I have been doing a food inventory check as my son and his wife are coming to live with us in August and I will need to increase my stock to accommodate the two extra mouths. I opened my bean bucket and found that I had only twenty pounds of dried beans! Now, I am quite sure that there are many folks who would say, “Twenty pounds of beans! What the heck will you ever do with twenty pounds of beans?” I, on the other hand say, “Twenty pounds of beans! How would I manage with only twenty pounds of beans? Where did they go? What happened to my inventory control?” Obviously, I know what happened. Rice and beans, bean soup, baked beans, burritos and quesadillas happened. We ate them.

I keep a lot of dried beans. They are cheap, nutritious, versatile and store for a really long time. You can grow them if you want to but they are available in every supermarket. I won’t be happy until my stock is back where it belongs. 100 pounds will allow me to use 2 pounds a week for year. I also store bean seeds.

As long as I had my bean bucket out, I decided to change the way I store my beans. In the past, I have kept them in  6 gallon buckets, right in the original plastic bag. I separated the beans by type and put them in half-gallon jars which I then vacuumed sealed. I had a bookcase available in my storage room because I had moved the pasta so I now have 3 dedicated bean shelves. I have Great Northern, Navy, Kidney, Pinto, Garbanzo, Lentils, Black, Pink, split peas and a 13 bean soup mix. I used to have Indian Woman but I couldn’t find them. I greatly fear I ate my seed stock. I will need to order some. I know that Seeds Of Change carried them.

Herbal Pagan mentioned in yesterday’s comments how much food we eat in a year. It’s true. Most people would be shocked to find out that the weight would be measured in tons for a family with a couple of teenagers.  This has been another crazy weather year. No snow, then feet at a time. In the Northeast, we are having record floods. I can see some garden problems looming. It was the wet spring last year that made the blight such a catastrophe for our potatoes and tomatoes. The very early, warm spring will cause the trees to bud out early. A late frost will usually zap them and that’s the end of the crop. Food security is everybody’s problem, everybody’s concern. I am taking my food storage very seriously as rising prices and lack of availability may make feeding a family well a real challenge. 

The next time I shop I will put beans at the top of the list. I can generally get 5, 1 pound bags for 4 dollars and sometimes see them for even less. I can get a better deal at Costcos or BJ’s but I don’t get there that often and I don’t want to wait. I need 80 pounds. I can get 4, 20 pound hauls without affecting my budget. I will just to cut back on something of lower value for me.

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