My grandmother, who was born in 1910 and lived to be almost 101, used to tell me about winter preparations on the large farm where she grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Most of the late summer and autumn months were spent drying, canning or otherwise preserving the produce or meat grown and harvested over the spring and summer season. Wood was chopped, seed stock recovered and saved, livestock safely housed and provisioned, and any house repairs undertaken to make sure that life would go on during the long, cold months of winter, right through to the other end.
She was still canning and preserving and preparing for winter well into the 1990s, long after she had left the farm. Because a winter without reliable provisions is a sad and dangerous prospect indeed.
Looking at the infographic above, I feel like I’m looking at the shelves of a pantry in late September, only to find that half of them are empty and the other half might not last the winter. It’s a sobering sight.
The bad news is that this situation still isn’t getting the attention it deserves – not in the media, not in government, not in industry.
The good news, as my grandmother used to say, is that many hands make light work.
I still think that given enough focus and attention, some of the pantry shelves can be restocked, and some can be better tended rather than simply wasted due to carelessness.
Piero Zagami Graphic Design website
The infographic was commissioned by BBC Future, which you can visit here (if you are outside the UK)