|Healthy two weeks ago, dying today|
It has been "cooler" here although not what I would call cool with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees (more or less). But it is amazing to me what a difference ten to fifteen degrees can make! I don't feel like I'm melting into the gravel lane when I walk out to get the mail.
I'm still trying to keep the tomato plants alive. Today I am going to dig up the zucchini plant since it is not dong well, anyway. That will be one less plant in that raised bed to draw water.
I have to rip out the bush beans, pole beans, nasturtiums, and the remaining kale as well as cut back the herb garden. I was letting the herbs go to flower but they are dying back before they flower.
While all of this saddens me greatly, I can't imagine what it is like for the farmers whose livelihood depend on growing food as they watch the crops wither and die. There is still hope to salvage some crops as long as we get steady rains (the forecast is for the same "hit and mostly miss" showers we have had all spring and summer).
However, the disastrous Midwestern drought is going to affect food prices for awhile.
I was going to answer some questions today but I will do that next week. Instead I want to spend this time encouraging you to deepen your pantry. One question I'm asked (not as much now as I once was!) is "why we should plan for tomorrow?".
Well, you may not worry about the Mayan calendar or the prophecies of Nostradamus. You may not believe we are in the Biblical "End Times". However, a lot of smart people are concerned about a pending economic collapse.
Most of us depend on a regular income and we know how unexpected job losses can take place. If we have a job but we need to count every penny, we feel the affects of droughts and floods and pestilence on our food supply as the cost of various foods increase drastically.
I can tell you from experience, if you have a job loss and a very deep pantry... the money that does come in (say from Unemployment Insurance) can mostly go to other parts of the budget. It may even be the difference between paying the mortgage, keeping the electricity going, or gas in the car when pennies are tight.
We experienced two different years of long term unemployment. The first time we took no government help such as food stamps because we were homeschooling and where we lived at the time, food stamps went through Child Protective Services who had the power to at least TRY to force us to put our son back into the public schools.
However, we had the deepest pantry we ever had... before or since... so we only had to spend money on fresh food. We did make financial mistakes at that time which I talk about in Recession Ponderings but we had food, paper goods, and other non-food items. I had even purchased our homeschool materials in advance.
The second long term employment event was during a year we had very little in the pantry and we felt we had no choice but to go on food stamps. Fortunately, we lived in a state at that time which did not involve Child Protective Services in their food stamp program so we didn't feel threatened to stop homeschooling.
I'm just sharing this to say... don't think if anything happens to your employment that the government will take care of you. NOT! Google "Katrina" and look at those pictures as well as reading those stories. It was mostly Faith Based agencies and churches who came to the rescue and that was after people died while waiting for help.
To be honest, I hated it when we did receive government assistance because we were made to jump through all kinds of hoops and it made us feel... small (just our experience, others may have had different experiences). (Added note: I go to a government run clinic for low income people and while it takes FOREVER to get an appointment at times, the people there have all been wonderful.)
However, I believe God has allowed me to walk this journey so I can be His hands, His voice, His eyes, His ears, and His representative to others in difficult situations.
I moved my "Pages" back to the top of the blog (just under the zinnia header) so it is easier to find some basic links. If you click on the Recession Ponderings Page, it will give you a link to all the Recession Ponderings writings that share my experience in preparing for and living through difficult economic circumstances.
I also plan to write more about organizing the pantry but in the meantime... visit my daughter's blog and see how she organized her pantry with items she already had in the house... here.