I have a supply inventory but I am not very diligent about keeping it up. For instance, I like to keep 6-10 cases of toilet paper on hand but will sometimes let it get lower than that, then have to make a trip to big box store and stock up. TP is not something I want to run out of but also something I hate to spend money on.

My food supplies are a lot trickier as the time of the year has much to do with how much I have on hand. Unless I resort to purchasing commercial canned fruit, (which I sometimes do)I have almost none left by early June. That works because the rhubarb  is coming into its own then.

I have started to think of a lot of food in terms of permaculture. What do I grow that will continue to produce food over the course of many years? Let me start with fruit. We grow: rhubarb, arctic kiwi, grapes, elderberry, plums, plumberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries and blueberries along with several species of apples, peaches and pears. Bear in mind that many of these plants are young and not producing much or even at all in some cases. Still, I am feeling pretty self sufficient in fruit. The one thing I don’t grow is strawberries. I can get excellent strawberries locally and if times get hard I could probably swap honey for them or make jam on shares for someone or break down and grow the darn things even though I lose so many to mildew and ants. I also harvest a lot of wild grapes and apples that are not much good for eating out of hand but make fine juice. I have not made sumac juice but I have had some made by a neighbor and it was really good, I mght just transplant a sumac tree on my land. I have tried wild grapes with no luck yet.

I feel pretty confident that I am potato self sufficient as long as blight doesn’t get them. I planted enough for a year’s supply plus seed for next year. We are fortunate to have enough arable land to be able to move and rest our gardens so blight might be less of a problem. I also have enough heirloom tomatoes to save see for several varieties.

If the hives produce well this year, we will self sufficient in a major resource that is not only an important source of food but also a great barter and charity item and has the potential for a small home business too.

I am starting to recover a bit. I am actually going to walk my daughter to meet her English tutor this morning then return home and perhaps fold some laundry or pick more raspberries before taking a nap. It is slow but steady progress.  Just a side note: the dictionary does not recognize permaculture!!!!

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