Food Shortages | What You Can Do Before It’s Too Late

We are fortunate that this Covid-19 virus and its associated repercussions is happening early in the year. Why? Because one increasingly dangerous side effect is the potential for shortages of food. And it’s not too late to plant a garden.

Okay before you smart readers start saying that an ordinary vegetable garden will not provide enough calories to live on… you’re basically right. However, a garden is a start. And there are some preferred items to grow that will yield more calories than others.

There are a LOT of newbies to the subject of preparedness due to the ongoing Covid-19. If I had to look for a bright side of this virus, one is definitely that of eye-opening realization. More (many) people are looking towards what they can do to be more self reliant. And that’s a good thing! That’s part of the heritage of this country (and human nature)!

Food Shortages Are Here | But Will It Get Worse?

I don’t have to convince most of you that food shortages are here. The severity of which depends upon your local grocery stores. There is food. It’s not like we’re literally running out. However there ARE shortages and empty shelves of some food products. And when they get restocked to any extent, it gets snatched up again (repeat).

The latest (and very serious) concern is shortage of meats. Meat processing plants have been closing left and right (Covid-19). The impact will be felt soon (if not already). Unless you’re a vegetarian variety, people are going to panic if and when the meat counters get sparse. Say hello to panic buying. Filling up freezers. And shortages.

A shrinking supply of meat products will quickly be bought up by consumers concerned that it may not be there tomorrow.

When processing plants are closed, farmers who raise the associated livestock have nowhere to sell into the mainstream supply chain. Some will be culled. There will be fewer starts due to lack of processing (closed due to Covid-19). It’s a chain reaction up and down the chain with some lag time built in. This will NOT be fixed in short order.

Normalcy bias. It’s a major hindrance to us humans when it comes to critical thinking.

We have lived our entire lives with a never ending supply of food at the grocery store. Choices galore. Therefore it is difficult while coming to grips with food shortages (any shortages for that matter).

I do believe that it’s going to get worse. Even if everything was fixed today, it will take some time to get the supply chains back to normal. Every day it seems like there are more closures. We haven’t reached any semblance of apex in this area yet.

Shortages of Meats | Stock Up Now

I advise to take into consideration that there may likely be shortages of meats in our future. Stock up before the masses take notice. Because when they do in your area, say bye-bye to the meat counter…

Listen, if I’m wrong about this, you will have lost nothing! Your freezer will be full of meat. You will consume it.

Mrs.J and I did a inventory of our two chest freezers not long ago. One has meat, the other veggies and other products. As a result, a few days ago I went to our local grocery store to get a few more meats. Fortunately our county has barely been affected by Covid-19. However we are nevertheless afflicted by the typical shortages and/or limits such as TP, paper towels, Flour, yeast, eggs, and other goods. But what about meat?

The meat counter space was definitely way lower than “normal”. There is a new normal. Chicken was lowest. Pork was next. Followed by Beef which had the most – though less than “normal”.

Will it get worse? It has to! When processing plants close, the supply chain IS affected. It WILL ripple down.

Plant Your Garden

There are shortages of seeds! Really! You can still find them or buy them, but it’s harder to find. Maybe your local nursery is open for business. Maybe not… I feel sorry for you if you live in Michigan where it’s outlawed by an out-of-control governor (utter power-mad insanity).

What To Grow?

I can tell you what I’m growing this year. Corn. Potatoes. Bell Peppers. Some beans. Just a few tomatoes.

Why those choices?

First, because corn and potatoes are among the highest calorie vegetables. I want some calorie producers. For me that will be corn and potatoes. Upon harvest we will eat some fresh and then process the rest for storage.

The Bell Peppers though comparatively low in calories, provide excellent nutrition. And home grown peppers TASTE GREAT! Upon harvest, we process them by removing the seeds (you might save some for next year), slice them lengthwise into thin strips, and freeze. I like them better that way than to dehydrate. We portion by using quart size Ziploc bags. We can have them all year round…

Tomatoes. The previous few years we had plenty to make LOTS of sauce (canned). So we’re good. This year just a few plants for fresh tomatoes. But if you don’t have any sauce, you might grow extra tomatoes so that you can make your own!

Beans. Our supply of home canned green beans have diminished. So time to make more.

The bottom line is that unless you have a huge garden and the ability to manage it and process the foods, it is difficult at best to acquire sufficient calories to survive! That said, it is a near mandatory supplement to whatever you’re eating! This year there’s no excuse NOT to start a garden, or increase production of what you’ve been doing in the past.

The Takeaway

Our lives have changed. For how long – I don’t know. I do believe that we are at high risk of entering a new, Greater Depression era. This, coupled with ongoing Covid-19, our lives are being changed.

So you better get a head start on survival under these “new normal” conditions. It would be a mistake in my view to count on this all going away soon.

Food. Continue to stock up. Purchase what you can. Be aware that meats may be in short supply soon. Get some. If it were me, I would get a chest freezer. Plant a garden. Though not especially high in calories, it WILL supplement your foods. Look into home canning. Dehydrating. Become more self reliant. ACT. Action. Changes. Things.

Look at it like this… Use all this bad news to motivate and strengthen your resolve to be more self sufficient. More self reliant. Get started now. Don’t wait.

Articles on Food Dehydrators

Articles on Canning

[ Read: What Does Self Reliant Mean? ]

[ Read: Self Reliance & Self Sufficiency | What’s the Difference? ]

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  1. Excellent timing on the article.
    Just heard on the News there is going to be a push to close Major Grocery Stores, think Big Box Stores.
    Going to curbside sales at a Costco, Wally world, ALL Grocery Stores???
    Can anyone see a problem with that?

    1. NRP,
      What? Talking about closing grocery stores? I haven’t heard this at all… I need to take a look.

      1. So Cal Gal;
        Some wacko (as usual) is spouting that these “Big Box” stores are breading grounds for C-19.

        Seriously this Governor (will have to research what one) wants all Stores, yes even the Costco’s Wally Worlds, and all Safeway, Smith size stores closed, all but Curbside Service
        On the other hand, if all producers keep shutting down, there will be nada in the stores anyways.

        Starting to feel like a Third World Country more and more.

        I 1000% agree with Ken on this Article…. If you want it you better get it soon, AND if nada worse happens, you’ll use it anyways.

        “Two is One, One is None” not a good concept when it comes to foods, because Two will be None as soon as you eat a couple of times.

        My Calif. friend, get your freezer stocked ASAP.

        Remember….. “is 600 rolls really enough?” not only goes for TP.

        1. NRP,
          One good thing about this situation is that there was time. I got to stock up on a few masks before they were gone, then more paper goods and cleaning supplies, then more med supplies just ahead of the crowds. I repeatedly saw items I bought more of one week disappear the next.

          I’ve filled freezers north and south, and have a butcher in both places who have been doing okay.

          But, once all the bacon, ham and frozen chicken nuggets are gone, those shoppers are going to have to go to the kind of places I go if they want meat. And I’ve done better with a lot of things up here than down south… but it seems clear things are only going to get worse, and for who knows how long.

          1. So Cal Gal;
            “One good thing about this situation is that there was time.”
            And for how many years have we all discussed an EMP of Lights-Out sort of thing, when one second it’s all good, next POOF
            Honestly I cannot believe the panic now, one could not even try to comprehend the aftermath of “One Second After”.
            I totally agree with those that believe this is longggggggg from being over.
            Seriously, 6 months would not surprise me.
            Want to know why I keep saying there is something else going on besides the C-19?
            Crude oil at $5.oo….. Really?
            No foods surplus, Many say the Wheelhouses are shipping foods marked for August. Massive crop failures last year.
            Need I go on?

        2. NRP

          Every country that I know about that has fallen to Communism, has a dictator who starved the people into submission. Millions starved before the dictator was able to take charge.

          If the big box stores close and governors like Gretchen Tyrant successfully stop people from growing their own food, then we have everything needed for a dictator to take over. People forget their ideologies when their children are starving. Kill a few millions so that the remaining millions will know what side will feed their children and the USA is over.

          1. DaisyK;
            The current Dictators of the USofA?
            Congress, and the Governors.

          2. TheOldGuy
            In Michigan you can still go fishing and plant a garden. The ban of part of the big box store areas is protect the little guy. The little garden centers and greenhouses are open. They just limit the number of people at one time. Check your facts (50,000 sq. ft. rule) Your State police can verify this. We had this issue where we live. Problem now solved. Go plant your garden and go catch some fish. The big box stores well make it, it’s the little guy that needs the extra help.

        3. I work for UPRR, rail traffic has cratered. I’m looking at being laid off after 6 years. Carloadings are at 125k per 7 days vs 170k per 7 days fall of 2019

      2. SCG – I heard it too, something long those lines anyway. Around 06.15 this morning, KABC radio on the ride in. Things are happening too fast for my comfort.

        1. tmc,
          Oh boy, if it’s on KFI then lots of people are hearing it, and it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          Thanks for the confirmation. I know you’re not a meat guy, but if everything is not available to walk-in and buy, that’s gonna cause some real panic. I don’t like the sound of this at all.

    2. I read about that also NRP but then they also are looking at the facts that to do all home delivery and curbside pickup they will have to hire and fill the stores with new employees which defeats the purpose of not letting the consumer in.
      There are some chains doing ” black stores ” which are doing just that but I seriously doubt they are going to close all the stores.

  2. Yup My garden is in Full Production but I will probably order a few more hundred pounds of grain to help out family and friends IF needed.

    Grains are Still well under $0.80 / lb. depending on what you get Flour, rice, pasta.
    Will there be hyper inflation? I have no idea.

    I order in bulk from a restaurant supply store I recommend if there is one within a 50 mile radius you give them a call or go online and place an order.

  3. – Agree on the potatoes, they are high calorie foods and basically look like weeds to someone who isn’t familiar with them. They look rather like tomato plants with no tomatoes on them. if your situation requires a garden that doesn’t really look like a garden, this could get you by. Root vegetables in general, but the lowly potato leads the pack. I am working on getting my old Troy-bilt Horse tiller running today, guess why?
    You will have to have a few above-ground bearing plants for anything like a balanced diet. but potatoes don’t attract nearly the attention that corn will.
    – Papa S.

    1. – And, if you have more than you need for eating, they can be processed into passable vodka, too! LOLOL
      – Papa

        1. – NRP,
          This is just about what I would expect from someone who drinks Gin!
          The only good use I know of for Gin is marinating salad olives! Brrrrr…
          – Papa

          1. Papa Smurf;
            Ok Ok, you got me there.
            Only reason I like Gin so much is nobody else will touch that swill.
            Never need to worry about someone else drinking your Drink at a gathering.
            Gathering, anyone here remember those? where ya could get 50 people together for a BBQ, and actually shake your friends hand as a welcome….
            UGHHHHH what the HELL is happening to this Country?

  4. Great article Ken and as usual good timing.
    Nobody really knows what direction this takes. I can guarantee that it is not going to magically go away nor will the consequences of this shutdown be painless. Something that Daisy i think had mentioned in an article years ago was gleaning. Many farms leave bug bitten or un sellable produce in the field. So perhaps getting friendly with a farmer might have some utility.
    Another thing is wildcrafting, not everywhere is the same but in my AO there is a ton of edibles that grow wild. That can be an excellent supplement to your diet.
    I don’t envy anyone starting from scratch at this point, but please stick with it, just know that it can be a fickle endeavor, gardening can be a very disappointing thing.
    Even though I’ve grown stuff for years i still have failures. More than i would like,
    Bugs, birds, animals both wild and domestic, viruses, bacteria, the refrigerator that freezes everything you put into it all of a sudden out of the blue,,,,,, all seems to have it out for us.
    Wishing yall luck, were going to need it!

    1. Kulafarmer, we always took our produce that wasn’t “pretty” and kept if for ourselves. Or we made it into something else to sell or use. Corn with bad ends was shucked, shelled, and blanched before being frozen into bags for people to buy. Tomatoes with spots had the section cut out and the rest was chopped, stewed, or tomato relish was made in jars for people to buy. We would even sell cubed squash or squash relish as well if we didn’t eat it for ourselves. Savy old timers asked about our seconds all the time at a big discount. The family elders usually had some for them because most of the time those older folks were on a shoestring budget. I’ve dropped many a paper bag of grocery off to older people in our community while growing up. We never considered it charity, it was just helping our older friends and neighbors. It’s why I came back home after my brief little stint in a big city many years ago.

      But you are right, farming for a living is tough work, but it is rewarding. You can do everything right and still have failures. We always planted a goodly variety of things. Okra and cowpeas will grow just about anywhere and even in a drought. I hope you are safe and your crops do well.

      I can’t hardly wait to retire and concentrate on my farming again.

  5. If you’re planning on stocking up with frozen meats, hope you already have a freezer!

    I have one that’s kinda on it’s last legs, and was intending to get an additional one for the garage/shop for additional room, and would also function as a backup if needed. Guess what, none available!

    Spoke to the Lowe’s appliance department and he told me all the manufacturers have placed everything on a “national allocation hold” due to the virus. They have none in stock and can’t order any. Said he unexpectedly received 2 last week and they were gone in 30 minutes.

    1. two weeks ago I ordered one for my daughter. We finally found one at sears and bought it… but… won’t be delivered until June !

        1. NRP
          No they are not kidding!!
          We put in an order for a chest freezer, received a call from the business we use all the time. NOT happening until June/July and on some freezers not until August. Deemed it a due to national emergency.
          He checked the list for uprights they were receiving 3 tomorrow. It is not a large upright, but we lucked out, beggars can not be choosy right now. Feel blessed that we actually were able to purchase this one. It will be put to good use for what I have going on right now.

        2. No, in fact I fired up an extra freezer and thought it wasn’t working. I called every appliance stoee in town and couldn’t find one. Luckily after 24 hours the freezer caught up and is working.

    2. We ordered another freezer a couple of weeks ago, and were told it will be delivered sometime in May.

  6. Yes Ken ya hit that nail dead on lol I might add our governor will be a one term if she lasts that long , power seems to be a democrap thing now days . Those of us that live out in the “sticks ” have been making do for years . Our garden season is kinda short lol but root crops are great , due to early frosts we have to cover other plants quite often but thats old hat around here . Meat is never a problem . Deer , turkeys , rabbits they all feed in the yards nightly , lots of fruit trees and berries . Up here everyone cans , taught from childhood and passed on thru the family . Small family farms have gone to seed , no one wants to work that hard will they come back ? remains to be seen . Those that cant grow their own support the farmers markets you’ll find the produce ripe and fresh Big difference in taste

  7. one idea for chicken owners is to grow red chilis and/or Jalepenos. when my chicken egg production slows, I toss peppers into their yard. They LOVE them, and it DOES enhance their egg production without changing the flavor of the eggs.

  8. I have a 25 cu.ft upright its full, been ordering chicken , pork tenderloins , all kinds of beef, frozen veggies and fruit some salmon. I had been calling around and looking for another freezer, guess what most stores are on back order, called a Lowes they had 5 19cu.ft Whirlpools in stock, I left work at lunch drove 6 miles, they only had 3 by then. The word is getting out and when the actual masses figure it out better have your powder dry!!

  9. Living in far west Texas makes gardening a challenge. I quit trying two years ago, but I’m going to jump in and give it a go, again.

    1. Similar issue. A fix I found was going to a raised bed such as a 2x2x6 cattle trough. Fill the bottom with 6” of cypress mulch(drill at least 12 1/2” hole in the bottom first). Then add a solid layer of spagnum moss and then good garden soil from a bag. Make sure it has co post in it or you will need to add some. Next I built a wooden frame 4x8x6 over the top. Same size as a good deer blind and added a black woven tarp over the top. The tarp can be purchased on amazon and allows air and water through it. It is not a solid tarp and used for covering trailers with brush on them. The tarp reduces the heat from the sun by 10 degrees, keeps birds off the vegetables and allows rain water through. This set up will last for years if you remove the tarp between October and February. The tarp also helps with the hail storms. Worth a try as it has worked for us.

    2. Try using lots of lick tubs. Get some good dirt and amend it. You should be able to have a good garden. I imagine your soil is poor that is why you need to buy dirt or amend it heavily. You can even grow corn on lick tubs.

  10. Just got back from town. Doctor visit and subsequent trip to Wally’s for meds. Gas was $1.08 per gallon, didn’t need any so passed it by.

    Did pick up some garden seed, went ahead and bought the one pack limit of toilet paper and paper towels.

    Just now reading Ken’s article for today. Been expecting this from the start. A couple of my thoughts……………….

    Many here are planning on supplementing their food supply with wild game, as am I. Don’t think for a moment that you are alone. Poaching is about to skyrocket. Folks like me and my family that live in hunting country are surely going to see a sharp rise in city folks driving the backroads, road hunting, both daytime and especially “spotlighting” at night. If folks who live outback don’t attempt to slow the outsider depredation, deer will be completely hunted out in a short time. I forecast a lot of confrontations coming from this. Confrontations where all parties are armed. But, if landowners don’t challenge the poachers, they will see a resource disappear. It will be interesting.

    One source of meat I’ve not seen discussed is buying beef or pork on the hoof from producers and processing it yourself, cutting out the middleman. Not easy, but two-four families splitting the cost and labor, a steer, or hog, can be processed by you, same as a deer……just heavier and more work.

    1. Dennis, that’s exactly what we do in my neck of the woods. We butcher our own. It’s really not that hard, but it helps to have a knowledge base and a few of the right tools. It seems the thing to do would be to find someone with some experience to help those that have never processed a large animal before. We are fortunate that we have several small butcher shops in our area that still kill and process. I haven’t processed a full size steer in 5 or 6 years, just hogs for me. I would also add goats to that list of livestock. Milking goats are one thing, but a good meat goat is easy to take care of and provides some great protein. I’m interested to see how many people return to old ways when faced with this devil of a time.

      And I already have to deal with poachers enough living on the edge of a National Forest. I can’t imagine what it will be like if it goes downhill where people have to use hunting/poaching as a way to live. And I do expect there will be confrontations, but I will avoid them if possible. If it happens that way, I’ll go ahead and turn in my paperwork to retire and drop a couple of big trees across the road leading back to my place. I should be able to hear the chainsaw running or the truck trying to drag them out of the way.

    2. Come down to Texas and hunt. We have a wild pig problem here. The state can not find enough hunters to kill them fast enough. The state of Texas says at least 1.7 million must be killed a year just to break even on the population explosion. We have fallen short of that with an average of only 750,000 a year being killed. So, plenty of wild pork for the taking here in Texas. 253 of Texas’ 254 counties have wild pig infestation!!!!

      1. Gray One, we run circle traps to catch ours and dogs to catch the big barrs and boars. We kill a whole bunch of hogs every year. The big pine plantations in southeast Texas sure are under distress with pigs. I never have any trouble getting permission to trap or hunt pigs. It’s much more difficult to get permission to fish a pond than hunt a hog. Ha!

  11. If the food people want is not going to be in the grocery store, and now that even farmer’s markets are being closed, private gardens will be a target of thieves.
    An online search for “How to hide a garden” and “How to protect your garden from thieves” will result in some interesting ideas.

    A topic search for “garden” on MSB will also bring up numerous ideas that can be adapted to the hidden garden project.

    1. Chevy

      I’m going to look into this. I live in suburbia. Most of my garden is in the back yard with a 6 foot fence, which has heretofore kept the deer out; however, you can see the raised beds if you stand at the end of my driveway. I’m not too concerned about neighbors, as I already share with them, but I don’t want people from elsewhere to have an excuse to ransack.

  12. I don’t know what happens every two weeks until I go to the store here. Last time there were arrows on direction to go and I didn’t see them so I parked my cart to go down an isle and I got yelled at. I was the ONLY one in the store. LOL. They were well stocked of meat and most goods.

    I certainly don’t eat much. Food storage will last me for many years to come besides the foraging and fishing. Half the food I consume in spring through fall is wild. Dogs have plenty if it doesn’t go sour. It pays to prepare. .

    1. Stardust, I got yelled at DG for not being on the taped sections at the cashier….because you only tape these cashier sections because that’s the only place in the entire 10,000 s.f. store there are germs!!
      Have we proven how stupid we are yet??

  13. My neighbor just stopped by for eggs…gave me 50% more than I usually ask for them. When I told her she left too much money in the carton (my family, friends and neighbors return the cartons) she said “respectfully we disagree” she said she likes our Happy chicken eggs and wants to be able to keep getting them!
    We are also planning on swapping garden produce this summer. Nice to actually have neighbors…we are 40 acres apart, but can still wave to eachother.
    Daughter in AZ sent me a box of citrus fruit (DH sent her some home made bread) Denver kids all garden and we have discussed what will be swap-able also.

    1. Pioneer Woman;
      I must very much agree.
      I buy eggs from a good friend, $3 per Dozen, worth $5
      The difference from those “store bought” eggs and Farm Fresh Eggs is like the difference from Vodka and Gin HAHAHA

      1. no argument on the difference! And, since mine are fe fresh cabbage and peppers daily as a supplement to their oats and pellets, I figure they are both organic AND cage free! Still, I have never charged more than $4 per 18 pak before….

          1. NRP….well, I could always come visit our communal lake and stop off to your place! hahaha Would definitely do that IF I needed to swap for TP., But stashed quite a bit of that several years in advance of this….

          2. Pioneer Woman;
            It’s just amazing to me the TP thing, really?
            Just craziness all together.

            If ya go to Navajo, take a big magnate and a 500 foot rope, ya’ll never know what’s down there HAHAHA

    2. Pioneer Woman
      That is the kind of neighbors we use to have around here. Would wave at each other even if we never spoke to other person. Just a sign of welcome and respect in my book.

    3. Stopped by the little cafe in town for a to-go order and chatted with the owner (a friend) & asked if she was having any supply difficulties.

      Apparently not always getting what she ordered (hamburger buns), or the supplier did something stupid and delivered problem product (froze hash browns that clearly say “do not freeze” on the box). Biggest complaint was rise in prices, especially for eggs. Order 2 months ago: $15. Same order today: $60!

      1. First time visitor, but will surely be more frequent.
        My suggestion is to stockpile all sizes of paper plates, bowls, paper cups, etc. If there’s scant water you wont be washing and sanitizing dishes. But they can be burned in the wood stove, burn barrel, etc. And if someone gets sick like strep throat, go right to paper for their dishes so you dont have to scald their regular ones with boiling water.
        I also have a supply of the wicker paper plate holders. Helps, even with the coated plates. Or use 2-3 in a stack, discard the top dirty one and the ones underneath are still good. Stay safe, all…

        1. AR Ridge Runner
          Welcome to the site.
          Hope you enjoy the comradery from all the MSB posters.

        2. AR Ridge Runner;
          Welcome to the Site.
          A LOT of good people here and even more good information, Ken has done a heck of a job over the years.
          I agree 1000% on the Paper, If/When it really does hit the fan, not to sure how much time one will have to “do the dishes”, and as you mentioned, Water will be a premium.

          1. NRP,
            You mean you don’t let Blue lick your plates clean for you?

        3. AR Ridge runner,,
          Agree with you n NRP on the paper,
          Been watching what we use with this current thing, i can see where long term paper will be better for a lot of things,
          Saves time
          Saves detergent
          Saves water
          Thinking perhaps one meal in evening with regular dishes, Sos we feel civilized, then the rest with paper. Just makes sense.
          Now if i could talk my sweety into the naked thing to save on clothing/water/detergent,,,,, heehee

        4. AR Ridge Runner,

          Welcome. If the name reflects the locale, we may be neighbors. We live in Arkansas and have plenty of ridges to run around us.

          Concur on the paper plates. I bought a few of those huge stacks of cheap paper plates a couple years ago, along with plastic knives, forks and spoons. Haven’t broken them out yet. Been saving them for the purpose you mentioned…..if/when water has to be conserved.

  14. Well, I see there is a lot of mis-understanding about how to bring meat to the market (to you). As a rancher let me share how the problems of the meat producers are going to hit the food store and you.
    1. The amount of grain and hay that is usually fed to beef animals is not being grown or bailed. The bidding for what little grain/hay there is has driven the price sky high, even if it is available. Most beef buyers are not even showing up to the calf auction since they know there is no way they can feed out a calf to butcher weight. There is little grain for chickens as well, ( no meat or eggs).
    2. Most beef buyers are not comming to auction (bidding on calfs/cows) out of virus fear and on orders (no public gatherings) issued by county judges.
    3. Meat butchering plants are closing down due to the virus. This is true for chickens also. Butchers do not want to come to work either out of virus fear.
    4. State meat inspectors are breathing down the neck of meat processing plants.
    Let me share one way to get a supply of beef. Buy a beef and talk to a very small butcher shop in a small town and be willing to share your side of beef as well as paying for the processing cost.
    I hope this helps understand what is now happening inthe meat business.

    1. Thank you Texas Boy, your insights are very helpful and useful.
      I wish you the very best…

    2. Thanks TX Boy,
      We keep reading about plant closures and lack of market, but your info paints a fuller, and even more bleak picture.

      Appreciate your insights!

    3. Texas Boy;
      Yep, pretty much the way I see it around here.
      When Hay last year went up 30% the Ranchers had already started to cut back.
      Couple of Thousand Acre Hay Ranch next to me has cut 80% of sales, they are keeping most for their own herds, even with BLM grazing rights feed is very short. The droughts here have hit them hard.
      They cut from 500 down to 100 head.
      I do have a half on hoof still, may go ahead end get the whole, may wait till fall to see how things shake out.
      Butchering is NOT a problem here. Good-Ole-Boy system ya know :-)
      BTW, we have gone to Vac-Sealing almost everything, keeps a lot longer than Paper.

      1. NRP & Blue,

        If you’re Vac-Sealing, I’d go for the whole. I’ve got beef I held back for our family from two years ago that is perfectly good. (might be more like two and a half, actually!) Small processor I use Vac pacs all my beef, and customers comment on how fresh the meat tastes. A steer in the freezer beats one on the hoof, IMO.

        1. Farmgirl:
          Probably will, if space allows.
          3 freezers all 90% full is the problem 😎
          Will most likely do the 1/2 beef and a hog.
          Thinking about canning a LOT more this time also.
          About the Vac-Seal.
          Only way to go. Found a few pounds of ground beef in tubes, absolute perfect.
          Considering smoking most of the hog. 1/4 hams and bacon. Other than the “good” cuts the rest into seasoned sausage.

          I’ll tell everyone for sure, tis nice to not have the panic the country is going through.

          “Is 600 rolls really enough?”

          PS: Blue said to remind everyone “dont forget about the house critters” he did add, a cat don’t count” HAHAHA

          1. NRP & Blue
            Save the fat from the hog to be rendered down into lard. There are several sites showing how to do it. Found one where she uses a crock pot to melt it down. Then pulls the warm/hot jars out of the oven. Fills them full, puts on a warm lid with ring, turns it upside down to seal.

            Going to use this method since we have pig fat to be processed. Makes the best fried chicken one ever tasted. Next to bear lard which great in baked goods. Nope, no bear fat in the freezer.

          2. Antique Collector — good stuff. Don’t forget to make “pork crispins” from the skin, too….Yummy. At least that’s my memories from a hundred or so years ago, my Mom making it on our Huge Wood Stove. Still recall sitting not so patiently waiting for those pork crispins to crisp up/be ready. Of course, absolutely everything was homemade back then, and no store candies or treats, so something different was a big treat.

            Folks here often talk about storing foods high in calories. Pork Crispins must have a ton of calories. Make them and freeze them. No idea how long they would last sitting out/in fridge. Even better most likely if you had a freeze dryer… tons of calories

          3. Jane Foxe
            I am not sure if crispin is attached to the fat. I received from a friend of ours.
            If it is attached will do as you recommended.

          4. Antique Collector — I don’t know either. So long since Mom made it, can not recall at all. I think she must have salted it before/while “crispin”, not sure. And, I think it was slow cooked forever —- ten fifteen hours..not sure if it was a one day project or two.

            googled a bit, hard to find,
            found some info under
            Homemade Pork Rinds
            Pork rind is simply roasted or fried pork skin. Also called cracklings, they are a snack enjoyed all over the world.

      2. That’s only one part of the country you are familiar with. There is no shortage of beef on the hoof. There is a national glut. Total number of cattle in the system is more than there is a market for anyway. This has made it worse. The choke point is the kill plant. Only one plant slowdown or shutdown has an effect on the system. There have been several. You might find The Cattle Range website interesting. Covers conditions country wide.Texas has suffered lately as have many places but others have added cattle. Corn is cheap. There is no problem on the feed out end either.

        The real problem lies in the cutbacks it will create after revenue losses from this mess. Many will drop herd numbers. If consumer demand meets with a reduced production in future years, that will in fact then lead to a shortage. Because of the backlog, live cattle prices are likely to remain very poor while consumer prices will continue their upward movement.

        Cattle production from reduction to increase is basically a two year cycle, so once they hafta sell brood cows, its two years out to make the next set of baby makers. Unless kill plants can be brought on line very soon, that is the likely prospect.

      3. NRP and Blue,

        Can’t argue that vacuum packed lasts longer than paper wrapped, but the custom slaughter houses around my neck of the woods will double wrap the meat portions on request. Usually charge an extra nickel a pound. Eliminates freezer burn.

    4. Texas Boy,

      This may be a dumb question, but is the grain/hay shortage due to drought, and are you talking about your area of the country? Trying to decide how many calves to start this spring, and wondering if there’s something I need to know. In my neck of the woods (WI), we’re planting like crazy. I’ve got grazing mix going in on one field, and the other fields I rent out are going to corn. I realize we’re a small part of the big picture, so I guess I’m trying to get a big picture view. Thanks for the info.

      1. Farmgirl,
        I planted 3600 acres in corn and I found an unusual problem. Nobody (speculators) is buying corn. Grain storage folks are afraid that when beef can not be butchered there is no one (feed lots) to buy corn. Feed lots can not sell their beef herd to beef processing plants and do not want to get stuck with extended herd feed cost.
        Also, because crude oil is so cheap ($12/barrel) no one wants to buy corn to make alcohol for fuel. I have even ask the oil producers to shut my wells in. Oil is worth more sometime in the future and the oil is already in storage ( 12,000 feet underground).
        The is a supply chain problem that exists across most of our nation. I hope this gives you some insite. Just remember chickens do not eat as much grain as a cow.

        1. Texas Boy,

          Thanks for the insight. I hadn’t thought about demand for feed going down with the culls. Duh. Actually, my chickens do eat much more grain than my cattle. (I’ll let you figure that one out.) ;-)

          Are the conventional and organic markets affected the same by this? My supply chain is pretty short, mostly hay based, and also I’m a bit sleep-deprived.

          I’m sorry for how this must be affecting you. I hope some options open up before the year’s out.

          1. “Actually, my chickens do eat much more grain than my cattle.”

            Excellent. Feeding them the way God intended! (Imagine that.)

        2. Texas Boy,

          P.S. I appreciate your patience in explaining. My experience, I’m sure, is much more limited than yours, and very small operations are more the norm in my area. I can be taught, however.

    5. I just played middleman in a direct to consumer beef sale. I’m fortunate to live rural, central midwest. My neighbor down the road is a dairy farmer transitioning to beef for “retirement”. A friend in a mid size town about 75 miles away was inquiring about buying a cow/steer and having it processed.

      Neighbor was happy to make a sale, since auctions haven’t been worthwhile, and has a couple of animals ready for “freezer camp.” Checked with the recommended local processor, and they’re busier than they’ve been for years….first available date for the farmer to bring in the animal was June 1st. They’ve also raised their price for processing to $.60/#.

      So, in this area, an approx 1000lb animal @ $1.10/# to purchase, plus $.60/# for processing (you specify how much of which cuts of meat you want), $50 for vacuum pack (vs paper), and a $40 “kill fee” brings total cost for everything to $1790. If you figure about 620-650 lbs of finished beef, that’s about $2.75 – $2.89/lb. Seems like a pretty good deal, especially since ground beef has been going for $3.99 – 5.99/lb in the supermarkets.

      Wonder how much weight the beef will add between now and June 1st?

      1. FinallyOuttaCA,

        That’s a really good deal. Prices for hanging weight around here are usually in the 3-3.50# range. Is the cow/steer in question from his dairy herd?

        1. Farmgirl,

          This cow/steer is from his “retirement” herd, not sure if it’s 100% Angus, but definitely black, lol. He uses different portions of my property to graze both Holsteins and Angus, then moves them and raises hay on one side. Has been a hoot watching the calves running around this year. One in particular is black, but with a white tipped tail and 1 white hoof. Something other than Angus in the woodpile?

          I’m not sure of the break-even point for him. He said he’s seen prices lately between 1.00 – 1.40, but since this is for a friend, he priced it at 1.10. Thought that was pretty kind.

  15. an early prepper maxim I learned:

    if you don’t have something on your plate that you grew (animal or plant) you are relying too much on the (JIY) system

    1. My favorite meme is a picture of an “older” farmwoman from the 30’s in work clothes & an apron standing in the middle of her large garden which is surrounded by fruit trees, grapevines, etc. You can see cattle & hogs grazing in the field behind her, the old barn with someone milking a cow, & chickens free-ranging. The caption reads ” Grandma survived the Great Depression because her food supply was local & she knew how to do things”. Amen!

  16. I heard on the radio news one owner/manufacturer of canned goods said his factory/factories?? just shipped by truck canned goods labeled for this October!!!?///!!!
    I also went into a DG Market Saturday and the shelves were bare…I only wanted more beets to pickle because I’m good to go for a few years with my stock and storage I’ve done, and I could count the # of vegetables on that shelf…surprised???I was.

    I can’t credit the author for the following or a link because I sort of took notes for my husband, but to me, this is so succinct with what’s happened.

    This cv-19 was designed by China, created by China, having an antidote and well-organized plan in place.
    The virus was spread for financial hell with the Chinese that died—China Communist don’t care.
    One proof of this planned coup is 3 hospitals were built in 3 days; this amazing feat was accomplished because this project was organized, medical equipment was in place, labor and water/sewage networks was in place, prefab materials in place prearranged.
    This virus caused chaos, decimating economies of many countries, stopping manufacturing, closing factories and businesses and primary production leading to the stock market crash that allowed bonds to be bought @ bargain prices by the elite, the 1%.
    China then gained control of the epidemic and arranged for a lowered price of oil (just one benefit) earning them BILLIONS.
    China is ready to begin manufacturing as the rest of the world is stalled.
    Small businesses will be bought out by BIG Business…..mostly China??

    1. JayJay,
      I’m not sure about all of that. China may have built three hospitals in three days, but they weren’t really hospitals. From what I saw on the “boot-legged” videos from China, they were quarantine centers, with no medical equipment or doctors; just a bed, a chair, and a desk (like from a school) for each person. I still don’t buy into the idea that China planned all of this (we may never know for sure), but I definitely agree that they made it worse by the way they “handled” it, and they are doing everything they can to profit from it now.

  17. For a bit of fun. Book a hog hunt.
    Line up a butcher shop before going on the hunt as it’s to warm in many places for the do it yourself option and it’s a lot of work.
    Be prepared to pack the hog in ice for transportation.
    A 250 – 300 pound hog will put 150 pounds of meet in the freezer.
    My barbeque is happy.

    1. – Just from experience, you will get better meat from a wild porker that weighs less than 150 lbs. Easier to manage, too.
      – Papa S.

  18. For anyone not experienced in home butchering, find someone experienced to assist or get good information from local extension service or agricultural college. My great aunt loved my grandmother’s farm raised fried chicken and talked her into selling one for butchering. Next visit Grandma Jessie asked whether the family liked the chicken. Great Aunt said they did but cleaning up the mess in the kitchen wasn’t worth it. True story!

  19. JBS announced today that they re-opened their beef plant in Souderton PA (about 1,000 employees) and closed their Worthington MN pork plant (2,000 employees) indefinitely.

    Tyson is refusing to close their plant in Waterloo IA despite local lawmakers asking them to do so. Apparently some lawmakers have appealed to OSHA saying the plant is unsafe. The governor of IA says she will not order the plant closed, as they are too important to the food supply.

    1. Smith is owned by a corp based in China. All our leaders know this an have been involved all our lives. Jesus is coming, and all you do cannot save you from the lake of fire. He forwarned of this……….One world gov; 666, it is here.

  20. So Cal Gal,

    I was talking to my folks, from Iowa, today and heard about this from her. She said this Waterloo plant produces about 30% of the supply for the country. Not sure if I heard that right, as it seems really high. At least one politician isn’t bowing down.

    1. Hi Farmgirl,
      I replied earlier, but it looks like my post did not go through. I looked up the Waterloo site, about 3,000 employees. Company site says all plants combined provide about 20% of beef, pork and chicken for our nation, so 30% out of the one plant is too much.

      Read several articles about local politicians taking their case to OSHA to try to shut down the plant due to being unsafe. About 100 employees tested positive so far. Employees telling local news plant is not safe, employees being allowed to work sick, took in employees from their closed plant (possibly without testing), not enough distancing, hand sanitizer dispensers not filled, etc… don’t know if this is all true, but if the OSHA thing sticks they may have to close the plant, at least temporarily.

      1. So Cal Gal,

        Just read from Bloomberg that governor of Iowa is call up the guard to keep the plants open. They’ll help with testing/contact tracing. Hmmm. The Guard is needed for that? It’s going to be hard to make the plants safe by Covid19 standards. They are not set up for social distancing, and probably can’t be made so in short order.

        Thought that number sounded high, though I’m sure we’ll get there if this keeps up.

  21. “Meat processing plants have been closing left and right (Covid-19).”

    Ken, this is a true statement. However, I think you are being unreasonable by leaving it hanging like this. To wit, you are sensationalizing the closures. What I mean is this, at this time some plants are closing for three days for cleaning, the longest planned closure I have read about is two weeks. This is what you did not mention. Someone reading your statement would hear closure and perhaps read into the statement the plants will not be reopening for a long time, if ever. A little explanation would clarify that. There is enough stress around as it is. Please consider some clarification. I live within 30 miles of one of the largest plants that has closed so far. We also have a huge oil and gas industry in the area. God only knows how that will ripple through our local economy. It may be more like a tsunami tearing through the economy.

    As for the rest of the article, I’m with you 100%, even to the 2 freezers that are full in my garage.

    As for some of the comments about people hunting. The state where I live had such an overwhelming number of people applying for deer, antelope, and elk licenses that they will be holding a second drawing. That has never happened before. But then, never has -$37 per barrel WTI.

    1. I just found this on Fox Nws website.

      “JBS announced the “indefinite closure” of its Worthington, Minnesota, pork production plant”
      In the same paragraph it says this, “The plant employs 2,000 people, and workers will be paid during the closure.” So money will flow through the economy, but the amount of meat processed by this plant will drop.

      1. Steve:
        Hence the predicted Meat shortages.
        I seriously would recomend for anyone to get a few extra Hot Dogs if you can.
        The show is nowhere over yet.
        Just wait till some blockhead governor calls the NG and tries to arrest a few hundred protesters.

        1. I think you’re missing my point. The closures, except for the Worthington pork facility, are not permanent at this. But Ken’s comment could be construed as permanent closures. I asked that he clarify the closures, for now, are short term. I never said this might not get worse.

      2. Steve, If I were you, I would take all of this seriously. If it turns out that the foods (e.g. meats) return to good supply, then you will have lost nothing by purchasing extra today. On the other hand, if it continues to worsen (supply shortages) then you will be glad that you stocked up when you did. Unfortunately, so many people are locked into normalcy bias and refuse to budge. Some of them even push back hard against the notion which goes against the “norm”.

        1. I think you misunderstood my comment as well. I do take it seriously, I take it real seriously, hence my reference to two full freezers. I always look at food storage as a backup to a lost job and paycheck (I just lost my job because of the virus and a contract being cancelled), loss of a paycheck due to illness, a help for my immediate family if they are in a bind, as “a wise man in whose house are stores of oil and grain,” an inflation hedge against rising food prices, and a way to diversify financial investments. I am “stocked up”, and I don’t know if you’re implying I have a “normalcy bias”, but I can assure you I don’t. Nor do I care to be talked down to.

      3. Steve, that is not the only plant with an indefinite closure. Smithfield has at least one more, I believe there are others. Some have said they want to reopen in 2 weeks, but that may not happen if they do not the outbreak under control, enough well employees to work, plus all distancing practices in place to meet their local health authority approval.

        I recommend planning for worst-case scenarios, better to have extra than not enough.

    2. Steve,

      I’ve not experienced Ken’s postings to be motivated by sensationalism or fear-mongering. To me, it seems like temporary situations are tending to become less than temporary more times than not. I take the information as meant to encourage folks to pay attention and to act. That seems not only reasonable, but compassionate and responsible.

      Hanging on technicalities is going to leave a lot of people unprepared. What this or that article, or this or that expert, authority, etc…say to the masses, and what the underlying reality is, are often out of sync. Look at what’s actually been happening, and compare that to what was reported a week or weeks earlier. It’s often turning to be worse than initial assessments.

      Out of an abundance of caution, and the desire to be a week early rather than a day late, I assume all official reports are constructed to cause the least amount of reaction from ‘the herd’, and I plan accordingly. YMMV, but it has thus far served my family well.

  22. Last couple a three hours have been fun………for me. Wife, son, daughter, have been scrambling to find places to store the last grocery run. Me trying to keep from smiling as they muttered different epitaphs. “we already have a ton of this”…….”how many of these do we need?”……….”are you kidding me!!!????”

    Music to these tired old ears. I’ll sleep good tonight.

    P.S.- not a dime spent was wasted. Everything will eventually be used or eaten. No doubt, even if available, will never be cheaper than the prices we paid today. The product on the shelves will not lose it’s value, and we can lay our hands on it. Can’t guarantee that for the money still in the bank.

  23. Question for the group….I purchased a new side by side 24.6 cu ft with freezer at 9.2 cu ft colocated next to our existing side by side. New standalone upright and chest freezers aren’t available and I’ve bad used appliance experience. I’ve filled both freezer sides. My fridge portion of the new side by side is empty, unused. I’m thinking I can expand my new side by side freezer capacity/footprint by rotating freezed items (meats) every 24 to 48 hours between the freezer and fridge. I’d set my fridge to the lowest setting and insert frozen meat into thermal insulated cooler bags to stored for 24 – 48 hours or less if necessary. I’m reading it’s safe to refreeze thawed meat within 3-4 days after thawing. Id swap back before it thawed completely. Yes, its alot of hand management but the freezer to fridge swap can happen in under five minutes and double my freezer capacity. I’d love your thoughts to this unconventional practice in these uncertain times. Thank you

    1. Roger — Myself, unless it is some very short term thing (one freezer died and you need to manage or some such), I would not do this. Yes, I know frozen food lasts well in the fridge. I know food can be refroze. However, it still is not the same as “left frozen”. I vote to not.

      Wonder if you can think of some creative use for the fridge side?

    2. Doing more reading, I’d swap each day, long before the thawing takes full effect. This way, food quality and flavor isn’t compromised. The fridged meat in thermal insulated bags remains frozen. Then swap between fridge and freezer again in 24 hour cycles. Thougts

      1. Roger,

        Buy an ice machine. Fill a bunch of gallon size ziplock bags with ice. Then fill up the top section of your fridge where people usually keep the milk and other tall items. And turn your fridge into a good old fashioned “ice box”.

        Sure you’re sacrificing some space in the top but the space on bottom will be much closer to freezing. I haven’t tried it but I’m guessing that setting the fridge on it’s lowest setting and the insulation of the unit will probably help the ice last quite a while.

        1. Hey Grits
          A guy i know did something like that, kept putting bags of ice from the store on top his freezer stuff, power went back on, a couple weeks later went to dig something out of the freezer, the bottom foot was a solid block of ice and frozen stuff, not pretty, open the drain

    3. Bacteria prospers well below 32 degrees F.
      According to the FDA a freezer should be set to ZERO DEGREES F.
      You would be risking a serious case of food poisoning.

  24. Received last seed order yesterday. Was just online at Victory Seeds overtopping my seed stash, JIC, when an alert popped up to say they were accepting no more orders at this time. Catching up on the backlog and re-evaluating inventory.

    This past weekend out local Home Depot blocked off garden seeds. Not gardening section, or plants, just seeds.

    Don’t know what to think. Will keep checking back.

    1. Anony Mee –

      In your abundant wisdom, what exactly, or generally, do you think is the deal with blocking off seeds at home centers? I’ve heard this is happening across the country. It makes no sense at all; to me anyway. What’s the angle or long game here?

      1. tmcgyver — blocking off seed isles/purchase makes no sense to me either. One would think all concerned would be happy/relieved if folks wanted to stay home and eat off their gardens.

        Very weird. Hearing about it all over. Any one know, other countries happening in?

        Almost like someone wants to create a shortage….cant buy it in grocer/cant grow it…oh well, you must do as I /we tell you if you want any…

      2. Hey Tmac,

        If you want some seeds order online. I placed a order on 4-18 and it just shipped 4-20 due to arrive 4-25. Ordered from Eden seeds. Lots of out of stocks on some items and sizes of seed packets. Just have to pick and choose. There are other sites as well but all have some delays in shipping and out of stocks.

        When I placed the order they told me not to expect it to ship in 2 weeks. Which I was fine with since this was a back up order for what I already have.

        And no it doesnt make sense to stop retail sale of seeds, garden supplies or any other items. All about control of the masses. Glad to hear from you and hope the wife and daughter are doing well.


        1. 11HE9 –

          At work 14 hours a day – I’ve had to leave the garden details up to my daughter and her boyfriend. She brought back with her many indoor starts that are now in pots and tubs doing very well. We’ve got some LTS seeds for the upper terrace area – if I can ever get it weeded. Maybe we’ll keep the LTS in storage and get those Eden seeds while we still can. They have a great reputation. I have a son too – he took a different path in life – so we pray.

          1. AC,

            Glad you found them. To all others just do a duck duck go search on garden seeds. May have to order from several companies to get some thing. They are out ther just have work for it and expect delays.


      3. tmcgyver

        Wisdom, in whatever quantity, fails me. I did go online to check what our nonentity former democrat candidate for president wannabe particularly considers to be essential. Hardware stores are on the list.

        Farm workers, but not farmers, are listed. Commercial fishers and geoduck harvesters are essential. However fishing or shellfish harvesting for oneself or one’s family is considered recreation and prohibited.

        Guess our betters who are Agenda 2030 driven can only conceive of food as a commodity to be obtained commercially. Goes along with their requirement to we be as dependent upon the guv as it is possible to be. Self-sufficient is not an attribute deemed essential during the current crisis, I guess.

        As for my local HD? Maybe some assistant manager listed to MSM and made a decision based on that. They also closed the paint section and blocked the aisles. Guess where the nitrile gloves, masks, eye and ear protection, and face shields are located.

    2. Anony Mee
      Our HD did the same thing, I just reached over an picked out the seeds I wanted then went to the garden shop area to checkout where there was a rack of hybrid seeds. Not my fault they did not know the difference & of course I had the military ID.😆

      Did you get bell pepper seeds? One thing I could not find in seeds or plants, want to swap or trade?

      1. Antique Collector

        I don’t eat green bells as they tend to force extreme social isolation. Let me check my stash and get back to you.

  25. I bought a new freezer on April 3. It was to be delivered today as we were out of town last week. Called me today and said delivery would be on 5/29/2020.
    Had it in stock when I paid for it but now it is back logged.
    Called friend who has used appliance store. He laughed when I asked if he had one.
    Scary times.
    Peace and sanity to all.

    1. MadFab

      Your one of my Favorites here on MSB

      Your openness and Honesty, are, so sincere.

      I’m not buggin out yet, my family are not really on board with it. Times, a comin straight at us, will soon change their minds.

      It’s really gonna be hard to leave $5 million dollars of asset behind, but, I want to fight, and fight I will, this battle and “WIN.” I can’t do that here.

      Our bug out location is in the Rockies, such lovely ground, clean air, bright morning sun, fabulous sunsets, Rocky Mt spring water, Heavenly peaceful breeze in your face, lots of game, 75 mile from town, and it’s been turn into an absolute fortress. Lovely ground.

      I sure pray you are safe, and stay that way

      1. SMG,
        Love the Rockies! Grew up in Montana. Very small town . Wished I still lived there. Ranch is still in the family and we go as often as we can. The Grandboys love to go on round up. Oldest 2(11&8) are allowed to “help” and fancy themselves real cowboys! Younger 2(6&4) don’t think it’s fair at all. Lol.
        I know ya need to go, but as I said, you will be sorely missed!
        We are doing very well now that we are home. FIL is hanging in for now. Nurses from hospice say it will be less than 2 weeks. He had some very lucid times and we spoke at length of the wonderful son he raised. He even made it to dinner once when all of his kids were there. Good memories for sad times to come.
        I thank you for your kind words and thoughts. Know that I feel the same. Reading some of your posts have really helped to keep me grounded and I will always remember them.
        Please post before ya head out.
        G-d be with you my friend.

        1. MadFab

          Our bug out locations is sacred ground. It has taken 2 yrs to find this ground. My Heavenly Father put a vision in our minds. When we approached this lovely ground, a very strong peaceful feeling fell upon us. We were lead there by the Grace of God.

          So, I know it’s the right place to make a stand. Elk Hunters ashes are spread there. By the hand of God, we will Stand our Ground

          When I fall, I fear not death, my prayers shall be answered. I shall return, as an Warrior Arch Angel, standing beside my Heavenly Hero, Micheal. I’ve prayed and thought a lot about this. I get these funny feelings late at night, when the PTSD has over taken me, feelings of trust, love ,safety, then calm and strength return to my soul, He has lifted my burden. So, I know for a fact, He has heard my pleas.

          The bug out location, has cost a lot of money, but, we have some heavy hitters, who are wealthy, stood up, and fronted the money, no strings attached, plus, very heavy donations from the membership. Construction continues and is ahead of schedule, and under budget, as there are no building permits required for private property construction. Wells are in, things will be completed by OCT.

          I know this is a lot of info, but TPTB, already know. Nothing is secret any more.

    2. Mad Fab
      I would tell them that you are contacting the BBB, and reporting them for selling your freezer.
      Which they had received funds for, along with the district attorneys office, believe this under fraud. (not an attorney but it stinks to high heaven!)

      1. AC,
        They know I am very unhappy with the turn of events. Told them I would take the display model,but oh no we can’t get rid of that. Said it was a mix up in Warehouse.
        Could have been but doesn’t make me happy at all.
        Next time I’ll just hire friends sons and pick it up the day I pay.
        Live and learn

        1. Cancel the order, make them pay you back, THEN go to the BBB and the DA. Under the circumstances, short product is understandable. It is NOT understandable, nor ethical, to sell something someone else has already paid for.

          Seriously, if you were at a restaurant and they said “Sorry, your meal is going to be delayed. We gave it to someone else who can pay more,” would it be acceptable? No.

  26. Reporting from cattle country, midwest USA. Things are bad, really bad. Small meat processors shitting down everywhere. The big feed lots the ones that hire illegal mexicans are in a bad bad way.

    Neighbor is a manager of a small feed lot that finishes 500 head a month says feed costs are outpacing demand and company is bleeding red ink. Mexicans dont want to work because of the virus.

    I hope once and for all we finally call china for what it is the most evil empire ever existed. Impose high taxation on every dam american company that still does business with these no good devils satanists. All western countries should bomb the holy crap out of commie HQ in Bejing This lab grown virus is destroying world economy and its not even the bottom of the 1st inning yet.

    Our gun club range just installed new targets of Xi Jinping

    Cue the china apologists in 3…2…1…..

    1. If you don’t own box fed military style rifles yet, your powdered booty is seriously behind the 8 ball.

      Buy a PVS 14 now even if you have to make a huge sacrifice to do it. Practice shooting at night with NVDs. Combat happens at night, not high noon like the movie bs.

      10 mags min per rifle. 1000 rds minimum of training ammo in 556nato 762nato or comblock762 for your AK

      Train every day. Dry fire training works well on the basics and transitions. Do push ups, jumping jacks or jog in place before you train with your rifle to simulate combat fatigue and breathing control. Bench rest shooting is a waste of ammo except to zero and conferm zero. If you aren’t in shape get yer fat arse out on the road and start joggin. Too old to jog start walking. Everyone can do something

      The propellors if the crap fan are about to hit high gear, don’t get caught down wind!

    2. Will do my friend, will do.

      And I enjoy your gun reviews.

      Stay frosty, live dangerously, die valiantly!

    3. There are a lot of your fellow MSB partners whose life line is in the oil industry. I don’t think that oil this cheap is going to be good for any of us in the long run. When the industry goes bankrupt and the amount of drillers/oil producers are limited, your oil price will be high. Just hope I am able to hang in there and keep a job.

  27. Great article. We’ve certainly noticed a significant drop in meat over the past week or so. Chicken breasts are hard to come by especially. Have been buying some extra every time we venture out to the store. Acquired a Food Saver vacuum sealer this past winter. Love the thing especially for meats, certainly slows down this oxidizing process big time.

  28. Everyone has freezers, but if the lights go out…. how long can you keep your meat frozen? Do you have the tools needed to keep it froze??

    1. Yes.
      But for those who don’t, the only solution would be to start canning as fast as possible (would require LOTS of jars, lids, rings!)

    2. Tuesday…,
      If nothing else, wrap the meat in extra saran wrap, or place inside of freezer bags. Then pack the freezer with sawdust.

      1. Frozen plastic bottles of water placed inside of the freezer to help retain the cold temp (w/o The sawdust). Salt water freezes colder and lasts longer. ❄☃️

  29. I recall reading someone advised if getting a Freeze Dryer, to get one which does not require oil changes (?…did I remember that right?)….So, am assuming, as with everything, there is a wide variety. Hadnt actually realised..

    So, am wondering, if this might be a future topic for a post, Ken?

    ideal for me would be super simple, with little maintenance..Don’t know if there is such a one…
    I am not handy with anything mechanical, and simpler the better. Again, no idea how techie or complicated an freeze dryer gets. More and more, though, it comes to mind, they sure would be great…(of course is supplies of “all things” get tight, anything needed for maintenance likely also “tight”..)

    1. I would second this request. There were so many comments made on the open forum but never did I think my DH would ever consider the purchase of a freeze dryer. But he’s talking about it now and all of those awesome helpful comments that I didn’t copy/paste into my own documents are gone. Don’t get me wrong my DH has never rolled his eyes at my prepping and has slowly joined in my lifestyle choices 100%.

  30. Ken, for peppers, we grow Sweet Red and Krimson Lee peppers, grind up to a small chop in food processor and can them. These are far more tasty than bell peppers. We add them to most foods when cooking. Adds great flavor.

    1. tdisgday
      Did you look at Craig on the net or Amazon for such an item? Depends on what you need and the size. Friends have one that is size of a small apartment fridge.

      1. Antique Collecort

        Thanks for the info. both units I am looking at is a 5k turn. Including the propane set up OUCH!!

        1. tisgrnday
          It is not something you can purchase in small increments to build up to what you are needing? Rather than a massive unit for BIG bucks? (do not answer on line)

          Letting you know that propane units depending on where you place them in the summer time, and your location determines there operation ability. Where we are located the summers can and sometimes are hotter than Death Valley. Those units operational abilities, especially the freezer struggle without good air flow/space…fyi

  31. I learned today that freezers were hard to come by. I had not realized that u til I read it here….and then checked with the store that I was going to check out today. We had decided to get one larger chest freezer for the garage as we are increasing our meat storage. Turns out there are none to be had in the area and they are back ordered for many months,

    It just so happened that someone we recently met had a large, used chest freezer he was going to sell because he built a walk in unit for his farm. We will pick up said freezer in a couple weeks when a deliver a couple of our piglets to him. Wow, talk about luck! I would not have wanted to wait until August to get a second freezer.

    1. DAMedinNY
      The one which I ordered on line was back logged until August. They offered us an upright which arrived today. Only three available, rather than take a chance on never receiving one. We purchased it. It will be a back to the others we have now, and boy do we feel blessed.

      If we could have found a used one like you, would have purchased it.

      We both lucked out…yahoooo.

      1. Antique Collector, yahoo is right! I felt like I hit on a lottery ticket. I try to stay abreast of what is going on And could not believe I did not connect the dots to realize this (freezer shortage) would be an issue.

      2. Add me to the list of “lucked out” — what a difference a day makes!

        A couple days ago I had zero luck being able to order a freezer from any of the usual places (Lowes, HD, various appliance stores). Today, I checked Home Depot just for the heck of it, and they had what I was looking for, at a 10% discount! Said it could be delivered by May 8th, so I went ahead and completed the sale. Between clicking the “place order” screen and the “receipt” screen, something flashed by too quickly to read, but started with “Due to Covid-19….”. However, they took my money and the paperwork commits to a delivery date, so will be interesting to see if I really do get it, but I’m hopeful!

        1. Ya’ll are making me a little nervous and jealous over the freezers. I had a new large upright that would not work where I moved to and so I sold it with the house. I got a small chest freezer that fits in the spare bedroom (pantry) and now I worry about it going bad and not being able to get another one. or being large enough. shesh!

        2. FOCA
          Make sure you follow up on that order, a jic. It will in all likely hood arrive but these are a hot commodity item.

        3. FOCA,
          I also have one of those invoices and delivery date. Stay on top of them. Hound them so they know not to try thei old switcheroo in ya.
          Good luck to you🙂

  32. Got too excited to finish my comment…do everything you can do assuming things are not going to get any better any time soon. We are seeing the tip of the iceberg. Too many people have lost their jobs and too many meat places not operating properly. When young animals are culled, it takes many months for grow out. When you cannot get grain to feed the animals, big problems. And when burger chains are trying to get you to eat their “guess what is in this burger” burger – watch out!

    Do everything you can now to store extra and healthy foods. It won’t go to waste. And continue working on your good health by exercising. People stuck at home do not get the exercise they require and your mental well being will suffer. Get moving folks!

  33. For those who did not catch the story this morning: the Waterloo. IA Tyson pork processing plant is now closed until further notice. About 2,800 employees, at least 100 have already tested positive.

    Combination of positive tests, employee absenteeism and pressure from local officials finally forced them to take action.

    This closure seemed imminent, not surprised. But, it’s more bad news for everyone in our food chain.

  34. Tyson announced 2 more meat processing facilities coming offline for employee testing and clean-up in the last couple of days. Includes a large beef facility in WA state that Tyson says produces “4 million servings” of beef daily. If a serving is 1/4 pound, that means a million pounds of finished beef product PER DAY not being produced right now… from just that one plant.

    According to the Seattle Times, they know of 3,400 positives in the meat processing industry, in 67 different facilities, and at least 17 confirmed employee deaths. Some of the facilities are just getting going on testing, and there is no count of how many employees are hospitalized around the country.

    I also read snippets about short-term closures at a Kraft facility and a ConAgra frozen foods plant. While most of us likely don’t eat much coming out of these facilities, how many members of the public are not finding their usual boxed or frozen foods? What are they buying instead?
    What will all of these disruptions lead to in the coming weeks and months? And if people can find what they want, how much more will it cost?

    And for those plants able to re-open, how much is output dropping as they reconfigure staff to keep them distanced as they work?

    I know there are plenty of people out there who think this is all going to go away pretty quickly, but I think most of us are not among them. I think it’s just a matter of time until serious effects are visible. Then what?

    1. So Cal Gal,

      I made a run into town today to get groceries, and had a conversation with the head of the meat department at our local food co-op. Most meats there come from smaller producers, but not all. He’s expecting much higher prices, for sure, as people shift their buying to other brands or cuts of meat. Reminded me of the substitution effect from econ class. I was glad to be reminded of that. He also said they were already planning for the need to find other sources for meat, such as looking to really local producers.

      I do expect that when the larger regional grocery store, and the Walmart, run out of meat products, the food co-op will see some unfamiliar faces in the store. I would also not be surprised to see people come to our small town from the next larger town, which is about 45 minutes away.

      All of this to say it’s a good idea to make sure of your stock, and be thankful that your thoughtfulness in preparing ahead of time means there’s more for those who didn’t. At some point, I guess we all know where this leads. There’s nothing like empty bellies, especially if they belong to your family, to spur people to action they might not otherwise consider. Maybe it won’t get that extreme, just really really inconvenient – not being able to find your usual foods and having to figure out how to eat/cook something else. I hope that is the case.

      Many of the workers at the meat plants are immigrants who live and travel together. In Iowa, it’s not unusual for 10 or more to share a home/apartment, and for 7 or 8 people to cram into one car to get to the plant. No matter what the plant does to enforce social distancing, it won’t make a difference away from work. Also, when one plant closes, these workers often travel to the next closest plant. I would expect to see more closures.

      1. Farmgirl: thanks for those insights, significantly your 3rd paragraph. In Wisconsin it is projected that potato and cranberry prices will crater due to the collapse of the restaurant market demand. Similarly pork and beef prices could do likewise as livestock producers unload their inventory in a panic. This would be a time to buy, but I wouldn’t try to time the market, I’d buy now and if prices tumble, stock up again and salt cure or smoke or can if your freezer is full. I see a price bounce as producers overstock floods the market and then supply drops.

        1. Chevy,

          I’m in Wisconsin, so yeah, I see a lot of producers in limbo. So far, meat prices haven’t cratered, but I know that could change on a dime. I sell beef off of our farm, and no one has balked at my prices, yet. Mine is grass-fed Jersey steer, gourmet beef if you will, and people are still buying. How much beef producers can flood the market is going to be limited by the processor’s abilities to keep up. For the BTO’s (big time operators), it’s going to hurt, big-time. They may just cut their losses and cull without processing. For reference, see the Great Depression. This time next year, I may have trouble just keeping my small herd from ‘disappearing’. If all I had to worry about was keeping food on the table, no problem. I’m actually pretty good at that. It’s how crazy everyone else, including our dear leaders, get that worries me.

        2. Chevy,

          p.s. I re-read what I wrote, and I came off a little curt sounding. Not directed at you, at all. Appreciate your take – didn’t know about the cranberries. I’m just a wee bit stressed. You are right that it is good to stock up now, while it is still relatively easy to do!

  35. An article on ZH this morning addresses the meat plant closings and aftereffects. Pig farmers in MN are presently culling full grown hogs, as they don’t have extra room for them and newer batches of piglets need that room. It’s 10 months to maturity for those new piglets. There will be a supply challenge for at least months, not weeks. Most beef is even longer to finish and get to market – usually around 18months grain fed, up to two years grass fed.

    Other meat producers having similar challenges. Shortages from this particular supply chain issue are expected to show up at retail level in two weeks, at the latest.

    Like bacon? Might want to get some now.

    1. Farmgirl, being a couple of miles from the Mississippi I’ve noticed considerable more fishing. Those big rabbits running around are yard are starting to give me ideas too.

      1. Chevy,

        I saw the fly fishers out this morning, just down the road from me. A lot of them, and not looking like the usual experienced crowd with waders and all. There are a lot of rabbits this year! My male cat usually brings down one every other day or so. I ‘get’ to watch him eat it in the greenhouse, safe from my Great Pyr who would steal it from him.

        Back to work!

        1. I remember this time of year up towards Mellen the Finnish looking to bag carp to pickle.

  36. Like many here, I also saw the reports of the full-page open letter from John Tyson about the food chain break-down. I believe NYT and 2 other papers ran the full-page in print yesterday, MSM picked up on it today, including Fox.

    Hard to know where the line is between his concern for the food chain and concern for his company. Perhaps this is his way of pushing for his (and by association others) plants to be reopened. Regardless of his multi-layered motivations, I would think reading his letter would be enough to get people binge-buying meat products of all sorts.

    Thankfully we all saw this coming and took action as needed. But, for all those shoppers who buy all these processed meats, they are not going to be happy to see even fewer meat choices available.

  37. How long will that food in your refrigerator or freezer last when you lose electrical power??? If you live in a hive, does it have its own power generating capability? How long are the very high voltage lines leading to your hive? Sure would be a shame if something were to take them out!

    1. Mark Matis:
      Hence storing food is not the only aspect of Preparing and living the Lifestyle.

    2. Mark Matis,

      How true. Don’t know how long you’ve followed this site, but Ken and the crew here are highly aware of the fragility of the power grid. Hang out for awhile and you’ll discover that we cover all the bases. Use the search box and you’ll find numerous past discussions on what you mentioned.

      Appreciate your joining in the discussion. We discuss how to supplement or eliminate the need for the grid by generating our own electricity, and how to preserve food without it, plus all other aspects of getting along w/o outside help.

      Welcome aboard.

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