Saturday, May 17, 2014

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - What does that mean?

When I think of what it means to live a Pantry Lifestyle, I think of planning today for what is needed at a future time.  Never is that more apparent then in planting season.  After a week of cold and rainy weather, I will mosey out to the garden for the first time in days to check for damage.

Oh, did I mention there was a possible frost last night?  In mid-May?  That's late even for our part of the country.

But like the women of all past generations combined, I realize if I am going to have a harvest I have to persevere.  I must look past crazy weather, weeds, critters, and anything else that would come between veggies, herbs, and the dinner table.

Some have written that those of us who believe in stocking a pantry and having at least "a little extra" put back have no faith that God will provide.  Ummm... no.  If anything, we are just more attuned to the warp and woof of all the generations before there was anything such as refrigeration.

We are actually people of faith.  We truly believe we hear from God, that it is Him who planted within our hearts the desire to keep a pantry no matter how small, how deep, or how extensive.

When one is living a Pantry Lifestyle, one simply desires to be prepared for life such as it often happens.  We understand there are seasons of life just as there are seasons of planting and harvest.

How do you know you are a Pantry Lifestyle sort of person?  Well, here are a few indications:
  • You receive a bonus or financial gift and you use it to deepen your pantry instead of going to a spa.
  • You decide to use a small part of your yard to plant a raised bed garden.
  • You live in an apartment in the city but grow fresh herbs on your balcony and have "a little extra" food and essentials tucked in closets.
  • You decide to grow all your own food.
  • You purchase food from a farmer and learn the art of canning.
  • You can't pass up a 10 for $10 sale of your favorite canned goods even though you already have a couple of cases.
  • You understand that there is no such thing as too much TP in your pantry.
  • You spend time pondering what items your family would need to have on hand in a job loss or emergency situation.
  • You become absolutely giddy when you come across good quality flashlights and a wind up radio at a thrift store.
  • You shop garage sales and thrift stores for nice clothing in your children's next size.
  • You have a supply of books, sewing materials, craft projects, yarn, art supplies, paper, pens, pencils, and any other creative outlets stocked "just in case".
  • Just to name a few symptoms...

How do I know?  It is where my mind lives.  It is the way I am wired up.  If you read the Saturday Posts regularly... it may be the way God made you, too.

I'm convinced God makes Pantry People for a purpose and hopefully each family has at least one.   In my part of the world, you may find them planting and weeding at this time of the year.  Pantry People in other parts of the world are harvesting and preserving at the moment.

My husband has often told me every time he thought he would give up the frustrating game of golf (when he still played), it took only one amazingly good game to keep him playing.  For the person who lives a Pantry Lifestyle, it takes only having on hand what is needed to make a last minute recipe to keep them going. 

Or perhaps having found the winter coat your child needs at a garage sale for a couple dollars.  Or serving green beans and tomatoes in January that you canned in August.  Or having the money saved to get you through a season of unemployment. 

Pantry People are not hoarders.  You probably will not see them on Doomsday Preppers because they are more normal than what Reality TV chooses to show. They know what they have, what they need, what to look for used and when to purchase brand new. 

They are wise people living the planting and harvest cycle of those who went before them.  It can look a little different in this 21st century... or just the same.

Pantry People do not fear the future because they have faced it long ago.  They know they do not stock up out of a lack of faith.  No... if anything there can be great joy and peace found in the Pantry Lifestyle.

Now, I must put on my thick soled shoes and make my way to the garden to see the affects of the rain and cold.  Hopefully nothing needs to be replanted and all is well.  If not... we plant again.  For that is what Pantry People do. ;)

I was asked about planting a garden in a shady area.  Half of my garden space becomes fairly shady once the big trees near it become full of leaves.  That is where I have my larger herb raised bed and the raised bed where I grow lettuce, kale, and such.  They seem to thrive better in the shade once it gets hot.

The tomatoes and green bean plants need full sun so they get planted in one of two raised beds that receive full sun and rotated between the two.  This year the tomatoes are planted where the green beans were last year and then next May... visa versa.  We hope to expand the garden a little to receive more full sun.

Just this week I came across a very good article and what grows in shade.  It can be found... here.  Anything you can grow will be fun and helpful.  Growing your own herbs alone can help save money at the grocery store as well as being absolutely yummy.

Image:  Three Hens with Coop;


Penny O'Neill said...

I always enjoy your pantry posts and observations, and I, too, pick up on the 10 for $10 sales. One only needs to be snowed in for several days, or without power in storms to understand the forethought of stocking up. I think faith is sometimes confused with preparedness, though it is taught to us in so many verses and was modeled for us, as you write, by generations before us.
Now, on with my day I go, in hopes of planting a few things today.

rebecca said...

Except for the gardening, I think of myself as a "Pantry Person" - by the way, I like that term - "Pantry People"...

We have 10 for $10 and get the 11th free sales here frequently. I am careful to go for the high priced items featured if they are useful to me since the savings is more. Frequently some of those on the sale are NOT that much of a reduction in price, so I'm a "Picky Pantry Person"! :)

Vee said...

We are in a season of living off the extra monies for groceries...thank God for a pantry and a freezer. And that venison I turned my nose st last fall? Pretty tasty this May.

Hope that you find your garden has survived the whacky weather.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Waving my pantry person hand here, Brenda!

I am restocking my pantry slowly but surely these days. I have 4 tomato plants, two pepper plants, basil, and parsley to go into the garden later today. I also have Apple mint, lavender, chamomile,a night blooming jasmine, that need to be planted. Out of my seeds I'll be planting green beans, carrots, and onions.

I can buy these locally but it is fun to grow your own and to know you can do it and preserve it if it were necessary.

I enjoy teaching my kids to do these things as well.


Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between being a hoarder, a person in fear for the end of the world and a wise steward.

If you will plan and buy what you use that is being a wise steward. People of faith don't fear the end of the world and share what they have, as they can with others.

What a strange world we live in when prudent use of God-given resources makes us seem like faithless people or just plain weird.

Bookie said...

I have just come in from cutting a big bowl of lettuce and kale with three little onions. I am growing them in big flower pots near the deck. Ah, it felt good to "harvest"!

Mary Jane said...

In your post this week, you mentioned there are some items which should be purchased new, not used. What items were you thinking about? Like you, I have a limited budget and would like to spend the money I do have wisely.

Anonymous said...

If and when we get to the mall [maybe once a year] I feel ho hum looking around and supper shocked at the prices and low quality of things. Yet we go to the used store often as they are on the same route we have to travel anyway. Then I Do get excited when I find the very things I have on my list of needs...not wants. Instead of shock I am praising our Lord and also paying pennies instead for something we will actually use and often! No wonder people are so scared of the economy if they shop at the malls and such for their subsistences. I know we would not have as good a life if we had to shop at those places for everything. Where we have enough $ we would be without any then. :) Yes call us Pantry People too!! The peace of mind knowing you have enough and also can help others is priceless. Sarah

Deb said...

I am a pantry person. 1/3 of our garage is our "pantry" with extra groceries put away for "just in case" even if the "just in case" is being able to fix and take dinner to a sick friend on a moment's notice! We also try to live simply and frugally at all times! Staying out of debt and living the "Dave Ramsey" way is a big one for our family. I am not planning a garden this year because I really haven't figured Arizona gardening out but the idea of an herb garden does appeal and I may try that. Have a happy weekend and God bless!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my question about shade plants. The link was very useful and I will print off the article for future reference.

We learned the wisdom of keeping a pantry the summer that the power went out in our area for three days.It's a good idea to keep some things that don't have to be cooked such as canned chicken. If the pantry is full of uncooked pasta and frozen veggies and the power is out, that's not good.
Now we keep a small hibachi and charcoal on hand just in case.