Being a bit of a nutter, I spend a lot of time on Turd Ferguson's precious metals blog. One of the regulars goes by the name of Katie Rose. She recently posted this and I think people would do well to read it and see she is talking about much more than alfalfa.
Alfalfa ~ Lessons I am learning
By Katie Rose
Since this is a website where we continue to stack gold and silver to protect our families from the inevitable monetary collapse, I thought I'd share with you about another group of folks who are also stacking.
Unlike paper gold and silver that can stretch a commodity, farmers are stacking something more precious to them than both gold and silver. Because of the drought, farmers are stacking alfalfa. And believe me, it has become as scarce and as costly as physical PM's.
We have a farm hand who is in jail due to an old drunk driving charge. When he turned himself in three years ago, the court sent him packing, saying he was "a non-violent offender" and the "jail was full." It's harvest time, so of course, an officer showed up and hauled him away, just when I need him the most. I can't stack ten tons of alfalfa, he can. :)
So I have been distracted and not on top of securing the 10 tons of alfalfa I need for the winter. Before this was not a concern, lots of ranchers growing tons and tons of alfalfa. And I had lots of farmers who told me to call them the last week of August for second cutting. They wouldn't take any orders, I was to call them. They wouldn't let me prepay either.
I have called and called and called. So far, all I have is 2 tons in the barn, and 3 more tons promised. One farmer with 700 acres of alfalfa has been selling his harvest to local folks for two days and only has 1 ton left! This is unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am seeing a low level panic among hobby farmers like myself. Farmers we usually purchase alfalfa from have none, have sold it to hay dealers in other parts of the country, or are holding on to it to see what it will bring this winter.
And I have a gut wrenching feeling that the panic I am experiencing among my friends is a foretaste of what we will be experiencing around food and PM's in the future.
- No one will tell me where they are getting their alfalfa until they have all they need safely stacked in their barns first.
- The farmers are reluctant to sell until they know how much they can get from out of area buyers.
- There are no buyers for farm animals right now, as no one knows how they will be able to feed the animals this winter. And we are being told it will be a hard winter.
I was just a few days too late, and the alfalfa is gone. This is only Wed. of the last week of August, and the alfalfa is leaving by the semi load heading east.
So, being resourceful, I am going to begin a grand experiment. I am going to purchase a few tons of organic barley from a local farmer. It is ordered and not yet harvested. Then I am going to do a "Redneck sprouting system" in our laundry room. Hopefully, I can create enough "fodder" to fill in the gaps from the missing alfalfa.
There are so many lessons to be learned from this.
I hope you have a supply of food to see you through difficult times. There is a feeling of panic around here concerning alfalfa. Most of us need second cutting alfalfa, and it came and went in the twinkling of an eye. I suspect we may be just weeks away from the same quiet panic when it comes to long term storage food. This has not been a good year for farmers.
There will be a time (maybe not this year, but soon) when our grocery store shelves will look like those stripped clean prior to a hurricane or a major snow storm. I am seeing it here with alfalfa. It gives me no pleasure at all to know the same is on the horizon for food.
When I asked is she minded me posting this here and, if not, did she have anything she'd like me to say by way of attribution, her response was
The truth is, I am just a woman who has too many goats and not enough alfalfa.........
We could a lot more like her.