Living the cottage life, Alaskan style!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Life in Juneau

How self-sufficient are you in case of a major crisis?
How would you take care of your family?
Would you have enough food and water to survive?
Do you ever think about such times?

I do.  Often.  Maybe more so than most folks.
Especially after the quake that hit Japan recently.  The devastation.
For weeks I sat with my tablet in hand, making lists of emergency rations I needed to buy and things I needed to do to be more prepared. 

Perhaps I think of it more than most people because of where we live.
Here in Juneau we're land locked.  We have no roads in or out. 
We rely on container vans brought to Juneau on barges, for all our goods. 
Groceries, household items, furniture, construction material, cars, plants, just about everything. 
So if something happened to Seattle and the waterways were no longer usable, we could be in big trouble.
Our grocery shelves would sit empty and bare after a week's time. 
If you didn't already have a vegetable garden you could forget about growing your own food because dirt, wood, and seeds may not be coming for a long while.
It could be weeks or months or even longer before rations made it to Juneau.
Okay, so I might be exaggerating some, but I don't think it's wrong to think the worst case scenario.
And should that worst case scenario ever happen.... I want to be somewhat prepared.

Only this past spring, our weather was bad and the barge couldn't make it up the Channel to deliver the containers for days.  Our grocery shelves got depleted of fresh produce.

It never hurts to be prepared. 
My parents were.  They were totally self-reliant and I admire them for that. 
I suppose that's another reason I think the way I do.  They grew up in the Depression.  They knew how to be frugal and self-sufficient.
They had water jugs stored in the crawl space of our home.  It wasn't a basement, just the underside of our house.  Dark, damp, musty. A place you did not want to go. 
Mom canned and canned and canned.  We  harvested seafood and it was frozen.
We ate popcorn on Friday nights and mom would open up a fresh jar of grape juice.
Dad was prepared for any emergency.
We had wood stoves, a supply of wood, a generator or two.
Yes, they were prepared for any crisis.   

My husband and I decided it wouldn't hurt to become more self-sufficient.
In Juneau it's a little more difficult because we aren't farm folks.
In fact, there aren't any farms in Juneau and the farmer's markets are personal use only.
We can't go to the local fruit stand and buy cases of apples to process.
Or corn to can. 

What we can do is can fish, which we have plenty of here.
And pick local berries found along the road.
We can also buy "bulk" from our local Costco like strawberries for strawberry jam.
At least we know what we're putting in our mouths when we process our own food.

Earlier this summer we drove around town looking for the allusive salmon berry.  We managed to find four berries.  Four. 

And my granddaughter ate those. 

I guess my point is, it never hurts to be prepared. 
To have a little garden for fresh produce.
To have your freezer and pantry filled with bounty. 
Have some home brew for special occasions.

Next year I hope to have a larger garden. 
Maybe even a green house.
I'd like to grow enough food to share with family and friends on a weekly basis.
Help lighten the financial crunch we're all feeling.

To be better prepared should a crisis happen.

And if you aren't.... that's okay because I'll gladly share my rations with you!   
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1 comment:

Georgia said...

I have the perfect property to be self-sufficient: a river for catching salmon and steelhead (good luck with that), a large open meadow to raise a beef (I couldn't eat something I had raised from a calf), a large garden space (the deer love it) and an enclosed smaller garden area that keep out the critters. OK, so it would require some renovations, but it could work. You can come down and be self-sufficient on my property:)