- Published on Wednesday, 09 February 2011 15:21
- Written by Mark Steel
- Hits: 5117
It is no secret that there are a growing number of news clips and hard news about the worldwide food shortages. Note that currently Mid East countries have been buying up hundreds of tons of wheat and other grains to stave off the hungry hoards that are rioting. When people are hungry-they riot-then political structures, good or bad, tumble.
Although the mainstay of the threat is focused on Third World-Poor- countries due to agricultural failed policies, weather, wars and mismanagement on behalf of the people, here in the USA we are also starting the downswing, as you will verify about food costs in the store. Oil of course is jumping out of sight again and since we are in a global market we are swept right along.
The USA government is stockpiling food, allegedly every 10 years, however there seems to be a discrepancy between the political talk for the masses vs.: the figures published for actual stores on hand. Most grain seems to be sold to the Third World Countries for cash. During our Great Depression there was a massive food distribution system, based on local farms supply, not as today with Strawberries being air freighted from South America. The problem then is that there was no cash flow, not even a penny in the pocket. Today the inverse is that everyone has credit to buy, but will the grocery shelves be full when you have your new credit card?
The biggest problem in stocking up, as in WWII days, you were labeled a “Hoarder” and there were criminal penalties as you were denying the cooperation for the war effort. I think not today. You are a “Prepper” and buying ahead to save the rising costs of foods and other commodities.
With very poor people, over 56% of their income goes for food purchases. This is up since the 1960’s “green revolution” of those days. Political slogans and hyperbole continue to be broadcast to appease the masses that are supporting the International Investment Banks and Wall Street who thrives on profit at your expense.
Since none of this is going to change in the near future your family budget will be an acceptance of an increase on Food Stamps- yes the poorer are getting poorer (roughly 42 million are on the stamp). More Genetically Modified Seeds, decreasing water sources and limitations on water for agriculture to support the lawn growth industry, higher oil prices, subsidized alcohol production for gasoline tanks instead of making more corn available for food, depletion of our phosphorus base in fertilizer, non use of major organic resources, and Fascism emerging in Government/Big Business is the norm now.
At this point in our discussion, stocking up is imperative; if not for world food market problems, but emergency current weather problems as in the Midwest. Think of the houses with no food, no heat, and no nothing. Let us get started on some simple shelving storage ideas.
Stocking Up. Wasted space
We have a two story old farmhouse with a stairwell going up to a landing and then turning left for the access to other rooms. Typical set up. If you have one of these landings, or a big, very big wall space that is not used you could make it into shelving for storing clutter, foods, tools, and basic supplies. Wasted space is not what we had in the Navy-every inch seemed to be utilized.
A few years back I looked at this top landing and thought to make it into a beautiful scene of deer and wildlife with a wall panel mural. I envisioned bringing in some grape vines and giving it a 3-D look. Of course in time this faded away until one day my Good Fairy Diane casually said: “ I am really tired of all the clutter in the steps; what we really need (notice the emphasis on ‘we’) is shelving.
So with the prompt from the boss I started measuring and thinking, and of course it developed into a bigger project than I thought.
The entire hallway “needed” to be re-painted. I hate painting but in three weeks time after removing the clutter and piling it up in the library I finished the painting of white and brown. “ Now I could concentrate,” My Good Fairy said: “on the shelving which was forgotten.”
I envisioned a complete box in of adjustable shelving, which totaled up in the hundred’s of dollars. I was designing the boxed in look to accommodate the old clutter. “Not so” said the Good Fairy. “ Let us, (notice the ‘us’) make it simple. What are “we” going to store on this shelving?” I asked.
“Well we have tons of books under the beds, but we can donate them to Goodwill and we could store boxes of food stores which would be easy for me to bring to the kitchen and cook for you …dear.” so sayeth the wife, the Boss, the Good Fairy.
“So we are going to have a pile of food boxes stacked up-how unsightly” as I attempted to maneuver out of this project.” No”, said the Good Fairy, “ we will have a pull over drape, or curtain and it will only take up a foot of wall space, you can (Now it comes down to ‘you’) use those adjustable metal hangers for some basic boards, something really simple.”
I think I have heard that word “simple” before. Maybe the “simple” is me. Anyway I had to go through the bathroom-ceiling hatch, climb up in the lee of the attic and look at the back of the wall. “Ah ha! Full of electrical wiring.” The Good Fairy bought me a “Stud and Electric” hand held radar finder for about ten bucks.
So I was on the hall side of the wall and used the stud finder to mark the studs and where the 220VAC line ran. I did not want to screw anything into the wiring.
Since this is a hundred plus old house the wall studding as with most all timbers were saw mill-real 2”X4” oak and the paneling from that day was over ½” thick pine. This was really stout stuff, probably will hold a ton in the 8’X71/2’ space. Figuring a shelf a foot I could put in shelving at 7 boards. I would need a new stepladder. I brought my new set of drills and saws inside along with the Battery charger to thaw out before the big day.
About a week later we went to Lowes and I bought what double hook metal brackets there were and thirty-two nine-inch snap- in hook type shelf brackets. I wanted 4 vertical shelf supports so I bought four 3”x1” pine strips to center the metal vertical brackets and bring them evenly out from the wall. Alas the wall was off a ¼ level, So I had to find a new 3 foot carpenters level which was good for the 22” studding.
As time progressed I measured the vertical hooked brackets so they would align with the adjacent bracket and the boards would lay flat. I used 3” wood screws driven in with the drill. This was quick.
Upon completion we stocked the shelving and ordered the grommet installed drapes so I can put up a curtain rod across the top and everything will blend in.
The lead in picture is an assembled shelf from the big box store made of metal. I have similar in the damp basement, but made of plastic for all the canning jars. So the essence of this scenario is that we plan different accommodations for different places in the home setting, garage, barn, root cellar, back room, pantry, kitchen, other rooms like bedrooms and under the beds for stocking up.
I will wager that the lead in picture fills you with a good feeling of having your own Wal*Mart ™ store inside your abode. I realize that you are going to first say all that stocking is expensive and I cannot afford to do that.
The secret to stocking up is to have a place to store the goodies and you just buy a little at a time and date the container so you can use it up before the shelf life goes out of date. Stocking up entails not only food storage, but garden seeds, fertilizers, tools and what ever else is a commodity that you will need eventually. This may take you years, so what? You are going to have to buy or grow it your self sooner or later, and the later means higher prices-if it is on the store shelf.
COPYRIGHT: 2011, Back2theLand.com, Mark Steel