Of all the things the Happy Hoarder fixes his sights on to prepare for the coming supply shocks, none is as important as his grub. Dinner. His vittles, victuals and chow. His slop, his refreshment, his provisions. His gustables, if you please.
Frankly, the Happy Hoarder could think about just how he’s going to get his foodstock in the aye-pock-oh-lypse all day long because he likes to do his self some eating. That’s right.
Don’t be a fool
Now, you remember that scene in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road when the man and the boy land upon that stash of food in that underground cellar? I’ve never cursed up a storm so loudly as I did reading that passage. Then when I saw the movie, hoo, it was painfully fresh again how they had their own private bunker full of comestibles with which to hunker down and wait out the chaos but they up and leave the whole thing behind. Plum nuts!
I went batshit crazy over that nutball move. Drove me mad! Oh, I was in a stew. Mrs. Happy Hoarder had to give me her fancy reflexology and a cup of chamomile tea to soothe my dang nerves I was so worked up. (Then I had to promise not to cuss like such old coot around her anymore.)
Anyways, you’re not going to find The Happy Hoarder abandoning my larder and heading for the shoreline just ’cause the world’s gone all pear shaped. I’m sticking right where I am and I’m gonna eat like the gosh durned king of my castle, too.
Now of course, we got all kinds of garden and crop projects here at the Hoarder Homestead, that’s for sure. And we harvest ’em all up and Mrs. Happy Hoarder turns ’em into all kinds of canned and dried and frozen whatnots for the cold season and for the coming crash. That’s just can-doism, so to speak.
But I got to hedge my bets, too.
Or what about them marauding bands of mutant zombie bikers? Well, on that score I’d give ’em what for with my trusty old .22 rifle. Old eagle eyes, that’s what they call me.
But hell, what if some oil shock hits, people go panic shopping and the damned grocery store really does empty out in three days, like they say it could? You’re not going to find the Happy Hoarder dazed and confused in them circumstances. Heck, you’re not going to find me hungry, neither.
Hole in the wall
So all this is to say I’ve been loading up like the dickens in the pantry department. I got me a regular market in there . And it gives me no end to comfort thinking about all them eats all nicely stored up for when the Hoarder clan needs ’em. I’d even be willing to feed my son-in-law as long as he makes himself useful around the farm.
In my view, here’s what you need to do. Figuring on at least a family of four, and figuring on about a year’s worth of back-up food, I’d advise you to get a few sets of those five gallon food grade buckets. Now I’m no fan of plastic, but these puppies do keep food clean and dry.
I like to fill these varmints with all sorts of legumes, rice, and grains, but you have to read up on proper storage techniques or you run the risk of spoilage. Done right though, legumes and grains can be stored for decades. I figure all you really need is to store ’em for a while, and you should always rotate your stock.
Main thing you want to watch for is your moisture content, meaning you might need dry ice, oxygen packets, or other absorbers to keep your stock consistent. If all of the sudden you start using your stored foods, well then maybe you want to take out enough for a week or two at a time so’s you’re not constantly opening the buckets and letting air and moisture in.
Of course you want to have a whole mess of canned goods in your larder, whether you made ’em yourself or bought ’em at the grocers. But take out a sharpie and mark the date in big clear writing on the tops or front of the can. If you’ve got a steady temperature in your storage place, say 62 or a little lower, then even though the cans expire you can still eat ’em long after, I reckon. I mean, in the collapse, it’s every man taking his own risks for him and his family, like in the old days of the Wild West. But hells bells, you’re not gonna be fretting too much about a year-old expired can when your belly’s growling or the kids are mewling for their supper.
For storage of smaller sizes (or shorter durations) we like the glass jars with the clamp style lids. You can store food long term in these because they create a nice dry seal. Main reason we got so many is ’cause Mrs. Happy Hoarder likes the way they look on the counter and in the cupboards, not to mention in our food-hoarding room.
You better make you a list
Now I could say a whole bunch of other stuff about food storage with dried herbs and spices and salts and sweeteners and all that. And then you got your water, beer, wine, oils, vinegars, powdered milk and whatnot. But I’ll save that for another time. Maybe I’ll write me a column on using our food dehydrators (electric and solar) to put up dried fruits and veggie chips. Makin’ my mouth water already.
Until next time, get hoarding, friend. Start your food storage in bite-sized chews by getting ten cans every time you go to the market and stocking up on containers and storage supplies now. It’s the first step to the ultimate food security plan.
— The Happy Hoarder, Transition Voice