Tuesday morning I was in Publix in Summerville doing grocery store shopping for the week. (Earthfare was closed due to the impending storm.) People were panicked and checkout lines were well down the aisles and I saw dozens upon dozens of eggs in overflowing carts of food lined up and waiting. When I got back to the farm, I fed 100 dozen of my eggs to my pigs so I would have some empty baskets available to collect eggs for that day and the next. Our supply was at the max and I knew it would only get worse.
Feeding Pasture Raised Eggs to Pigs (Video from 8/28/17)
It was easy for all of us to get swept up in the hype and fear of the impending storm and it troubles me that within that state of fear we make quick purchasing decisions that often compromise our health and send our dollars out of the area. Our sales at the farm slowed dramatically at farmers markets on Saturday 9/8 a week before the storm eventually hit. The Mt. Pleasant Market was cancelled and we only had a small handful of orders for Tuesday pickup. Just two customers came to the farm to buy eggs this week. Farmers Markets today are cancelled. Meanwhile, grocery store shelves emptied faster than they could be restocked. The convenience of supporting local food has been taken from you and the choice to support local has been made easy to forget, especially when our lack of food security is highlighted by a disruption like this.
I urge you all to make two changes right now that will increase your food security and hold you to your own practice of good purchasing and eating decisions in the future...
1 - Have 2 weeks worth of eggs on hand at all times, 3 would be better. Eggs are good for 45 days (USDA) and our eggs are fresher than any dozen available in any grocery store chain.
2 - Fill your freezer. A freezer with less airspace stays cold longer. In case of an extended power outage your freezer should be filled to the brim. This can be with well chosen meats and veggies from the farmers market, broth, meals you've prepared ahead, or even just frozen water bottles to fill the space.
I am very thankful that Hurricane Florence weakened quickly. As I type this, the wind and rain is not much more than an inconvenience and our animals are weathering the storm just fine. I appreciate having the time this week to better prepare the farm for this and any future storms. I have learned a lot and am grateful for the real life "drill". I am painfully aware that a Category 4 or 5 storm with winds headed in a precarious direction would absolutely devastate the farm. I will be more prepared next year, how will you be?