Wednesday, July 18, 2012

GRANDMA WAS A PREPPER and didn't know it!

We all read now and then about people who are "preppers." You know, people who store food, water, and other things for when we have a disaster. 'Course, everyone should have extra things put aside for, "just in case" moments.

My grandmother was just that kind of person, as was her mother and father. Grandmother had a huge chest freezer. It was full of all kinds of frozen food. She rotated all of it once a month. We ate everything from a bin in the freezer. When the bin was empty, she would look at the dates, and pick out what she wanted to put in the bin.

We had all kinds of store-bought meat. Plus, we had elk, deer, grouse, duck, goose, and other types of game meat that my Dad had hunted. We had canned goods from the store, which grandmother also rotated. If we were low on green beans or whatever, she would replace what we had eaten. She also canned.

It seemed that she could can just about anything you can think of. She also made her own jellies and jams. Many is the day, that I can remember going out to pick chokecherries, wild plums, apples, and wild grapes (until we got our own grapevine). I can remember going out to some farm and all of us picking green beans. Another time we went and got potatoes off the ground at the same farm. Then, we'd set in the kitchen and help snap green beans or helping to wash potatoes.

She also had the stuff to make candles. The candles were given out to family members at Christmas. Pappy did his share. He kept all of Grandmother's knives sharp and in working order. Same with the garden tools. He helped in the kitchen as much as he could, even cooking some meals.

When my Dad would come back from elk hunting, Pappy was right there to help with the butchering and wrapping of the meat.

Grandmother stored all the non-perishables she could in cupboards. She used up all the space under the stairs, going to the basement. She had my Dad and Pappy build extra shelves so she could store more.

She baked some type of bread at least once every two weeks. She had handsoap, clothes washing soap, toilet paper, and all kinds of others things put away and ready. One year at Christmas time, a family down the street from us lost their Mom just a few days before. I went to school with the boy. When I got home from school and told grandmother, she took me by the hand and we got a bushel basket out of the garage. She then filled it with homemade bread, a couple of jars of jelly, home canned tomatoes, canned potatoes, and some of our frozen meat. She filled that basket to overflowing with food and such. We then went to their house.

We placed the basket on the front porch and left. Others in our neighborhood also brought over things for the family. She did it because she could and we had plenty. I found out later, after Christmas, that the Mom was the bread-winner in their family. The dad had a bad leg from an injury in the Korean war. He was having a hard time finding work. He ended up at our school as a janitor, and was still there when my Dad remarried and we moved away.

People today need to take a page from some of their relatives. We need to have some extra food and other things put aside. And, try to not be so standoffish. Get to know your neighbors. They might be able to give you a hand now and then. And it could also lead you to maybe do a little bartering for some of the things you can't get or maybe need.

My grandparents and great grandparents would probably get a chuckle out of us all trying to prep nowadays. They did it when they were growing up. It was just the sensible thing to do. Everyone did it.

Do you "prep?"


  1. With some neighbors its hard to break the 10 foot pole rule. I have one such neighbor whose kids are on one pharmaceutical or another. I will say hello to them but they will never will enter my social circles. To many of todays people expect help when they want it. Only to turn it down when it is not up to their standards. Anyways, off my soap box, good article.

    1. mmase, I agree, some neighbors are not worth it. Others could be of great help. You just need to be choosey about who you let in. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Flier, I love your post. Our Gandparents we're prepared for anything and everything. My Mom learned several things from her Mom (my Grandmother) and passed what she learned down to me. Most of my canning though, I've learned from my Blogger friends or sites off the internet. I try to always keep things around the house (food, soap, water, ect..) for emergencies or helping those in need. I've found there are more people in need now locally and across our country. We have alot of people coming into the church looking for food to feed their families. Groceries are getting expensive and families are just making their rent/mortgage and can barely afford to eat. We're just seeing the beginning of prices going up and people in need. We all need to prepare immensely for our future.

    1. Sandy, our grand parents, and great grand parents, and beyond. All seemed to have a prepper type of life style. They needed too. Also, how about seeing if your church could start a garden? It could help people of the church, to maybe cut some cost for their food at the store. And, maybe you could teach a canning class for the church. Just a thought. And thanks for stopping by.

  3. Being prepared should oome natural to people. My mother always canned. Daddy killed squirrels and stuff that I refused to eat, like froglegs. He did it because it was free meat. We did not live near anything much larger. When he was a child during The Great Depression, killing something made the difference in eating or going hungry.

    1. Practical Parsimony, Thanks for stopping by. You would think that more people would be more into being prepared. Or, at least having extra food and such in the house. I know of people, that go to the store every day. To buy one or two meals at a time. They have told me, that having extra food in the house is a waste of time, because, the food they get would spoil, before they eat it.
      What ever happened to home-ec, being taught in school. What about Mom's and Grandmothers teaching their kids some basic's. It just doesn't happen any more.

      I also had squirrel, frog legs, game birds and such. I enjoyed it, and ate my share. Our family heritage, part of it, was hunting. And what ever was brought home from the field, Forrest, stream, lake or what ever. We would eat. I can remember some great meals growing up, down South.


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