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Weedygarden

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The reason for those four foods is because wheat is a super food. You can make breads of all kinds but to make bread you have to have salt. To eat cereal cake and waffles you have to have milk. To make cake you need sugar. There is true pleasure in having honey on bread, hotcakes, waffles and biscuits. You use wheat to make gravy and sauces. You sprout wheat for the vitamins and minerals that the wheat does not provide.
You can survive on those four foods. With some other foods added you can thrive. So you expand your stores after you get the basics.
Yes. And there are a few other foods that can be stored, such as beans and rice, that have a long shelf life, and can sustain people. Wheat, rice, and beans are really inexpensive, in the big picture.

I don't remember where this conversation was had, but when it comes to buying and storing versus growing food, wheat is something that the average person cannot grow so easily. And there are losses due to hail, drought and other challenges. Like the man at the LDS cannery I mentioned earlier, many people could have years worth of food, just by storing wheat, sugar or honey, salt and powdered milk. And then we can have all kinds of variety of foods after that.
 

Weedygarden

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There is a thick book, 649 pages of the history of my home county. People wrote their family histories and provided photos. This is part of one of those family histories:

" In the fall each year, we would lay in a supply of flour, potatoes, apples, sugar, cornmeal, rice and beans for the winter. It was more reasonable to buy this way and then if weather was bad, we had plenty of food on hand. We usually put in ten 49 pound sacks of flour, thirty bushels potatoes, one-two barrels of apples, or about five bushels, some sugar, 25 lb. cornmeal, some rice and beans, 20 - 25 lb. dried prunes, and 10- 15 lb. raisins. We butchered our own meat."
 

Amish Heart

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That seems normal to me Weedy. I wonder why the sacks of flour were 49lbs instead of 50lbs. Maybe they were cloth sacks. It really makes you wonder when people stopped doing this. People around here are getting ready to butcher large animals next month when the weather gets cold. Pig, cow, sheep. And putting up the meat, and the fat.
So maybe the expansion of the cities and the groceries stores stopped people from doing this. I grew up in the big city near San Francisco, and I had a friend that had a single mom (like I had), and her mom worked full time. But every evening they would go to the grocery store for the night's dinner. I always was amazed at that. What a waste of time.
 

Weedygarden

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That seems normal to me Weedy. I wonder why the sacks of flour were 49lbs instead of 50lbs. Maybe they were cloth sacks. It really makes you wonder when people stopped doing this. People around here are getting ready to butcher large animals next month when the weather gets cold. Pig, cow, sheep. And putting up the meat, and the fat.
So maybe the expansion of the cities and the groceries stores stopped people from doing this. I grew up in the big city near San Francisco, and I had a friend that had a single mom (like I had), and her mom worked full time. But every evening they would go to the grocery store for the night's dinner. I always was amazed at that. What a waste of time.
This seems normal to me as well. The closest to me knowing that people did this was when we got commodities when I was young. We got more than 100 pounds of flour a month for our family of 7 and that was a lot. The large bags of food were stacked up by the stairs.
I thought the 49 pound bags was an odd size as well.
We always had a pantry of canned tomatoes, green beans, peaches, pears, plums, cherries and apples. The canned fruit was our dessert in the evening.
I have seen people in the grocery store buying just their dinner for the evening. We grocery shopped usually on Saturdays. When I retired, I decided to do my shopping on Wednesdays, due to the double ad day for Sprouts. Life has changed and I shop when I need something or think of something now, once or twice a week.
 

Bacpacker

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That sounds like food for a large family. Very cool the way they laid it out I think. We grew most of what we ate and always had freezer full, canned goods on the shelves. We did take our cows and pigs to a small slaughter house. Owner lived next door to grandparents worked out well.
 

Amish Heart

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We have a slaughter place in our town, too, but it's now backed up through spring. Before that, our family here would get together in the fall and winter and slaughter together. Same with processing stuff like alot of apples, it was done together. So, I guess with the backup at the slaughter place, we'll go back to the slaughtering stuff together.
 

Weedygarden

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That sounds like food for a large family. Very cool the way they laid it out I think. We grew most of what we ate and always had freezer full, canned goods on the shelves. We did take our cows and pigs to a small slaughter house. Owner lived next door to grandparents worked out well.
This was for a couple and their two children. I believe people ate more simply. We always had a plate with bread on it with our meals, to fill in any hunger gaps. I have never done that. I imagine that biscuits, breads, and baked goods were more common then. Even in my childhood, we ate more bread, cookies, pies, cakes and such than I ever have. I have cooked and baked lots, more a few decades ago than now, but I never could have gone through a fourth of that amount of flour in a year.

My grandparents bought in bulk as well. There was a man who came around selling potatoes in the fall. They stocked up on them, buying several gunny sacks of them, as their ranch was clay and they struggled to grow any veggies. They also bought wheat, beans, apricots, prunes, and more in large bags. They were German and Czech, and made a very large crock of kraut every fall.
 

CalicoKatie

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... I believe people ate more simply. We always had a plate with bread on it with our meals, to fill in any hunger gaps. ...
I agree. We always had bread on our plate even if it was just a slice of bread and butter. It was almost like a rule that you didn't start eating until you had some bread. We didn't have meat every day but had salt pork a lot with beans. My parents grew up hungry and ate to live, not live to eat.
 

LadyLocust

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There is a thick book, 649 pages of the history of my home county. People wrote their family histories and provided photos. This is part of one of those family histories:

" In the fall each year, we would lay in a supply of flour, potatoes, apples, sugar, cornmeal, rice and beans for the winter. It was more reasonable to buy this way and then if weather was bad, we had plenty of food on hand. We usually put in ten 49 pound sacks of flour, thirty bushels potatoes, one-two barrels of apples, or about five bushels, some sugar, 25 lb. cornmeal, some rice and beans, 20 - 25 lb. dried prunes, and 10- 15 lb. raisins. We butchered our own meat."
Actually volume-wise this isn’t a ton. There was probably not a lot else going in the pot. I know stewed prunes was a liked dessert. My question would be where did they put it? Both houses and cellars were quite small for that much food.
 

Weedygarden

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Actually volume-wise this isn’t a ton. There was probably not a lot else going in the pot. I know stewed prunes was a liked dessert. My question would be where did they put it? Both houses and cellars were quite small for that much food.
I've thought the same thing. My grandparents had their very small house, 12 x 24, and had a hand dug cellar underneath it. They had 7 children and they lived in that home for around 10 years. They bought lots of potatoes in the fall from someone who came around selling them. I do think people used wooden barrels for food storage in those days. 5 gallon buckets were not around. How plagued were they with mice and other rodents? Maybe canning jars were used for some dry storage? The 4 boys slept in the attic. They could have put canning jars up there around the edges, where they wouldn't freeze, if they had liquid in them.
 

CalicoKatie

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My favorite Little House book is the first one, Little House in the Big Woods. Laura talks constantly about the food they had - where it came from, how they preserved it and where they stored it in their little cabin. They had a cellar and an attic in their little log house and the way she describes it, it was stuffed with food for the winter. She talked about food constantly in all the books but in that first one she seemed to regard her early years as a time of plenty. Mrs. Volkie of Our Half Acre Homestead did a set of Little House audiobooks. If you listen to just the first chapter, you'll hear what I'm talking about.

 

LadyLocust

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My favorite Little House book is the first one, Little House in the Big Woods. Laura talks constantly about the food they had - where it came from, how they preserved it and where they stored it in their little cabin. They had a cellar and an attic in their little log house and the way she describes it, it was stuffed with food for the winter. She talked about food constantly in all the books but in that first one she seemed to regard her early years as a time of plenty. Mrs. Volkie of Our Half Acre Homestead did a set of Little House audiobooks. If you listen to just the first chapter, you'll hear what I'm talking about.

That was fun. Surprisingly, of all the books I've read, I've never read the series. One day~
 

Amish Heart

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That series was our favorite read aloud to our children, and to our grandchildren. Was surprised it was read to the grade school kids here. And they just finished, "Sarah Plain and Tall". Granddaughter like that one, too.
I know things were stacked back then, and in our area, people have alot of outbuildings. I am assuming things were also put there. Grabbed some takeout in town the other morning, an authentic mex place. A small building that had a kitchen, next to a house the old lady lived in. Looked like her daughter helped her cook. Daughter could speak english. Got our order, took it to the car, and saw the old lady come out to the backyard shed, retrieve a bag of tortilla flour, and carry it back in to the kitchen. Our basement is not really huge, but floor to ceiling shelving helps me store alot in there.
 

Bacpacker

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Both grandparents had smaller homes and only had 2 and 3 kids. Kitchen was packed with food as was a decent sized pantry. Both had dirt floored basements of 5-6' ceilings. Plenty of food was stored in both. One grandpa had a well and some stuff was kept in the well house.
 

Meerkat

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There is a thick book, 649 pages of the history of my home county. People wrote their family histories and provided photos. This is part of one of those family histories:

" In the fall each year, we would lay in a supply of flour, potatoes, apples, sugar, cornmeal, rice and beans for the winter. It was more reasonable to buy this way and then if weather was bad, we had plenty of food on hand. We usually put in ten 49 pound sacks of flour, thirty bushels potatoes, one-two barrels of apples, or about five bushels, some sugar, 25 lb. cornmeal, some rice and beans, 20 - 25 lb. dried prunes, and 10- 15 lb. raisins. We butchered our own meat."
Weedy wonder where the feed for meat animals will come fom if we keep having all the weather problems? It takes lots of grain and grass to feed most of them.
Maybe fish but soon those without will be coming for those with.
 

Weedygarden

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Weedy wonder where the feed for meat animals will come from if we keep having all the weather problems? It takes lots of grain and grass to feed most of them.
Maybe fish but soon those without will be coming for those with.
The weather problems could have a big impact on the growth and processing of animal feed. But if a farmer or rancher has a certain amount of fields that he cuts every year, he will have a good amount of hay from a previous year or two, if he or she is prudent and protects it and uses the oldest first. It is not easy. Often the excess is sold to others who have not had such a good year.
 

Amish Heart

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That's what our roundtop building is full of here. Organic hay. Every now and then, a cousin calls and lets us know a semi is loading up to take some somewhere. Keeping things dry is a challenge, but we have alot of large outbuildings. I am learning alot around here about when to cut corn, when to harvest soybean. Alot has to do with the humidity that day. Corn is pretty much cut around here, but there's still a number of soybean fields. Some have finished and winter wheat has gone in. Expecting snow tonight or tomorrow.
 

Weedygarden

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A number of years ago I went to the funeral of one of my uncles in South Dakota in early November. I drove by a number of corn fields that had not been harvested and there had been snow, so the corn was still out there, waiting to be harvested. I asked my aunt, whom I was riding with, about it. She had lived on farms her whole life until their retirement. She said the corn was salvageable, and it would be harvested, but when conditions allowed the equipment to get into the fields. I know that moisture content is important and there is equipment that can dry corn if it is too wet.
 

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