The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Shortages Will Get Worse Before They Get Better

… so stock up if you can.

Depending where you are there may also be rotating power brown-outs or shortages or heating and auto-fuel.

Don’t wait on this, buy now. It’s unlikely most of you can do much about fuel or power outs, but if you can, do. For example, if you have a fireplace or wood stove, stock up on wood. You can buy chargers for your small electronic devices; blankets or sleeping bags rated for real cold, and so on.

Not all areas will have power issues, you’ll have to do a bit of research to see if your area is vulnerable.

Meanwhile stock up the normal purchases: staples, water, medicine and so on. This means keeping a larger supply on hand than you would normally to buffer supply chain shocks.

Remember that the shortage of items which require semiconductors will continue for some time. Not only is there a global shortage, but the US embargo on China causes real issues because China is where final assembly of many products is done: if they can’t get the chips they need, those items don’t get finished.

I’m going to write more on why this happened because it’s not just about Covid, it’s about a system where this was inevitable if the system got hit by big shocks, but I don’t want to dilute this particular post’s message that  you should personally prepare.

(My writing helps pay my rent and buys me food. So please consider subscribing or donating if you like my writing.)


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 10, 2021


The Totalizing Principle Of Profit, and the Death of the Sacred


  1. Plague Species

    Please don’t stock up. That only makes the shortages that much worse. It promotes hoarding which is selfish and destructive and ultimately wasteful.

    The shortages are not going to get better. It is now a permanent feature and will get worse with time. Stocking up is not an answer to this. Learning to live with less and adapt to being more resilient is the answer. That, and kill the rich.

  2. Plague Species

    Also, those who are living on the margins paycheck to paycheck do not have the cash flow or the credit to stock up, so who exactly is the target audience for this exhortation to stock up? The Non-Essentials in the commentary and who read this venue but do not post commentary? Isn’t it already unfair enough these Non-Essentials get paid handsomely for bullsh*t jobs, a form of upside down socialism, while Essentials are nearly homeless working their backsides off for a pittance? These Non-Essentials don’t need any more charity or altruistic consultation. Let them suffer like the Essentials. Maybe then that illusive revolution can finally, miraculously, foment. This one is for you Chris Wray. How about those Braves!! Bulldogs too!!

  3. StewartM

    Power outages? We lose power where I live for a zillion reasons, and it’s only been getting worse. Over a stretch of 2-3 weeks I once counted we lost power 6 times.

    Robert Reich’s Youtube is making an interesting point: the so-called “labor shortage” is really akin to a disorganized general strike. Why work when wages have allowed to fall so low that the costs incurred by work are greater than not working? Of course, the Right will probably eventually respond to this the same way the Tudors did—make it illegal not to ‘have a visible means of support’.

    The more I look around, the more I realize how dependent our Masters want us to be on ‘the job’. They don’t want people doing end-runs about their labor system. This actually dates back to the very start of the US, to Jamestown, where the English tried to establish their system of lords and commoners in the New World, only to see the commoners either running off to join the Natives (and live better than they ever would under the rule of Lord Asshole) or to run off into the woods to start their own lives. That is why African slaves were brought in, to be the new serfs.

  4. At, there is a web page “Accompanying Documents for “How To Survive COVID” Webinar”

    The first reference is to “Life Transitions During Climate and Social Crises”

    The first few sections are relevant for people who chose to get out of the way of the buffalo stampede headed their way:

    Twenty Three Tips for Getting Off the Grid 4
    Chart 1: Best & Worst States – Fiscal Stability 7
    Chart 2: Best & Worst States – Healthcare 8
    Chart 3: Best & Worst States – Freedoms 9
    Regional Overview of Climate Impacts 10
    Chart 4: Climate Change Adverse Effects by State 15
    Chart 5: Climate Change Adverse Effects by State 17
    Chart 6: Climate Preparedness & Economic Vitality 19

  5. Ian Welsh

    Those who can, should. Personally I’m one of those with so little money that my stocking up is minimal (rice and so on.) So what? I’m not writing only for people who have no money, I write for everyone. That’s why I don’t have content behind subscriptions, for example, even though I might be better off if I did.

  6. Joan

    Thanks for the heads up Ian! My husband and I are considering letting our internet and phone bills go in order to tighten our belts if things get bad. If I don’t comment here for a good long while, good luck everybody! For now we’re just keeping an eye on things though.

  7. Mary Bennett

    Useful items which one has had the foresight to buy can be shared or traded with networks of friends and family.

    “Hoarding is selfish and destructive”? That would be because thrift shop buying of e.g. quality older tools keeps us from buying the newer crappy models? Thus costing someone a profit making opportunity? Do you also condemn the practice of maintaining what one already has? Not all of us want new and improved.

  8. Ché Pasa

    Shortages, yes. I’ve noticed for some time and tried to report on what’s going on here in the wilderness. Sometimes abundance, sometimes no, but always something is in short supply or no supply and we have to make do — or not.

    We got a notice from our natural gas association the other day that prices for their supply were expected to rise 80%, so the association was raising our monthly gas rate by 80% now in anticipation. Lot of poor people live out here and despite efforts to conserve, this is going to hit them hard. Are there alternatives? Not for us, and not for a lot of others, though temporarily electric heat will be less expensive. Only trouble is that electric service has never been particularly reliable out here, and outages are getting more frequent, not less.

    We found all sorts of oddities, restrictions, shortages, service interruptions, high prices and so forth on our trip to California last week interfering with comfort and convenience but not so bad that it was unendurable. This is no doubt what Our Rulers are counting on: make it a little worse a little at a time and the rubes get used to it despite complaints; keep the shocks to a minimum, but introduce them every now and then just the same. And keep the virus active on top of it.

    Of course, they’re not gods, and they can’t control everything, so as things continue spiraling into chaos shocks and shortages and inconveniences will hit them too. Of course they’ve already stocked up, warehouses full of stuff “just in case,” but unpredictable events can and will affect even them.

    We did notice that at Bruno’s Market and Deli in Carmel-by-the-Sea, every shelf was stocked full (haven’t seen that near our place for more than a year) all supplies were in good supply and more was being put out on the shelves by the minute. So (for now) if you’re rich enough and well-placed enough, no problem. That, however, is bound to change.

    As important as stocking up is identifying sources of supply beyond your local store or bodega. Where do their supplies come from and can you get access to the source? Are there local sources that you can access? Farmers? Ranchers? Farmers’ markets? Roadside stands? Nearby home gardeners to trade and share with?

    Keep and adequate supply of medications on hand (I’m lazy at this and need to get better). Paper products. Water (we have to drink bottled water, but so far it’s dispensed at low cost at several places nearby.)

    Motor fuel can be problematical even now. There were a couple of places on the California coast with prices near $7 a gallon, short supply, don’t you know. But if they run out, folks who live out there might get stuck. We face a similar situation here. Trying to plan for that eventuality, some neighbors are slowly filling 55 gallon drums to be sure they have fuel no matter what. Some ranchers have their own pumps — but supply is questionable.

    On and on and on. Don’t know how to prevent eventual panic, though.

  9. someofparts

    Suspect I am not the only one here who has been organizing my life around frugality for decades now, so we have long ago locked in some of the precautions that will be more important going forward. I spent most of my life without a car in the worst city in the country to do without a vehicle. Since the day when I did manage to finally get a car I have never been willing to live outside of the center of the city. Even if the rents are a bit higher, I pay the higher rent so that, push come to shove, doing without a car will be manageable if it comes to that. Which also means that a spike in the price of gasoline is a non-problem because of precautions I have followed for decades. (Speaking of spoiled people who don’t deserve help PS, how would you and the family manage if you had to use the bus system around here? Bet it doesn’t even go to your neighborhood out on the periphery does it?)

    As to people not going back to work, single moms have to be a huge part of that. Typical of our culture even to this day, our thinking defaults to men and ‘disappears’ women. I think a huge part of the population not going back to work must be single women who not only make less, but find child care arrangements particularly problematic in covid times. Far from being something deliberate and strategic, I fear that there is a great deal of appalling desperation and hardship underway in the world of single motherhood in these mean, heartless times.

  10. Mark Level

    Most shit doesn’t work and there’s nobody in charge to fix it– no longer a system “bug”, it is now a system feature. They’ve been lowering the public’s expectations for years, & since the public largely goes along with it, it’s all good!! (And caveat, in American culture you can always punch down, blame the retail worker, or the “lazy” shlubs who won’t work in a shitty job for minimum wage during a pandemic, NOT the CEO’s who won’t raise wages. On airline flights you can bully the stewards/-esses, that’s okay, they must be the responsible parties for your delays, overcharges, etc. . . It all came out into the open I think with Barfsack Obama. Vote for the glib “Hope & Change” guy and he’ll ally with the Rs to bail out the bankers, continue the wars indefinitely (& copy his predecessor with doomed-to-fail in advance “surges”), say the torture was bad but let all the torturers go free, pretend to wanna shut down Gitmo but the big mean R’s (usually his allies) won’t let him, etc, etc. The political Elites never pay any price, whomever we “elect” based on the corporate cash will continue and deepen the status quo . . . Yup, unless you’re a billionaire with a safe haven and deep stock of food, etc. you may be vulnerable. Best to take some basic precautions. Sinema and Manchin are now reminding all the li’l folks it doesn’t matter what you want (much less need), we work for the donors and not you. You are fucked, please die quietly and don’t pester us in the bathroom with your petty, miserable death, I guess Cory Booker will tell everyone. He’s got his millions from Big Pharma so he and his will be fine!! And now Fox news likes him, ‘coz evil Bernie Sanders refused to sign onto the Overlord’s position that talking back to your betters for hurting you is neither gracious nor allowed!!

  11. George

    I agree, single Mother Hood is a synonym for hardship, and it has never ever been easy.

    One of the commenter’s here urges not to stock up or hoard goods. I feel he is right only because in doing so shortages get worse and when it is being done for reasons of buying at a price today which will cost even more tomorrow, well that just the classic definition of hyper inflation. If you combine the savings of making your purchases today with shortages now apparent in first world countries, the hyper inflation that this produces snowballs into just that.

    I think all the “supply interruptions” and long waiting periods for ordered goods is exactly what happens when you lose a trade war. The last administration discovered sanctions and tariffs to their likening. They abused them to a point others on the receiving end reacted in kind. We are living through the results and Biden has no intentions of easing up, even telling China so at the very start of his negotiations.

    The stack up at the ports is just a visual reminder left in place pointing a finger to what they want you to think is the problem. All the while they talk about negotiating but offer no relief for their self created disaster. Is it really possible a country which mobilized to fight the second world war overseas can not unload and deliver containers littering Long Beach harbor?

    I think most people would agree, the American economy is entirely dependent on manufacturing in China. And because of the giant cost of living difference; housing, rent, education, health care etc. at this point it’s going to be tough to compete even if you did bring all that manufacturing home. We went $28 trillion in the hole and have zero miles of high speed rail, how is that even possible?

    Another blunder would be sanctioning the number two natural gas reserves country of Iran, and keeping that supply off the market until what? You get energy shortages, duh.

    Or the darling Fed running hot inflation while paying negative returns on savings, this alone is enough to kill an economy. Sorry, sort of turned into a rant but just saying, the problems we are experiencing are mostly self induced.

  12. different clue

    @Mark Level,

    If the readers of this blog all decline to ” blame down, punch down”, that is a start for people to build out from, if building out is possible. There may be other little centers of lack-of-tolerance for ” blame down, punch down”. The next step after ” don’t blame down, don’t punch down” is to ” blame up, punch up” in whatever ways one can without compromising one’s own survival situation.

    @Che Pasa,

    If someone is storing gasoline in 55 gallon drums, are they putting some kind of preservative additive in it to keep it from forming some gums or resins that I have read form in long-stored gasoline? Does someone here know about this? Also, how many people could get little scooters or mopeds for some personal transport, which would make gasoline go farther? Or rechargable electric scooters which they could recharge with their own little solar power scooter recharger systems? If they prepare for that in time? That may not be relevant in the deep countryside, but it may be relevant to people in slightly denser areas, or living on a driveable road.

    ” Don’t stock up” because ” that makes you a hoarder” is silly frivolous advice. I feel comfortable in dismissing it from any serious consideration. The things you stock up on now while they exist in sufficiency are the things you don’t have to panic-buy later when all the non-stocker-uppers are out there panic buying their soap . . . toilet paper . . . etc.

    Canned food, honey, storable grains and beans, oils, herbs and spices, and the knowledge to cook and otherwise prepare them in ways that you like and will eat are good to stockpile a medium amount of now, so that you are not competing with others when these things are shortaged. Every personal stockpile now puts some more slack and padding-of-bumps into the overall system. And of course eat the oldest things first and work your way to the newest, and add just enough newer things to the newest end of the stockpile so that you are always eating, always maintaining the size of the stockpile, and never letting anything go bad.

    I am living in a situation where phone service is a personal survival essential. If I had to cut back on spending, I would down-spend somewhere “else” in order to remain phone-connected. If I had internet connection and there were no public internet anywhere around me, I would also treat internet connection as an important essential, to maintain by cutting back elsewhere instead. But I don’t live in a semi-country situation where phone-internet may be unecessary to survival.

    @Stewart M,

    If the government decides to go Full Metal Tudor on the citizens, and several million of those citizens turn out to have lots of guns and ammo, the government may find that imposing Condition Full Metal Tudor on a well gunned and well ammoed citizenry may be harder than they thought. Those citizens who wish to be part of making it hard to impose Condition Full Metal Tudor and who are already part of the Gun Culture may already know all they need to know about preparing for future gun shortages, gun parts shortages, ammo shortages. I have read that as soon as certain kinds of ammo shows up for sale anywhere, it is immediately bought out for personal use and personal stockpiling.

    And if someone I trust is living in my home “for free”, and decides to register my generosity as his “visible means of support”, I will vouch for that fact. If an additive mass of individuals can help eachother withdraw “labor” from the “labor markets” faster than the employer class can prevent or obstruct or adapt, it may be possible to torture them into job and pay improvement before they can get their government to impose Condition Full Metal Tudor against a population. And remember, some of that population will be gunned up, ammoed up , and already very bitter.

    Also, for those people who can do a little bit of it, stockpiling a little bit of cash in small bills and coins in case cash is still honored by people selling things that only some form of money will pay for.

  13. Trinity

    It will be interesting to see how the powerful frame this, beyond “shop now for Christmas gifts” which is more propaganda than a response. They are always looking for ways to profit from our problems that they themselves created. Life is hell.

    PS is right, however. We are going to have to learn to do with less whether we like it or not. There are a LOT of people who’ve already had to do with much less for quite some time. someofparts posted a reminder of those people in the recent open thread. I watched that video twice, just to remind myself what really matters (that we all should matter).

    Listening to alternative futures fiction is what’s getting me (barely) through. One I listened to last night was about a post-apocalypse US, and how they “had to teach themselves to make tasty meals with few ingredients, the way Grandma used to do.” That struck a chord with me. We live in a house of cards. But the stories are also reminders about what really matters.

    Thanks, Ian, for the reminder to stock up. I needed it.

  14. Astrid

    Sorry to be flaunting my consumerism excessively.

    For slightly more durable food security without growing it yourself (which is not economical or realistic for most people) I would suggest finding CSAs that deliver within walking or biking distance to your home or work. Then sign up for their newsletters so you can jump on a subscription when they come up on offer in the new year. Even the pricier ones at maybe $30 per week should amply provide enough fruit and veg for 2 hearty vegetarians or 4 normal adults. I know that’s still pretty expensive for lots of folks, but it can be split multiple ways and it’s typically low pesticide, local, healthy food that supports local farmers.

    Make sure to read some reviews before signing up and go for a trial membership if that’s available. The food should be good tasting and be easily sellable at a road side stand or farmer’s market. Otherwise they suck and are just robbing you blind. With spices and umami (miso, soy, fish sauce) sources, plus rice and beans (maybe tofu or a little meat for variety), it would make for a very healthy and varied diet. Some hard cheese, cured sausage, or vinegar (even white Heinz) can add nice savor and lasts for months. Dark chocolate or hard candy are shelf stable and good occasional mood enhancers. Dried fruit is good to have on hand. I find Trader Joe’s tend to have pretty good selections of these things.

    Now is apple/pear/persimmon season. If you have room in your crisper or a cool cellar area, they can typically store to nearly spring if loosely wrapped in plastic bags. Carrots, cabbages, large radish, potatoes, and onions (should be the smaller, non-sweet onions, ideally with at least 2 good layers of dry skin and very hard) can also store for months in cooler dark (brown paper grocery bags with top folded over) storage. Sweet potato and winter squash (esp. butternut and kabocha) will store well at 50-65 degrees. Farmer’s market can be good, but I find the best deals at Korean supermarkets, who seem to have good ties to Korean farmers and have great veg and fruit offerings good prices.

    Most heavy sleeping bags breath pretty well, layers of blankets do not and gets clammy. An electric blanket may be helpful for the easily chilled. Or a couple rubber water bladders that can be filled with hot water and then wrapped in a towel for warmth.

    For the somewhat more excessive, Costco has the best Cold frame kit on the market slightly on sale, albeit at a much higher price than it went for this spring.

    It’s expensive but well made. Good for keeping lettuce and spinach sow in early September in good condition, often into the new year. Good in the spring for starting and gardening seedlings outside.

  15. someofparts

    What is a CSA?

  16. Ché Pasa

    Community Supported Agriculture

    One of our local farmers participates and advocates. Not so much for folks around here, though. We can go right to the farm and pick/buy what we want. We’re close enough to the cities that it’s worthwhile for the farm to participate in deliveries to subscribers in Albuquerque and to fancy people in Santa Fe. Note: it’s expensive!

    I’m not sure of the details of how it works. Maybe Astrid can fill us in.

  17. Astrid

    I have a longer post stuck in moderation right now. Some of the luxury CSAs do have discount programs for low income people. I know Potomac Vegetable Farms has one. Depending on your paranoia about the future, it might be better to aim for one based off of a farm near where you live. Lots of these CSAs operate from 2 hours away, so I do wonder if there comes a point (vehicle breakdown or high gas prices) when they might just not be able to operate.

    If you’re financially very strapped or a bargain hunter like my mom, you can check the bargain racks in Asian grocery stores. She claims that she barely noticed the grocery price jump because for her, it was only stuff on sale, at Costco where price jump haven’t been very obvious, and what she picked up from the $1 produce rack at Lotte. I used to see such racks in normal grocery stores when I was longer, but now they seem to be mostly an Asian store thing. You end up with a lot of stuff that must be processed or eaten immediately, but they can be picked, fermented, blanched and frozen, or incorporated into batch cooking.

    Another thing about CSAs. They are usually organic or at least nature friendly, but not quite home grown. Every one I’m aware of rely heavily on Johnny’s and hybrid seeds for their crops. Heirlooms are too unpredictable and don’t have handling qualities that lend themselves to a commercial operation. That’s why heirloom tomatoes are $5/pound and I am getting reliable red slicers and Roma’s in the CSA and grow my own heirlooms.

  18. Plague Species

    About that cold frame kit. It’s made of polycarbonate. Too funny. Stock up on polycarbonate so you can contribute even more methane and ethylene into the atmosphere. Is this meant to be a parody?

    Authors of a study conducted at Hawai’i University recently reported another good reason to redouble global efforts to beat plastic pollution: as plastics decay, they emit traces of methane and ethylene, two powerful greenhouse gases, and the rate of emission increases with time. The emissions occur when plastic materials are exposed to ambient solar radiation, whether in water or in the air, but in air, emission rates are much higher.

    The researchers tested polycarbonate, acrylic, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene, high-density polyethylene and low-density polyethylene – materials used to make food storage, textiles, construction materials and various plastic goods.

    “Low-density polyethylene emits these gases when incubated in air at rates about 2 times and 76 times higher than when incubated in water for methane and ethylene, respectively,” says the study.

    “Our results show that plastics represent a heretofore unrecognized source of climate-relevant trace gases that are expected to increase as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment,” the study concludes.

  19. anon

    This should fall under the preparing for bad times thread. Uncertain times and shortages ahead should also be another reason why those who can afford to should buy a house with a backyard, garage, and room for a garden, shed and/or storage area over an apartment or condo. I moved from a condo with terrible neighbors I knew would not help in an emergency situation to a house where at least I have room to store tools, wood, a generator, and grow my own garden if necessary. The poor who are more likely not be able to afford to leave small places and live in higher crime areas will not be in a good place in coming years. I foresee a future with regular shortages and natural disasters because of climate change. Count your blessings if you own land, are self sufficient to an extent, and live in an area with low crime and fairly trustworthy neighbors.

  20. StewartM

    If the government decides to go Full Metal Tudor on the citizens, and several million of those citizens turn out to have lots of guns and ammo, the government may find that imposing Condition Full Metal Tudor on a well gunned and well ammoed citizenry may be harder than they thought.

    I’ve never seen a shred of evidence that actually works, especially when the PTB are “kicking downwards”. For one thing, guns aren’t that cheap, even cheap guns, and military-style weapons for sure aren’t cheap. If you can afford to spend money on (what for most people) is an non-necessity (let’s get real here) then you’re not that poor. If the PTB say (Far Side Moment here with The Pointy-Haired Manager pointing an accusing finger) “Bob the janitor boy is the cause of all our company’s problems” you’ll buy into it.

    Being not that poor, like the Jan 6th insurrectionists, you’ll likely buy whatever propaganda the PTB put out. The gun-owning Germans (and yes, the Nazis *loosened* restrictions on gun ownership) surely didn’t rush out to defend the socialists, Jews, and others. Those Germans didn’t do that any more than poor whites in the South rushed out to help runaway slaves escape. Both believed in the ‘rightness’ of their social systems, even when those systems were royally screwing them.

  21. different clue

    What is the percent of greenhouse-gas emissions from plastic as it ages and breaks down relative to the greenhouse gas emissions from all other sources combined? High enough to be a problem? Or low enough to be derisory and a diversion from addressing more important sources?

    And what percent of plastic is comprised of polycarbonate greenhouse components? A lot? Or a small enough percent to be derisory compared to other uses of polycarbonate resins?

  22. Plague Species

    Amongst the global negativity towards plastics, we shouldn’t forget how single use plastics are saving lives.

    Just as we have employed SUTs to beat back the SARS-CoV-2 virus with polymeric-based vaccine-manufacturing tools and technology, our SUP friends have been there too: ventilator tubes, BP cuffs, hoods, shoe covers, gowns, goggles, face shields, treatment tents, mattress covers, face masks, and blood and saline bags are all in the COVID-19 fray as frontline defense tools – and have saved lives. By design and definition, these “single-use” items ensure sterility and safety to patients and staff.

    When it is your time to sit for a COVID-19 vaccine administered by a masked health care professional, remember to say, after the needle sinks into your arm, “Thank you. And thank you single-use plastics.”

    Quite the conundrum. An enigma of sorts. Plastic takes lives and saves lives. You have to love it and hate it and hoard it if you can.

  23. Plague Species

    On a positive note, at least that cold frame unit isn’t made in China. It’s made in Austria instead but still part of that precariously fragile long supply chain.

  24. Astrid


    I have 2 responses on CSAs stuck in comment. Che is correct though I really don’t think that they’re fancy. It’s possible that Santa Fe, like the Hamptons, gets the extra fancy farm boxes. This is an example of nice but not insane end from SF.

    But $20-35 per week is the norm and should feed 4 normal adults easily. They tend to be an economical way to get organic, locally grown foods. Sometimes the fancier ones may offer discount to low income people.

    I suggested CSAs because a lot of people talk about growing their own food but don’t have the space or energy for it. Believe me, most community garden look fantastic in early May and are overgrown weed patches by August.
    CSA is cost efficient compared to gardening for vast majority of people and will provide better quality and more varied foods (carrots and certain brassicas are tricky to grow well and even lettuce requires regular moisture to stay tender and sweet).

  25. Ché Pasa

    I did a bit of follow up on the local farm CSA offering. None are available now because it’s late in the season, but from what I’ve found out, the cost is $550 for a full share — one box a week for the season, 16-18 weeks, veg chosen by the farmer. Paid in advance. A half-share — one box every other week for the same season — is $290 in advance. Subscribers can choose one of three locations for pick up. No home deliveries.

    They look at this arrangement as a means to ensure the farm’s success over time — although they’ve been very successful for decades but with limited crops: corn and beans. They are expanding their vegetable plantings and hope for more.

    Factored over the whole growing season, the cost is not much or any higher than buying fresh at the grocery store, but those vegetables have a sometimes dubious origin, and most travel very long distances before they appear on your grocer’s shelves.

    It was always ironic to me that in California, most of the fruits and vegetables on the shelves were from distant origins while nearby farms and orchards shipped all or almost all of their produce out of state or out of the country.

    The up front cost of the CSA boxes will bar many or most folks from subscribing. Certainly few around here have that kind of money on hand or available.

    But then we can go straight to the farm — and many do. And nearly everyone has at least a small garden of their own.

  26. Astrid

    Going straight to the farm can certainly be the way to go, especially if you don’t like certain vegetables or don’t have a predictable meal schedule. CSA works better for busy, non-picky eaters who can incorporate a share pick up into their weekly routine.

    This is my local CSA though there are many others in the area. It works out to be about $25 per week for the larger share that would comfortably feed 4 meat eating adults. They run one of the longest schedules I’ve seen outside of California, from April to December. They are a big operation and undoubtedly rely on poly hoophouse for early season production, but main season is field grown and very appealing quality (except for the wormy corn, though that’s very sweet at least).

    The pick up site is 5 minutes drive from my home. One thing I like is that it’s no contact and open air. You pick up your box of the week and drop off last week’s box (along with plastic containers for cherry tomatoes and such). In and out in 2 minutes.

    For people who don’t have the space and time to garden, it’s a good compromise that’s easy, supports local agriculture, hopefully reduces your carbon footprint, and can save a bit of money if you already prefer organic and local produce. In uncertain times, it’s also a guarantee for the season, rather than working about how the supermarket looks week to week. It’s also eating seasonally, which is nice in that you don’t see the same Mexican asparagus or California broccoli year around, so they’re actually a treat when they are in season.

  27. different clue

    @Che Pasa,

    What kind of corn and beans did this just-lately-CSA farm used to be growing?

  28. Ché Pasa

    They still primarily grow corn and beans; veg is a “side hustle.” As they say. As for varieties, I couldn’t tell you. It’s sweet corn; dried beans. That’s most of their income. Keeps the place going.

    The other big farm around here is basically a seasonal farm theme park. No lie.

  29. different clue

    @Che Pasa,

    I just wanted to be sure whether it was or wasn’t agribulk commodity GMO petrochemical shitcorn and agribulk commodity GMO petrochemical shitsoy or not.

  30. Ché Pasa

    Both Farmer and Mrs Farmer are graduates of UC Santa Cruz. GMO? HA! Not on a bet.

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