Tag Archive for Inflation

The Impending Food Price Crisis: Time to Plant Your Survival Garden

 

Food Shortage

Food Shortage

In case you have been asleep for the last five years or somehow managed to not buy any groceries, you should know that the price of groceries has quadrupled over as many years.  For the rest of us feeding our families, we are intimately aware of how much more we have had to pay for groceries in recent years.  It has gotten so bad that many families that used to be able to purchase roughly a shopping cart of groceries for $100 now are paying upwards of $400 dollars for less food of less quality.  Coupled with high prices of gas and energy, most of us have experienced a large net loss of our purchasing power as our disposable income has all but vanished.  Of course this directly contradicts the Obama Whitehouse’s assertions that there has been little to no inflation and economically things are better.  Ask yourself this, do you actually have more disposable income than you did just a few years ago?  Has your quality of life improved?  Sadly, the answer is more often than not a resounding “NO” as the numbers of individuals on government assistance programs like food stamps has exploded.  This article will discuss the basics on how to weather the coming food price crisis.

You must understand that our current state of decay is just the beginning as things will get much worse in the United States.  For starters, California is experiencing historic drought that is decimating its agricultural industry as we outlined in our previous article.  Far worse is that our government is moving closer and closer to a totalitarian state run by left leaning Marxists heavily influenced by global bankers and corporate elites that care nothing for you and are only focused on increasing their power, wealth, and control over you.  Add to this the fact the Federal Reserve continues to counterfeit over a trillion dollars a year and then bills you, the taxpayer, for the created debt even as you suffer from the very real devaluation of the dollar because of the Federal Reserve’s engineered inflationary measures.  These few issues are by no means all inclusive, but illustrate some of the major drivers pushing costs higher and higher as your wages and real earnings are decimated.  These government programs will only intensify as higher taxes, fees, and penalties are lumped on by local, state, and federal governments to offset their rising operating costs, which rob you of any remaining disposable income.  Thus, it begs the question that many are asking…. “How will I be able to feed my family and still pay my bills?”

Fortunately, the answer is neither new nor complex.  One must become self-sufficient.  Self-sufficiency is the same solution our forefathers intuitively recognized and the maxim most farmers, pioneers, and Americans lived by up until the last half of the 20th Century.  Many thought the time for small farms and garden plots was gone for good, but the crisis of increasing food prices has driven Americans back to rediscovering that the old ways were in fact better.  So, if you have been saving your survival seeds for when things get bad, you should seriously consider planting them this year and procuring new seeds for future crops while you still can.  Once things go beyond the tipping point to a full blown crisis, it will be too late to plant, grow, harvest, and use your seed stores.  The garden will provided you affordable, healthy, great tasting, fresh food when no one else can afford or find it in grocery stores.  Further, any excess can be sold or used to barter for other goods you may not have in surplus.

A healthy garden takes years to fully develop to its maximum potential so starting now allows you to experiment with crops, fail (yes, you will have failures), build a tool inventory, and begin building an inventory of food stores via dehydration (drying) and canning.  You will learn what varieties of plants grow best where in your soil.  You will also get to taste various vegetables and decide which are best suited to your family’s palate.  Devising a pest control strategy that works will also be vital.  All of this takes time, sweat, and practice.  There are no real shortcuts to this so get started now.

To begin, select the best land you can for your crops.  This may mean moving to a new location with better soil, water access, and sunlight or simply developing your backyard.  For you folks still imprisoned in the cities, you may want to invest in hydroponic systems or rooftop gardens.  Having the right tools will be critical.  The best hand tools are not the ones made today, but old antique hand tools with solid steel implements.  You can often find these cheaply online or at flea markets and yard sales.  Make sure you have redundancy.  You will also need an ample supply of good seeds.  I recommend that you stick with quality heirloom seeds that have been optimized for your growing conditions.  Make sure you get a wide variety of seeds so that you can experiment with different crops.  For example, if one specific variety of tomatoes does poorly, you may find a different variety does very well saving you from a total crop loss for the season.  You will also need to devise a method to protect your crop from pests such as animals, insects, and diseases.  I have found solar powered electric fences are the best method for keeping out animals like deer that will wreck an entire garden in a single night.  The solar powered electric fence is very easy to set up and affordable.  Dusting crops like beans and potatoes with lime does well at keeping insects back while preventing nutritional diseases.  I also found using a torch around plants to kill weeds is an effective organic solution to weed control.  When it comes to fertilizers, bone meal and manure are two of the best organic solutions.  Just make sure any manure you use is seasoned well so that you don’t introduce invasive weed species to your soil.

For those of you looking to grow gardens or enter into small farming operations, you may also want to employ low profile or clandestine methods.  Many of our readers live in suburban neighborhoods with unconstitutional and oppressive home owners association (HOA) covenants that ridiculously forbid gardening.  In these areas fencing in your yard may be your easiest option.  If that isn’t possible, many people have turned their basements into mini greenhouses, but run the risk of drawing attention of local authorities that may mistakenly suspect illicit marijuana grow operations are afoot.  In this case it may be best to actually let local law enforcement know what you are doing to prevent a mistaken and highly dangerous SWAT raid on your home.  However, if the wrong people know you have food, they may target your residence to steal your crops so discrete is good.  Those of us lucky enough to be in rural areas do not have oppressive HOAs and can grow large gardens, but could become subject to crop confiscation.  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has steadily increased its efforts to identify all farming operations throughout the country and many suspect that in a time of crisis the government could use this information to confiscate crops to feed the masses.  As protests in Kiev turn violent, an important, illustrative lesson from the Ukraine’s history comes to mind.  During the period between 1932 and 1933 when the Ukraine fell under Soviet control, an estimated 12 million Ukrainians were intentionally starved to death as a result of resisting Stalin’s takeover of power and government mismanagement of agricultural policies.  During this period, the communist government forced confiscation of all household foodstuffs and restricted the population movement to other areas all while shipping off, warehousing, destroying, or leaving unharvested millions of tons of grain that could have fed the Ukrainians.  The urban populations suffered the worst and died by the millions of starvation and disease while the rural populations were demonized and blamed by the communists for the government’s actions.  If you have any question as to why this genocide was carried out, Henry Kissinger succinctly explains it when he stated that if you want to control the population, control its food supply.

This Ukrainian lesson illustrates how a centralized government like ours that mismanages policies and is continuously seeking greater power could seize your crops during a crisis to effectively control our citizens.  To avoid this, don’t report your crops to the government.  Further, plant multiple gardens and crops in various areas throughout your property.  One garden would be overt while the others would be hidden and made to “NOT” look like a standard garden.  In fact, if your garden looks like a fallow field of weeds or just a part of the forest it will draw little to no attention.  In addition, cultivate wild crops and livestock considered “weeds” and wild animals so that they go overlooked even by the most zealous commissar sent by the government to inspect, record, and confiscate your crops.  This technique is highly successful and practical for preppers since even the most savvy of government bureaucrats are generally idiots in respect to anything that actually requires real work or true practical knowledge.  The average USDA inspector couldn’t tell you the difference between spinach and burdock and certainly wouldn’t recognize chicory and dandelions as a staple food crop.  Wild leeks (ramps) and asparagus also would be passed over by even many country folks.  They also wouldn’t recognize your cover crops that feed a disproportionately large deer herd, but certainly would be able to tag, number, and seize every chicken and head of cattle you may possess.  Fish ponds are also nice additions because unless the bureaucrat is ready to dig out and drain your pond or spend a lot of time learning to fish, any fish you have stocked will also go under reported.  Fruit and nut trees interspersed with the forest also will most likely go unnoticed so look at planting stands of these trees in small clearings vice large orchard settings.

On the backside of raising your crops, you must secure your harvest.  The very best way I have found to accomplish this is by building multiple low profile root cellars away from your house.  A root cellar can be very simple (essentially a hole in the ground with an insulated cover) where root crops, fruits, and canned goods can be stored for long periods of time.  These natural storage vessels can be constructed in a way as to be virtually invisible to all but the most astute observer.  By utilizing outdoor food storage locations, you prevent your food supplies from being looted or confiscated in their totality while building a strong alibi respective of “having no food.”  Anyone doubting you would certainly search your home and after finding only the minimum staples would be forced to conclude that you indeed have no food and thus, could not be growing additional food since it would have to be stored somewhere.

In summary, you have been warned of impending food price spikes even as your wages are diminished by our central economic planners.  Your choices now are to either run the risk that all will be well and government that created these problems will suddenly fix them or implement your last minute survival food production plans.  I am recommending to all of our readers to plant every inch of land they can this year since I have become convinced that our economy is teetering on the brink of its greatest economic collapse in history.  Food will become scarcer and prices will rise with every coming month.  This is a certainty.  If you decide to plant the worst outcome would be to have an overabundance of food come the autumn harvest and critical practice and experience growing a garden for real.  Although we preach last “minute” survival, “minute” is very relative in respect to gardens where a more apt description would be last season survival.  Failure to plant your crops this spring will delay any chance of a food crop by not just a year, but a year and a half because of the lead-lag time between planting and harvesting.  Time is wasting so get busy!

 

By Guiles Hendrik

February 18, 2014

All rights reserved.

California’s Water Shortage Will Lead to a Spike in Food Prices and Economic Peril

As California’s drought stretches into years, the situation according to California’s Governor Jerry Brown is becoming dire.  “Today I’m declaring a drought in the state of California,” said Brown. “We’re facing perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago.”  As a result, incremental actions to restrict water use have been placed into effect.  Most recently, Governor Brown announced last Friday that they won’t send any water from the state’s vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning this spring, an unprecedented move that affects drinking water supplies for 25 million people and irrigation for 1 million acres of farmland.  The restrictions in water use will be particularly detrimental for anyone involved in agriculture where irrigation is vital for California’s crops raised primarily in arid regions.  The result of this drought and necessary restrictions to California industry and agriculture will mean a spike in food prices and even greater job losses in California.

People fall over themselves lauding the wonderful weather Southern California offers its residents.  However, what Southern California doesn’t offer is adequate fresh water to support the state’s massive population.  Fresh water is the most basic resource for life; yet, over 38.3 million people call it home even though natural sources of freshwater are far inadequate.  Historically, the snow pack in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains has filled reservoirs to supplement California’s water demand, but with record low snowfall, no relief is in sight or expected.  More alarming is the fact that climatologists are warning that this drought could continue anywhere from a couple decades to two hundred years based on California’s historical climatic cycles.  If indeed this drought persists unabated, it could mean that California will be entering a historic dust bowl situation that could effectively collapse the state.

Further compounding the problem is that California leads the country as the largest producer of agricultural products (crops and livestock), accounting for more than 11 percent of the national total, based on the 2007 Census of Agriculture.  To support this, approximately 80% of California’s freshwater is used for irrigation.  Given the shortages, California cannot provide freshwater for its inhabitants and agriculture and industry.  As such, the tap will be turned off first for California’s farmers.  In fact the mere threat of water rationing has already forced many farmers to leave fields fallow and write off this year’s crops as a total loss.  The situation is even worse for fruit and nut orchards where the water restrictions could kill productive trees that take years to grow to fruit bearing size.  Livestock too will not survive without water so cattle, swine, and poultry populations will be slaughtered and not replaced.  As farmers shutter their operations until conditions improve, the businesses that sprung up around California’s agricultural industry are also going out of business.  This will cost California billions of dollars in lost revenues and further exasperate the already high unemployment in California.

The result of the drop in California’s agricultural production will restrict food supplies even as demand globally is growing causing food prices to skyrocket this year.  This will result in major shortages of products that California produces for the United States such as artichokes, lettuce, spinach, peaches, and strawberries.  Many other products such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots, which California produces 1/3, 1/2, and 2/3’s of respectively, will see major price spikes.  Meat prices will also spike after cattle, swine, and poultry populations are slaughtered since herd numbers are already at historic lows.  If not already bad enough news, inflation will continue to erode the purchasing power of the dollar compounded by the dollar’s weakening status globally as a currency.  Add this to a nation with an economy already in collapse and its citizens watching any remaining disposable income vanish as their quality of life descends down a toilet bowl lined by socialist and Marxist economic policies and we have a very real recipe for social unrest.

In case the impact of California’s drought hasn’t caught your attention yet and you still don’t see why it matters, let me be clear.  The drought in California will cause your grocery bill to double again this year.  If you are an average, struggling, middle class American, you will be forced to cut even more from your already bone thin budget and for the first time actually have to go without when it comes to many food items so that you can pay your most basic bills.  This will further reduce the disposable (what if any is left) income Americans have to spend, which will put even more retailers out of business this year.  This will lead to a cycle of more layoffs and higher unemployment as the US economy enters into a collapse of historic proportions.

Taking a page from the government, this impending disaster offers opportunity for those savvy enough to foresee it and take action.  For starters, it would be wise to enter into direct agreements with cattle and pig farmers for set amounts of beef/pork now before prices spike.  Buying a steer or hog now at current prices that will be slaughtered later in the year will save you hundreds of dollars if not more later in the year when prices spike.  To illustrate the already rising prices, the prices of beef have already spiked 16.8% this year and bacon is up 22.8%.  Further, if you haven’t started a sustainable garden you need to begin now.  Invest in a large quantity and variety of heirloom seeds suitable for your growing conditions.  Gardens are not something that happen magically after tossing a few seeds into the yard.  As we have said many times, gardens take time (years), work, and experimentation to perfect.  Anyone waiting to the last minute to plant a garden “when things get really bad” will fail miserably.  Invest now in a garden that will produce beyond the needs of your family and it will reward you handsomely with tasty, healthy food at a price you can afford.  If you don’t have the land, make a deal with someone who does so that you can gain access to fresh produce.  Further, any additional produce not needed can be sold or bartered at a premium price later this summer when the shortages and price hikes really begin to be felt.

In summary, California is entering a period of drought that may last beyond our lifetimes or end next year.  Either way, the water shortage will cause grocery bills to spike to record high levels.  This will further destabilize the already sick US economy.  To protect oneself, the smart prepper will invest in food products and sustainable food production capabilities such as good land, farms, livestock, and gardens to insulate his family from the upcoming price hikes and shortages and turn misfortune into a money making opportunity.

 

By Guiles Hendrik

February 17, 2014

All rights reserved. 

It’s happening. Momentum builds as world drops the US Dollar as its reserve currency

For years economists have warned of the time when international trade will begin decoupling from the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  As the theory goes, the United States will face financial and economic collapse if the position of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency is undermined.  In short, the U.S. can finance its massive debt because it can print its own money and nations will buy its debt.  However, if the dollar was no longer the standard world currency for trade, the U.S. could not endlessly print money and sell its debt.  The result would leave the U.S. with a choice between being unable to service payments on its debt or continue to print money and hyper inflate its currency to valueless.  Both scenarios lead to financial and economic collapse.  The U.S. would cease to exist as we know it if the theories prove true.

 

Until recently, these currency naysayers were slandered as alarmists or conspiracy theorists.  However, their predictions have begun coming to pass at an accelerating rate.  Already, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) nations have formed a financial block that seeks to reduce and then remove the dollar as the standard currency for trade.  Many other countries have bought into this transition to include key energy trading partners of the Gulf Cooperation Council such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.  Further, the world’s second and third largest economies (China and Japan respectively) have already dumped the dollar and began directly trading in their respective domestic currencies.  Specifically, in December of 2011 China and Japan agreed to direct currency trading in an effort to explicitly limit the role of the dollar [http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/business/global/china-and-japan-in-currency-agreement.html?_r=0].

 

As this trend away from the dollar has accelerated, even traditional “Western” allies have begun to buckle to the pressures of economic reality as the dollar continues its decline.  The latest of these appears to be Australia, which just last week announced its intention to convert billions of dollars in trade with China to their own domestic currencies.  In effect, now that China, Japan, and Australia are eliminating trade in the dollar, which sets the stage for effectively closing the dollar out of Asia.

 

Also this week, in support of the momentum away from the dollar, Brazilian Minister of Finance Guido Mantega (L) and Chinese Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei signed a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Brazil and Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China on Bilateral Cooperation in Macroeconomic, Fiscal and Financial Policies at the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban, March 26, 2013.  The deal eliminates the dollar in about $100 billion in direct trade between the countries over the next three years and marks another milestone in the shift in international trade away from the U.S. dollar.  Alarmingly, China has now replaced the U.S. as Brazil’s main trading partner with over $75 billion in annual business.  Next up at the BRICS summit in Durban will be discussions to establish an international development bank to serve as a counter-balance to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  All of this ultimately combines to decouple world markets from the dollar, which will undermine the U.S. strategically.

 

The fact is the world is dropping the dollar.  The dollar has been all but destroyed by the policies of the Federal Reserve and massive U.S. deficit spending and debt.  Regardless of what the likes of Tim Geithner or Ben Bernanke tell the American public, the rest of the world sees the US and European economies as terminally ill.  The pace of decoupling will continue to accelerate as more and more trade is conducted without the dollar.  This creates a catastrophic downward spiral of self-perpetuating collapse.  As the dollar is weakened, more countries will stop using it, and as they stop using it, the dollar will become weaker.  This trend then becomes a self-fulfilling currency disaster for the U.S.

 

The dire predictions of the “alarmists” are coming to pass.  It still is not known if this decoupling will lead to the dollar’s disaster, but the fact that the move from the dollar was accurately predicted lends credit to the forecasters’ conclusions.  Inflation has already affected every American at the grocery store and gas pump.  A shopping cart of groceries now costs nearly $500 and a gallon of gas $4.  Americans are at their breaking point.  Sadly, this is just the beginning.  It will get much worse as the value of the dollar continues to plummet and the cost of basic goods and services skyrocket.  As Americans suffer and elitist bankers cash in on record profits, anger may finally boil over into the streets as it has across Europe.  Any objective observer can see jobs are gone and not coming back and it’s only the elites that are getting richer while the remaining members of the middle class are bled dry with ever increasing taxes, costs, and premiums.

 

One does not need a crystal ball to see how this is likely to end and it isn’t pretty.  Even if suddenly Congress and the President decided to act decisively, the U.S. economy and financial system is by many accounts too far gone to be salvaged without a complete collapse and restructuring.  This means that greater pain for nearly all Americans waits in the near future.  By pain, picture pensions robbed, savings accounts pilfered, entitlements cut, spending eliminated, services non-existent, infrastructure crumbling, and even higher unemployment…and this is the best case!

 

By Guiles Hendrik

 

Additional resources:

 

http://www.ibtimes.com/so-long-yankees-china-brazil-ditch-us-dollar-trade-deal-brics-summit-1153415

 

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/03/30/China-Russia-Coalition-Creates-Alternative-to-IMF-World-Bank

 

http://dilemma-x.net/2013/03/29/australia-wants-to-cut-out-us-dollar-in-trade-with-china/