Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Living off the Grid

I haven't had time to write much the last few days. Responsibilities around the house have taken me away from the computer and that got me thinking about today's topic.

Each year, I plant a very large vegetable garden (I've never actually taken a tape measure to it, but I'm guessing it's about 40x60 ft). When I started the garden, it was more out of nostalgia and love of fresh produce than actually feeding my family, but as this country starts teetering toward depression, my thoughts on it have changed.

Right now, we are all in a Dow-at-11,000 springtime high, but I truly believe that the worst still lies before us. The debt is still spiraling out of control, the official unemployment rate still hovers at 10% (but is actually much higher when you take into account those who have given up looking and those who have taken part-time, lesser paying jobs), the Fed is still printing money and that's just the tip of the iceberg. FDR's New Deal turned a minor depression into the Great Depression and this administration seems hell-bent on following the same model.

The uncertainty that this administration has created in the marketplace is already affecting my family personally. My husband is in sales and so far this spring, sales have been good. The problem is inventory. I've been watching my dear husband work himself to the bone trying to get product to those who need it. He said he was having this problem because the factory produced less product this year. I assumed that they produced less for fear of reduced sales but it seems that's only part of the story. In some instances, they produced less because their suppliers produced less and they can't produce a product if they don't have all the parts. But the future is looking brighter right?

I may sound crazy, but while I have the ability to do so, I am doing what I can to make sure that we don't starve through another Great Depression. We may live off eggs and vegetables, but we won't starve. Companies have popped up adverting survival seed banks. It amuses me that people think they could throw these in any old patch of dirt and have a garden. It has taken me 5 years to enrich the soil in my vegetable garden.

I've been picking up extra items at the grocery store when they're on sale...another peanut butter here, another can of beans there. Bread has gone up to almost $4 a loaf, so I've started baking our own (I'm getting better at it. Turns out baking bread requires a lot of talent and experience). We have paid off all our debt except for the house, and are trying to pay that down as quickly as possible. I know there is more I could be doing (goats? solar generator? a well?) and would welcome ideas I'm not thinking of. Hopefully, we won't need to worry about any of it but it can't hurt to be prepared.


  1. I agree that it is always wise to be prerared. But even if all the gloom and doom does not occur (Think big changes in the 2010 and 2012 elections)you are doing your family a wonderful service with your current course of action. You are teaching your children self sufficiency, personal responsibility, and a strong work ethic. In the next Katrina disaster they certainly would not be standing in 2 feet of water wondering why the busses had not come. And in reference to your post regarding High Fructose Corn Syrup, think of the pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, transfats, preservatives and gosh knows what else you are NOT feeeding your family. I like what Mike Huckabee said when asked how he lost so much weight: "If it wasn't food a hundred years ago, it's not food now."

  2. Very good post, Kristin...and Betsy, excellent comment. While we pray for our Constitution, our country, our children and grandchildren in the hope that all will be well in the future, how foolish will we feel if we have not even attempted to prepare?

  3. I too want to plan for the future, but these days living alone means too many things to accomplish with too few hours and/or too little energy. Keeping family together is ultimately essential to survival. We must support the "old values" of love, marriage, family, loyalty, etc. You go, Kristin! You are a fantastic role model and "right-thinking" woman.

  4. I am so proud of all you accomplish Kris. You are a great mom, wife, sister...I was able to get our vegetable garden started last weekend. It is no where near as impressive as yours, but it surely will provide us with a lot of fresh healthy home grown food. Keep doing what you are doing!

  5. You too, girl! You're AMAZING!