The CPN is proud to post another post by Another Prepper - I think that you will all enjoy Another Prepper's latest post as much as I did! And as always - a Big Thank You to Another Prepper for always contributing here at the CPN as well as at the APN...
What About Windbreaks?
A plantation in the Hawaiian islands has a practice put in place so that they can protect new crops that they are trying out. Because they don’t know how well the new crops will do, they provide a windbreak for them--they plant rows of sugarcane to protect them from the wind, thus hopefully increasing the chances for the new crops to survive. This made me think of some things that might be considered "windbreaks" for those who are starting out with food storage.
What if you know that items such as wheat, beans, and rice are best for long-term storage, and most likely will give you the best quantity for your money, but don’t know how to use them? Although it is not a perfect analogy, for purposes of this post, I propose that the meals that you would make from your long-term storage be considered the "new crop", and the "windbreaks" for that crop would be anything you can do to make sure that those meals will help you and your loved ones survive. If that is the case, then some potential "windbreaks" might be:
--Knowledge you can gain from cookbooks, blogs, and people with know-how when it comes to how to prepare meals from your storage staples. There are many, many excellent blogs online that go into detail on how to use your food storage items, whether they be considered long-term, like the beans and rice, or part of a shorter term system where items such as canned meat, canned soup, prepared foods, etc., are part of the plan. How can you make your items last longer? How can you save money so that you can increase your long-term storage? Everyone is at different points when it comes to growing or harvesting their "crops"--the point is that you need to plant the seeds and actually begin your food storage if you want to harvest any results at all.
--If possible, give yourself some time as a windbreak--time to learn how to use your food storage items before it is absolutely necessary. It will be much easier to live off your food storage if you have already incorporated some of the meals into your weekly or monthly menus. Food won’t be as strange, and the stress of whatever emergency you are going through will not be increased by a drastic change in eating habits.
Another way that you can give yourself time is to buy what you can when you can, and as you can afford it. If you are just starting out building your food storage, accomplish it step by step, and don't expect yourself to do it all at once. Progress is progress, whether it be a can of food at a time, or compiling more recipe information. If you give yourself time in this manner, the more likely it is that you will continue your efforts rather than deciding not to build your food storage at all.
--If possible, try to work some "comfort foods" into your food storage. If there is a certain brand of soup or canned pasta that is a family favorite, it might come in handy if or when appetite fatigue over the staple foods sets in. If you have the means to purchase mostly or all comfort foods for your food storage, you are fortunate indeed, and by all means do so. If not, some discretion on when to use the limited quantities you have during an emergency may be in order. Having some is always a plus, and again, everyone’s supply will look different. The "windbreak" in this matter is that variety increases the chances of everyone eating better.
What are your windbreaks? I don’t write this as a "Perfect Prepper", just "Another Prepper" who is busy working on windbreaks of my own. Could those crops in Hawaii survive without the rows of sugarcane? Quite possibly. Could someone with food storage survive on supplies that they had not used previous to an emergency? Quite possibly. The sugarcane provides a buffer that makes difficult conditions easier to weather. Windbreaks that we provide for ourselves and our families will make emergencies easier to weather. I’m all for the windbreaks.
-----One last time - Thank You Another Prepper!