Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First they dismiss my comments... and corn shortages

I attended a public meeting at a local Forest Service office today.  There were about 25 people in attendance including some of the federal higher ups.  At the beginning of the meeting they had a package of material for each attendee.  There were a couple of people speaking about different things the Forest Service has been doing.  

When the floor was open to comments I had a few things to say since I had knowledge of how some processes take place throughout the state.  The main speaker was polite with the "we appreciate your comments" b.s. but I could tell I wasn't taken too seriously.  No problem, I won't speak up anymore.   I really do know what works in other parts of the state and you could implement them here.  But do it your own stupid way.

After that go round, the speaker took a report that he had photocopied and started passing copies around.  He explained that this report was worth reading because of the expertise of the writer on this subject matter. Now I get it.  He already had made up his mind so he didn't really want to hear any comments from the audience. 

He said he didn't have enough for everyone so if more than one person was from the same group perhaps they didn't need to take one for each of them.  He offered one to me.  No thank you... I don't need one since I wrote it!  Yep, he was passing out a document that I wrote several years ago.  You should have seen his jaw drop.

I've been paying attention to the crop reports lately.  Less than 1/3 of the corn that should be planted by now has been planted.  Pretty soon the deadline will be upon farmers that if the crop doesn't get put into the ground they won't qualify for crop insurance.  If that happens the land will be planted with soybeans rather than corn. 

What does this mean to the consumer?  Anything with corn in the product is going to go up in price.  Corn meal, corn syrup, corn flour, corn flakes, corn bread, corn, corn starch, animal feed, and fuel. 

How will this affect me?  Everything on the list above we purchase.  Animal feed hasn't gone down in price since the superspike from a couple years ago.  Hen scratch that was $8 a bag is now $14. What will it be after this next shortage?  Fortunately I have the space to grow as much food as I want.  My drawback is the time to water and weed.  With the new work schedule I have been doing a good job keeping up with the watering and weeding so this weekend I'm going to plant corn.  Lots of corn to keep my chickens happy for the next year.  I'll plant enough to keep up happy too! 

I'm hoping to do more pressure canning this year and that will mean canning corn.  Last year I dried corn and that turned out well so if I don't can it I can dry it once again.  To dry the corn for us to eat I took it off the cob, cooked it for about 1/2 the time of normal, then put it into the dehydrator.  For the chickens I just left it to dry on the cob and put the cobs into a trash can with a tight fitting lid. 

If you are looking for something to buy this week for your home food storage, you should think about adding more corn.   


  1. Did the official ask your permission to use the document? I am amazed hoe many people use other's work without permission.

    I wish we had room for corn. We may try some this year. Usually that's a farmer's market purchase for our eating corn. But you make a good point about the shortages for the chickens and animals.

    1. It's a government document so it's available for anyone. Actually it was nice to see that the document is being used. All too often reports get written and then shelved because they were only written because regulation required it, not because anyone wanted it.

  2. We are planting more corn this year as well. I'll have to drop in some earwig traps but hopefully that will take care of the only pest issue I had in the big garden.
    It's a long weekend of work for a few hours, garden for a few hours... awesome.