American Survival Guide



Grow­ing up on a self-sus­tain­ing farm, we pre­served enough food an­nu­ally to last un­til the next har­vest and be­yond. Ro­ta­tion was easy: as we pre­served, the date was writ­ten on the jar and jars were stored on shelves in free-stand­ing wooden cab­i­nets in the base­ment. Shelves were built to ac­com­mo­date pints, quarts and gal­lons without stack­ing them, and the doors were ply­wood. At least one row (front to back) was left empty to en­able us to reach into the cab­i­net and move jars without un­load­ing the shelf. For ex­am­ple, in sum­mer we made black­berry jelly; we went to the shelf con­tain­ing black­berry jelly and moved any re­main­ing jars for­ward, fill­ing in the back with the new jelly.

When I left the farm and be­gan fill­ing my own cup­boards with a goal of hav­ing enough food for six months, I learned not to buy food I wouldn’t nor­mally eat be­cause, when it ex­pired, I threw that money away. If you are on a tight bud­get, con­sider set­ting up a sec­ondary pantry (prefer­ably not in the same struc­ture as your kitchen). Pur­chase only items you will ac­tu­ally eat for your sec­ondary pantry each time you shop. Then, use the sec­ondary pantry as your store by bring­ing those food items into your kitchen as space opens up there. Re­fill your sec­ondary pantry with new pur­chases made, al­ways mov­ing the older food for­ward and fill­ing in the back with your new pur­chases.

My food ro­ta­tion now is al­most as sim­ple. When it’s time to pre­pare for the spring storms (Fe­bru­ary), I check ex­pi­ra­tion dates on food, water, and med­i­cal sup­plies in the go-bags and ve­hi­cles; then I go to the storm shel­ter and read the ex­pi­ra­tion dates on the front row of food, bev­er­ages and med­i­cal sup­plies. That which ex­pires first is al­ways in the front. When hol­i­day sea­son ar­rives in the fall, I go into the garage to get dec­o­ra­tions and this is my re­minder to check food stored in the cool room. Again

I only need to read the ex­pi­ra­tion dates on the buck­ets, con­tain­ers and cans that are in the front row.

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