Her Homestead Skills
As a homesteader and gardener in rural farming country in the South, I think this lady is correct. Food prices are way up. Food shortages are coming by August 2022.
We are amidst a terrible drought here in Tennessee. Crops like corn are doing poorer with late planting due to excess rain in early spring, and now drought in early summer. Hay has already spiked in price here and many hay farmers are no longer willing to sell their hay for fear of running out of hay for their own livestock, mostly cattle here. Farmers I know are contemplating selling their livestock if we have a hay shortage, such that this season’s hay won‘t get us through the coming winter season. Hay yields look to be 25-30% down from normal. Reasons for this, besides the current drought, are that this past spring, many farmers chose not to fertilize their hay fields, to cut costs. The fertilizer used on hay fields is chicken litter (chicken poop, a natural and valuable by-product of egg and poultry farms).
Farming families do not have usual yields right now in their gardens, so farmer‘s markets and truck farming are indeed switching toward just feeding our own families.
Reasons for this are:
-The price of fuel. We need diesel on small and big farms. We use it in our tractors and other large equipment, but also for small engines and other applications on the farm.
– The price of animal feed is becoming too much. Just like the lady in the video says, Canadian farmers have experienced a 300% increase in animal feeds. During winter months, especially the farther north you go, farmers must supplement grazing with hay and feed. This past winter, in the Dakotas, thousands of cattle perished in a late snowstorm in May. If we have a shortage of hay here in the South, we will have to cull our herds to feed our own families.
– The cost of equipment and maintenance has jumped. We fix our own equipment on the farms; otherwise, we can not realize a profit.
– Buying new is now old: A small engine replacement part we needed the other day cost $3 last year; it is $8 today. So we are scrounging for used parts, including scraping from neighbors and friends, old equipment piles, and metal bins.
There is a three-generation family peach orchard nearby. When I drove by in the late spring, anticipating another summer of their delicious peaches, I was surprised to see the land not maintained, the orchard not mown, the trees untidy. Costs and lack of affordable labor have made the owners decide to let the place lay fallow this year and close the orchard rather than continue business. Gone are the days of large families with lots of able grandchildren, carrying on the family business and living and working on the farm. And it is our loss, too!
For some years, I have closely observed food supplies not just in groceries and farmer‘s markets, but also in local commodity distribution (the government buys from large farmers and gives these commodities to schools for their heavily subsidized breakfast/lunch programs, senior citizen centers, and others on government assistance); private, church, and government food pantries, and other government and private assistance programs in my county.
The news is grim. The government is now giving back less to the citizens. For example, a year ago, even in Covid hysteria, government food commodities, all Made/Caught in the USA, were flowing amply: wild-caught fish and wild-caught shrimp, beef, chicken and pork cuts of all kinds, first quality nuts of all varieties, dried fruits of all kinds (including dried cherries and dried blueberries, which were $10-$20 per pound in the grocery stores) were handed out in our county food pantries. Suddenly, in 2022, there is no more supply of these USA grown commodities.
Sadly, the hayfields of Tennessee are being heartlessly carved up and sold to city folk who want an acre and a modern “farmhouse“ with all the city conveniences. As a seventh-generation Tennessean who lives in a real 120 year old farmhouse, without many conveniences, and with an occasional field mouse, I can tell you I think we are seeing the last of the old, real Tennessee.
The bottom line is this: Shortages, whether Biden-made or nature-made, are coming soon. It is time to ask ourselves: where does our food and water and medicine come from and can we keep the supply coming?
Reprinted with the author’s permission.
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