Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Deep & Wide...

Learning to be as self-sufficient as possible takes some thinking & planning. You begin by learning to focus on getting your storage set up for the winter months. Width in your storage preparations is great. If you are preparing for a long term situation, there is only so much that you are able to store. 

Say you have a few years worth of stored food; while that is awesome, what do you do at the end of your storage? Eventually you will run out and then things topple, like this tree.
Note the wide root structure of the tree. This tree does not have a deep tap root
In a tree, as with other plants the "tap root is the largest, most central, and most dominant root from which other roots sprout laterally. Typically a tap root is somewhat straight and very thick, is tapering in shape, and grows directly downward." (Wikipedia)
This tap root creates depth, which stabilizes the tree.
When you are learning to develop self-sufficiency,you are preparing for things that possible could happen.
This year (2015) there are several things that are impacting both people who garden & those who live in the city. There is a severe drought in California & there is flooding in Texas all which are impacting current gardens. If you have depth in your pantry you would be ready to carry on through the current year or two to survive with what you have on hand.

How do you build that stability? Depth involves your plan to carry on - the on going plan for self-sufficiency. Donna Hoaks teaches what she calls the P.A.C.E. system. Let's walk through the P.A.C.E. System.  

P.A.C.E. stands for Primary, Alternative, Contingency & Emergency. For our example we are going to start with chocolate.

Primary: I have a lot of chocolate candy stored. It is just our favorite candies that I have vacuum sealed into canning jars. Actually, it is really easy to store all sorts of items by vacuum sealing. How to Link: Storing chocolate and other happy items... 
Alternate: Brownie mixes, cake mixes, chocolate pudding mixes stored in Mylar bags.
Contingency: I also have LOTS of cocoa & chips stored. Along with other cooking staples. Because chocolate is something I want to continue to have for a long time, therefore I store a lot. I currently have about 20 containers of cocoa stored.


Emergency: I am going to try to order cocoa beans soon & practice to see if I am able to grow them, probably in a hoop house of some sort.


Primary: I started with storing canned veggies from the store. I am currently working through using those cans as I switch to storing only my own home grown.
Alternate: When I learned to can, I started canning my own vegetables.

Contingency: I started three years ago learning how to garden with non-GMO, non-hybrid seeds. Using organic practices. Practicing my skills now.
Emergency: I have more seeds stored and I am learning to save seeds now from my own garden.

I currently have several years stored just in case. Keeping stocked ahead helps prepare for a year or two of drought, or in case there is flooding during the season like this year in Texas which destroyed a lot of people's crops this year. 

Chicken: Also this year the is a wide out-break of chicken flu, which is causing millions of chickens to be culled to prevent the spread. Will this impact the cost of chickens and eggs? 
Primary: I have canned chicken (from the store) & some frozen chicken. 
Alternative: I have chicken I have pressure canned. I probably have at least 250 pints jars of pressure canned chicken stored. 
Contingency: If I need to get chickens to grow, I have a plan to get them. When we get our new place soon, chickens are one of the first things we are getting & growing.
Emergency: I also have chicken seeds stored. Just kidding. Seeing if you are paying attention, if so put a smiley face on my Facebook page. LOL! Only those who read will be in the know.

Apply the P.A.C.E. across the board to your pantry & you will have true depth which equals stability in case of emergencies. 
I want to thank Donna Hoaks for sharing this P.A.C.E. System with me. It falls right into my thought process. She notes: "A few years ago, some friends and I did the PACE system for chocolate and coffee. PACE=Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency. It is a great system to check all your self-sufficiency storage. For P, I had candy stored away. A was some brownie mixes and other goodies I could fix. C was having the items to bake from scratch...baking chips and cocoa primarily. E was having some chocolate hard candy as a last resort, such as Werthers. It was fun to watch everyone figure out how to PACE themselves. The PACE system should be applied to every area of your self-sufficiency storage: Water, Food, Light, Heat, and Cooking (which includes fuels), Medical, and Shelter. Make sure your self-sufficiency storage are deep enough to protect you.” 
"This really plays into the growth process of my self-suffiency. I have worked on the “two is one, one is none”; to include stocking “three” of various key equipment that will be important to being prepared in am emergency. When possible, try to make the Emergency level "Make it, not buy it" So often we need to know how to replace what we have purchased if we couldn't buy it. Having a lot of soap is great, but do you know how to make lye and turn it into soap?" “ 
I have been thinking of how to extrapolate everything out...
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