me down...LOL

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#24 of 109 Old 01-08-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
I've written a blog post about "To tell or not to tell".

Would anyone like to have a discussion about this?

Jyotsna
I don't see any need to hide the fact that I have extra food from people I know. I'm not going to randomly tell people or put a sign up in the yard.
If things got bad for people I knew then I would share what I could.
I don't believe in a scenario where someone is going to show up with a gun to steal all my food, etc. I live in a small town/rural area. I suppose I might feel more fearful if I lived in a bigger city.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#25 of 109 Old 01-08-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't tell people irl because they'll just think I'm weirder than they already do.

ETA: Seriously, though, I would not worry about about people coming to steal my food. And we do not have firearms or ammo, so definitely not worried about that. Of course, you really never know what things would be like during a serious disaster, but I cling to my need to believe that people are good and that the worst of times can bring out the best in people.
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#26 of 109 Old 01-08-2009, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jyotsna

I probably wouldn't tell people irl because they'll just think I'm weirder than they already do.

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#27 of 109 Old 01-09-2009, 12:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lemongrass View Post
I probably wouldn't tell people irl because they'll just think I'm weirder than they already do.

ETA: Seriously, though, I would not worry about about people coming to steal my food. And we do not have firearms or ammo, so definitely not worried about that. Of course, you really never know what things would be like during a serious disaster, but I cling to my need to believe that people are good and that the worst of times can bring out the best in people.
:

I haven't talked to many people yet about it. I tried talking to my mom about it but my mother is simply not a big picture, long term thinker when it comes to life so she just kind of looked at me with glazed over eyes like she has no idea why I would "prepare" for anything. Yeah, my mom will probably be living off of my food stores in the future

Most people I know agree that it is a great and smart thing to do but just can't be bothered to do the same.
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#28 of 109 Old 01-09-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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I'm with honeydee.. I think they only people outside of our family who realize we're stocking up is the folks who run my food co-op... cause' they've noticed the massive amounts of grains/beans I've been buying recently... And I'd really like to have double of everything I have, ideally. But, I'm pretty happy with what we have now
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#29 of 109 Old 01-09-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
It's a small packet, I think iron oxide, that you put into your *sealed* dried goods to extend their lives because they absorb the oxygen (one of the 4 main things that destroy food... oxygen, light, moisture, temperature).
Silica packets work to absorb moisture too...just don't eat them!
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#30 of 109 Old 01-09-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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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.
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