As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to the church's cannery the other weekend. For those of you not familiar, our church is very big on emergency preparedness and self-reliance. A big part of that is a commandment to store food, storing enough food to feed your family first for 72 hours, then for 3 months, and then for a year. In other words, we get to store a whole bunch of food.
To help us with this effort, the church has provided regional canning facilities and made various staples available at reduced prices, which you can purchase and can on your own at these facilities. It's a big production that runs surprisingly well considering that almost everyone who does it is not a canner by any stretch of the imagination. This past weekend, I went with a small group of people and helped fill our canning orders. All in all, we canned hundreds of pounds of supplies, and I worked the canning/sealer machine myself, after convincing the man in charge (who was 70 if he was a day) that I was, in fact, not 13 but a full grown adult woman in her 30s. (That was nice!)
I went because I had decided it was finally time to start working on that year's supply, since I already have a 3 month supply going (aka my pantry). I decided to focus on staples with a long shelf life (most basic food items offered have a 30 year life span) and a few other items that I wanted to try. So I came home with assorted #10 cans (big cans, think warehouse size) of flour, sugar, powdered milk (for the baby), apple slices, quick oats, rice, potato flakes, refried beans, vitamin C drink mix, and macaroni. Now the plan is for me to learn how to cook with some of these ingredients and rotate them into my every day meals. Or just store them for a rainy (a very, very rainy) day, since they have a 30 year shelf life.
In addition, a woman in VA organizes a huge shipment of container trucks from a company in the Midwest to make a delivery to the Southeast every year. Because we order in such bulk, there are no shipping charges, and this company offers additional, "luxury" items like freeze dried fruit and brownie mix in bulk. I bought things like soup mixes, fruit, water storage containers, and, of course, brownie mix. These things will not last as long, so they will be worked into our menus, but the point is to have a reserve put away in case of emergency.
I've not had enough room to have much food storage in the past, but now I'm trying to repent. And, as one of my friends pointed out, food storage is one of those commandments you can actually accomplish with concrete results. Loving thy neighbor as thyself or not bearing false witness is harder to do 100% of the time but food storage, like tithing, is something you can be perfect in if you really want to. So here's to fulfilling this particular commandment! Wish me luck!