We believe the Lord's words when He gave this scripture.

For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

Doctrine and Covenants Section 104:17

There aremany situations where people are starving. That does not change the fact that the earth is full and enough to spare. The problem is that man has changed the situation and gone against the commandments of the Lord. When the Indian tribes in the U.S. were placed on reservations where they could not resume their customs of providing food for the tribe they became dependent on the government to provide them food until they adapted themselves to their new environment and learned to provide for themselves. The earth is full but we must work to have it produce. As we travel through what used to be productive farms and orchards we are sad to see them being replaced by housing complexes. The cement and housing areas will not produce food or the necessities of life.

The prophets of the Lord have counseled us to store up food and other necessities for a time of emergency. When we obey this council it gives us a good feeling of obedience and also of security. Even though we may not be forced to live entirely from our food storage we can feel secure in having it.

Many years ago I was riding along on a dim trail across a beautiful mesa high in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The mesa was dotted with beautiful pine trees with high grass beneath. I rode into a beautiful little meadow where I could see an ancient dead pine tree near the trail. I was curious to know why this old pine tree was still standing stark and white from the storms and weather. The bark had long since fallen off leaving it bare leaving its bare trunk and high branches standing out among its live companions. As I approached I could see that the tree trunk was completely covered with ingeniously stored acrons. Each acorn was stored in a little hole in the tree especially made for it. As sat looking at this rare sight I saw in my mind the tedious work of making each little hole and then finding the acorn and bringing it to pound it into the tight fitting hole.

The only thing that could have made those precise little holes must have been a woodpecker. I can just see that wood pecker working diligently season after season for many years to completely fill that ancient tree trunk with perfectly stored acrons.

Even though the woodpecker had not used his acrons he had continued to store them until his storage place was completely full. I was surprised that there were no vacant holes in the tree trunk from top to bottom. Nothing had disturbed this store house through the years. Even the squirrels had respected this storehouse. They had probably preferred to gather fresh acrons rather than work to extract the acrons from the tiny holes. The work of storage had long been abandoned because the acrons were weathered along with the trunk of the tree.

Naoma and I during our married life have worked each season to bottle fruit and vegetables for our storage. Even though very little of our storage was used through the winter we would continue each season to store more bottled fruit and dried fruit and vegetables. Even now in our store room there is some of our storage that is 25 or 30 years old. Was our effort wasted? The answer is no! Even though we did not use all of our storage we had the satisfaction of storing good food for the security of our family. We would even kill a nice fat young heifer and bottle the meat which is still good after many years of storage.

Many of natures storing insects and animals store much more than they can use especially when food is plentiful. I have seen hollow trees that were filled with stored nuts even after years of abandonment.

Even the wild bees store up every available space with honey that they can not possibly use.

Since Naoma and I have been married we have been very conscious of storing food. We have tried to keep a two years supply of food. About fifty years ago we got some fifty gallon drums and washed them out very well and waited till they were dry. We used these drums to store beans and wheat. We cured the beans by putting them in the deep freeze for four or five days then we stored them in the fifty gallon drum and sealed lids of the drums with hot wax. We sprinkled highlife into the drums to keep the wheat from getting weevils in it. The highlife gas was heavier than air so it would force all of the air and oxygen out of the drums. I filled one drum with wheat and sealed it up and was filling another. As the wheat filled up it forced highlife gas out of the small opening of the drum. It got dark so I connected up an electric light globe to continue to fill the drum. I placed the light bulb on top of the drum near where I was pouring in the wheat. The heat of the light globe ignited the escaping gas and it exploded with a whoosh. Hot flames came out of the barrel and burned my face, hair, eye brows and eye lashes. I went into have Naoma anoint the burns on my face with Pricrato de Butesin, a yellow burn medicine. We finished filling the barrel with the light globe at a distance. We stored those barrels of wheat in the pump room for fifty years.

A few months ago we were cleaning out the pump room to install a new water system. As we moved all of the things that had accumulated we came to2 50 gallon drums full of wheat we had stored there 50 long years ago. I was curious to examine the wheat to see if it was good after being stored that long. We poured out a bucket full and found that it was still good. On examining the wheat we found that we had not cleaned it before putting it in the drums. We decided that we would need to pick it over by hand and wash it thoroughly before it could be ground in our Electric Whisper Mill. It had a lot of trash and rocks in it. We decided if we cleaned it , it would be more work than what it was worth. We decided to feed it a little at a time to the birds during the winter months. We have finished one barrel over the months and are feeding the birds out of the other one. When we started to feed there were four doves that had been raised on our lot that were coming morning and evening. Gradually the doves increased in number until now more than fifty doves come to feed morning and evening. We love to watch them congregate and fill the big Catalpa tree. They cautiously fly down and fill their crops with wheat. They eagerly pick up a grain at a time, moving along the line of wheat. Suddenly at some signal they will explode away with the loud whistling of their wings. Most of them are white winged doves. There are about a half a dozen Ringed neck doves in the group. As we started to feed The small Sparrow like birds began to collect a few more each day. Now large flocks fly down out of the near by Forcythia bush. They only stay long enough for each of them to pick up one grain of wheat at a time. Then with a loud flutter of wings they fly back into the bush. One second later they are back in a big flock to repeat the process. It is interesting to watch them flutter down only to fly again into the bush. At first the Boat Tailed Grackles did not eat the wheat but one at a time they began to come and eat a few grains. Now bunches of ten or twelve will come together to eat. The males will sit in the Catalpa tree and give their varied whistling calls. We often sit in the front of the garage about l5 feet away from the wheat. It is interesting to watch the different habits of the birds as they get brave enough to come down to eat. We love to hear the cooing calls of the Doves and the loud whistling of the Blackbirds. We even hear the song of the Mocking bird and the warbling trill of the rose breasted House Finch. All of these birds can consume a lot of wheat. I often wonder where they will go to find their daily food when the wheat is gone. All of the birds fly to find their food each day. They continually to search all day long, day after day to find enough food.

The only birds that I have seen that think of storing food are the Woodpecker that stored the acorns in the old pine tree, and the Butcher Birds that I have seen impale grasshoppers and lizards on the barbs of barb wired fences near their nests.

I suppose that the fowls of the air do not need to store their food because they can fly great distances in search of their food.

Some of the rewards of storing food are working together as a family to produce food for the table and enough to store for future use. Another reward is the actual preparing and preserving the food for storage.

Naoma and I through the years have enjoyed working together preserving and storing food the produce of our own garden. I Remember the enjoyable feeling of pealing our tree ripened peaches and putting them in bottles ready to steam and seal for our storage. We bottled tomatoes and many quarts of tomato juice. We picked and shucked the sweet corn and cut it off the cob and put it in pint bottles. We picked the string beans and prepared them by cutting off the strings and cutting them up for bottling. We made applesauce and apple butter, and fig jam. and tomato preserves. Naoma was very good at making jams and jellies using our fruit. We picked many buckets of apples from our trees and sometimes from the trees in the mountains. We made many quarts of apple juice. We made some applesauce and apple butter, We pealed and dried the rest. We supplied Aunt Clara with dried apples which she loved to munch on.

We would go to the ranch and drive around in the van and find a nice fat yearling heifer. I would shoot her in the forehead and she would drop to the ground. I would step out quickly and go and cut her juggler vein to bleed her. We would then skin her out and carefully quarter her and cut her up in large pieces. We would place the meat on a clean plastic in back of the van saving the liver. We would usually give the rest to the cowboy including the head and a shoulder. At home we would hang up the meat in a cool place until the next day.

After we would carefully cut up all of the meat removing the tallow for greasing the latigos of all the saddles and the pack outfits. We used it also to preserve the leather bridle reigns and make them pliable. Only the good meat would go into the bottles. We would put in a tsp. of salt in the bottle of meat and seal it up by cooking it in the pressure cooker for an hour. It is always gratifying to open a bottle of that delicious meat for a family dinner.

When we had pigs we would fatten them by putting them each in a small pen. The pen at the head had two cement compartments. One we kept full of clean water and the other was used for the food. We would mix a half of 50 gallon drum of ground corn with water. We would put in a teaspoon of lie and mix it thoroughly and place it near the pig pens, It would quickly ferment giving it a good flavor for the pigs. Every hour during the day we would hose down the pig in the pen and give the pig a scoop full of corn mash. In this way the pig would fatten quickly and in six weeks would be ready to butcher.

We would kill the pig and scrape off the hair by dipping the pig a couple of times in boiling water. We would quickly scrape off the hair. We would open up the pig and clean out the entrails. We would hang the pig in a cool place over night. Then came the process of removing the outer layer of fat and cutting it up in small squares and putting them in the rendering vat. We would enjoy the hot chicharonies . Usually each big pig would render out filling five 5 gallon cans full of good white pig lard. This lard stored well in a cool store room and would last over the year for our use. The pig lard makes the best pie crusts and is very delicious for frying any kind of food.

The hams and the shoulders we cured for ham. The rest was ground and made into sausage. When some of the side meat was lean enough we would cure it into bacon. In later years we stopped raising pigs and changed over to vegetable oil for cooking and beef for meat.

All of this work of preserving and storing was a labor of love that we did joyfully for our family. It was part of our joy in living. One of the great joys of our work was in producing our own food as far as possible. We always thanked our Heavenly Father for the bounties of the earth and His help in producing it. We were never rich in money, but we felt very rich in the bounties and the good things of the earth.

We wanted to record in this little history some of the things that we did that gave us joy and satisfaction and help unite our family.