Monday, 1 May 2017

09:09 – It was 60.9F (16C) when I took Colin out at 0650 this morning, gray, drizzling, and windy. We’ve had another 0.4″ (1 cm) of rain since yesterday evening. Up here, April showers bring May showers. Of course, we live in a rain forest, almost literally. If we head half an hour or so down the road towards Boone, we’re literally in a temperate rain forest. Sparta averages something like 56 inches (1.4+ meters) of rainfall per year. Another 4 inches or so and we’d qualify as a literal rain forest.

Barbara is off to the gym this morning, followed by various volunteer stuff. She’ll return home sometime this afternoon. As soon as I post this, I’ll make up a pot of white rice. We’re having beef fried rice for dinner tonight.

Frances and Al left Winston early yesterday to head up here, arriving about 0900. They spent most of the day working in the garden with Barbara. Al re-tilled the garden patch with our rototiller and then ran over it again with his small cultivator. They planted a lot of different stuff, including green beans, tomatoes, peas, a couple kinds of squash, cantelopes, a row of potatoes. and so on.

What they didn’t plant was some of the stuff we’d tried last year and found didn’t do very well in the garden. Our broccoli grew last year, but something ate it. So this year Barbara is planting broccoli, lettuce, and several other things in pots and grow bags up on our back deck to keep them away from the deer and other vegetable-ivorous fauna that munched them last year.


I got an interesting email yesterday from a long-time reader who tells me that I’ve been wrong all these years about Mormon food storage recommendations. The LDS Church recommends only 3 months’ food storage, says he, and he offers a Wikipedia link as evidence.

Wikipedia is wrong, as it so often is. Until the late 19th or early 20th century, the LDS Church recommended its members store seven years’ worth of food and other supplies. In the early 20th century, they reduced that to two years, and by the mid-20th century they reduced it to one. In the last decade or two, they started explicitly recommending members keep a 3-month supply of the foods they ate regularly, supplemented by additional LTS foods such as wheat, beans, honey or sugar, oil, and so on.

Without doing an exhaustive check of LDS literature, I’m not entirely sure of how much of that LTS food they recommend, but my impression is that they leave that decision to members. The main issue is that the LDS Church operates world-wide, and in some countries it’s illegal to “hoard” food.

I think that although the LDS Church is no longer explicit about how much food to store, members in the US who store food generally go with the one-year recommendation. That, incidentally, is only maybe 6% to 10% of LDS members in the US; despite the popular impression, most LDS members, particularly those who live outside Utah and the rest of the majority-LDS areas, do not follow Church recommendations on food storage. The average LDS member probably keeps a lot more food on hand than the average non-LDS member, but probably not even three months’ worth let alone a year’s worth or more.

I correspond with a lot of Mormons, and they probably average a year’s worth or more, but my correspondents are self-selecting so of course they skew more prepperish than the average LDS member. In fact, more than a few of them keep two years’ worth or more on hand because that’s what their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents did.