I am always a bit embarrassed to have anyone see my basement storage system. I have many cases of commercially prepared, bought from supermarket, canned food. Whenever I see one of those sales like “20 cans for $10.00” “full case for $7.50” I stock up on a few staples. What’s down there? I have beans, brown bread, tomatoes, pasta sauce, fruits, vegetables, tuna, crab, chicken, soups, stocks, stew, chili, mushrooms, olives, juices, condiments and stocks. I am sure I have other things but it’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m not going to go look. At least a couple of times a week I try to use up some the storage foods just so I can rotate through them.

I don’t like supporting agribiz in any form so I do try to purchase in the least loathsome way possible but still, it is not in line with my values to get this kind of food. I do it though because you never know. I checked out my applesauce this week and discovered several jars that had lost their seals. Then I smelled something rotten in the root cellar and found the cabbage had all gone bad. This kind of stuff happens. I like to keep redundant sources of  food just in case. If the power was out for a long time,  I will be able to can a lot of our meat but not all of it. Having canned meat as a backup makes good sense. In a bad tomato year (like this one) I rely on my purchased sauce. If I had to depend solely on my own canned fruit, I would not get through a year which is why I store canned pineapple.

Redundancy is a good idea for many things. I have many more hurricane lamps than I need to cover breakage and to have some to lend.  I can cook on my stove top or my camp stove or my sterno stove or my wood stove or in my solar oven.  I have extra boots and gloves and coats and socks. You just never know when one system will break down or when the 5 people you planned for will balloon into 9. You never know when you will need to give some of your supplies to your community to help the many who are not prepared.

Today, I am off to our little farmstand to buy some redundant supplies. The cabbage will need to be replaced and I need winter squash to make up for the dozens that were eaten by the woodchucks. If I can’t get them, I will be very grateful for the 50 cans of pumpkin and squash that are sitting in my basement.