What I’m learning is that stores were invented for good reason. They were not invented singularly as a retail opportunity. Like banks, they were invented with the needs of the community foremost.
Right now, I’m suffering from the lack of a store. The problem is the sheer bulk of produce that is available at this time of year. So the store’s purpose of “storage” is desperately needed at our house. Our living quarters are being overrun by heads of cabbage.
I look for a pot and find it filled with forgotten string beans, well along in the process of ripening the very air I’m wanting to breathe. In deep hunger, I open the fridge only to be confused by the unknown array of jars and containers, in some stage of experimentation. I close the fridge and eat a carrot, which I happen to find on the stairs, or in a pocket of one of the starving children. For thirst…well, there is always water. The math is frightening.
Normally, stores protect the public from math, so without them, we must do our own calculations. And what I’m learning from this preliminary research is that we simply do not have the room to do this. We will need hundreds of pounds of fruit and vegetables. We have three freezers. Does that mean that we have to process and condense and dehydrate and generally desecrate every bit of texture and flavor in order to survive this trial?
Suddenly, this food experiment of Suzanne’s is taking on a whole new flavor. Not only will the house become our store and warehouse, but the people in the house will become pickers and packers and washers and sorters and canners. But only if we want to eat …