Are You Ready?

There are a lot of reasons to be food prepared.

During the Great Depression, my grandparents fed their children from the garden and the fields. In eastern Oklahoma, the dust wasn’t as devastating. Sometimes kids there couldn’t afford shoes, but they had beans and onions, tomatoes and okra, homegrown potatoes and venison. They didn’t go hungry.

My daughter’s coworker told her that his Mormon family’s store of food was a lifesaver when he lost his corporate job. He’s working now, but he refuses to be caught unprepared.

We are losing habitat on which bees and butterflies feed and reproduce. We are using up the soil as if we could move to another planet when this one is used up. The oceans are rising and the jet stream is on a drunken spree. All the old gardening rules are flying out the hole in the side of the plane.

If you’ve read the list of ingredients of prepared foods available at your local grocery or tasted the difference between farm eggs and store eggs, you don’t need any other reasons to grow your own or seek out local food.

Apocalypse? I used to think that it would never happen. These days, I’m not too sure.

My daughter has a freezer full of meat and vegetables. I have a pantry full of canned goods, most of it grown within a hundred miles of my farm. I have fryers in the freezer and layers in my backyard. We both live in the country where electrical power can sometimes go out.

You’re better off, she said, with your canned stuff.

You’re okay, I said. You have a generator and a pressure canner. If you knew the power was going to be off for a while, you’d keep the freezers running and start canning everything you could.

With my shelves full of colorfully-filled jars, what do I have to fear?

An earthquake shook me awake a few Saturdays ago. The shaking knocked things off shelves and moved the bed I was on away from the wall. This went on for more than a minute. The first thing I checked, after I was sure my husband and animals were okay, was the pantry. Whew! Dodged that one.

This wasn’t my first earthquake; my farm is in the middle of frack central, two or three miles from the iconic bridge along the Cimarron River you see in all the old oilfield photos from the early 1900s. But it was the strongest one I’d ever felt. It appears that hydraulic fracturing waste has opened a new fault not far from here.

Prepare for the big one, some geologists are saying.

At least I’m not on the Cascadia fault, but it’s probably a good idea to be prepared for anything. I hope you’ll follow along with me on my journey to preparedness.

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