OK, so I didn’t exactly fall off the face of the planet, but it rather seems like it here, I’m sure.
In the past month:
1. The morning sickness has mostly passed. Mostly.
2. We took our annual farm trip to Eastern Washington with two other families, made 73 gallons of cider and brought back 850 pounds of apples.
3. Hired loggers to take down the trees that really needed to taken down. The one leaning towards the kids’ bedrooms went down yesterday with a mighty crash!
4. Helped butcher 120 chickens, a dozen or so turkeys, half a dozen ducks and four geese.
… some of these I plan longer posts on, later. Like, once the snow falls and the homeschooling is more caught up than at present, and I’m not knee-deep in applesauce.
This evening, I had a very interesting conversation with a neighbor of mine. I was giving him 12 gallons of apple peels and cores to feed his steers. (My goats already ate a fair share, and they can’t have too much or it’ll make them bloat. I don’t have a compost bin set up yet, either.)
Anyway. He works for a major food company – US Food – that supplies restaurants and big food suppliers nation-wide. His comment this evening is that while food prices have risen about 10% in recent months, we haven’t seen anything yet. He expects food prices to rise an additional 20% by mid-February.
Herds (beef, pork, etc.) are at their lowest levels in decades, due to farmers butchering because they can’t afford rising feed prices. Corn harvests in the Midwest were dismal failures this year, and the rising cost of corn for feed and food (and fuel) is driving up everything.
The orchard we purchased our apples from (Bill’s Berry Farm in Grandview), had massive hail damage this year, and is still getting orders from as far away as New York and Michigan for their sauce- and juice-grade apples because the orchards in those states (which rank #2 & #3 in the country for apple production) lost 85% of their crop this year to frost damage.
I think my next Azure order is going to reflect what I’m hearing from my neighbor and our farm friends, that’s what. Yikes! Now I really wish I hadn’t missed tomato season!