While I am waiting for a warm spell to get back to puttering with the Growhaus it was time to take a day and do some “stocking up” shopping. Our previous article last year was well received and I thought to add some more information. This is going to be a “walk-thru” of the Farmer’s Supply in Floyd, Virginia.
You cannot miss it, as it is on the corner where the one and only traffic light is located at the intersection of Route 8, and Route 221.
We like to plan ahead and canning our own food looms on the horizon. In my basement I had torn out all the old wood warped and rotting shelving and had bought sturdy plastic stand up shelving for the canning jars. While reassembling all the canning jars and such I pointed out that our old pressure cooker was actually too small and we could save time with a bigger one. I had pictured this American Canner Pressure Cooker that holds 19 quarts at a time and was only $500.00 bucks from Lemans catalog. Diane looked at me with that special twinkle in her eye and swatted me with her broom. “Go call up Farmers Supply,” she said “see what they want.” As usual she was right and I saved, or I should say Diane and Farmers saved me half. So with feminine logic on how much we saved, we could spend the saved part.
I bought two 5-gallon stone crocks. I wanted the 10-gallon crock, but it was to heavy for me to lift. I like my pickled beets, kim-chee, sauerkraut, cucumbers, and of course sweet pickles. Crocks can be also used for old time wine making but in another article I will show you better ways for making alcohol beverages. I might add for a fact that the crock makers are out of business and what is on hand is what you can get. They do not come with lids but you can simply place a big pie/pizza pan over the open top or, like I did, buy a wide (2’x4’) board ($9.00) at Lowes, cut and fit double thick, the inside board a bit smaller. It is a simple procedure of measuring: in this case the 5-gallon was eleven and ¼” across the inside top and so I cut that in a circle and sanded it smooth. The top board was an inch bigger in diameter, so after that was cut and sanded, I glued the two together and now have smooth fit tops with enough seal to keep the mice out and still allow fermentation gasses to escape.
In the olden days the “larder” was a place to store meats, stuck down deep in lard inside a large crock. Once you have established your larder house storage the crocks need not be moved for several centuries, and in Europe some places still exist from medieval days.
If you go on line you can locate really big stone crocks, but they are extra heavy and shipping fees are exorbitant. Needless to say, Farmers Supply is more reasonable. Compare.
I made a real find for my outdoor food processing center and herbal house. A Model 22 Food Chopper for $42.00. Elsewhere they run over $150.00 depending on the catalog. Also on my buying binge was a 12-quart dishpan for my 12-ton herbal press from Harbor Freight I was constructing. More on this when we get into “projects”.
For grain storages we talked about last year Farmers Supply had a goodly supply of heavy-duty black plastic 5-gallon pails. These are hard to find. I bought the last 5 on hand and Debra said she would have a shipment in this next week.
Since Kroeger Grocery in Christiansburg appears to be the only place to procure dry ice for flooding the storage grain containers to kill off hatching insect eggs, I did come up with an idea for making your own CO2. Go ahead and purchase more buckets, and we will cover this in the Fermentation article soon. Oh yes, the Gamma seal covers fit these buckets like a glove. More of those can be found on line at:
Diane stocked up on Aladdin lamp “wicks” and clean lamp oil. Real wooden clothes pins and of course an endless supply of canning lids and rings. Diane favors the wide mouth quart jars, I use the small rings for old Mayonnaise jars (a neighbor saves for me) that I use for mouse poof seed containers. Everyone is in the garden this year due to the economy downturn. Fearing shortages from out of business manufacturers, or consumers, it would be prudent to stock up.
We already had the cherry pitters, pea shellers, and old time garden food processing items that makes for saving time in the evenings when you are putting food by. Talk to the girls there, they use this stuff from their gardens, and mostly put up all their own food stores.
What makes Farmers Supply in Floyd Virginia so unique it has been in business before automobiles and they used to have a blacksmith shop in the basement. Now days the horses are gone but if you need metal stock cut, pipes, and such, this is where to go. I always go to Farmers Supply when I have a plumber’s problem as they sell real metal nuts and bolts. If you do not know how to fix things, or need to speak “plumber”- ask for Janice or Debra. These girls know their business. They helped me assemble a drain for my (bury in the ground) water collection tank I have been talking about in the Grow Haus series. I must add they have an extensive selection of rain gauges.
During Y2K this is where we bought our 3 wood Jotul quality stoves and a small kitchen cooking wood stove. Take a peek in the back room on stoves where they repair your broken windows and screens.
Diane told me we were at the budget limit, and time to get moving, BUT wanting to save her money I bought a new double wheel contractor 8cu ft wheelbarrow with the plastic tub. Ahhh! Just what I wanted and needed for my compost and potting soil. I noted how much I was saving over similar wheelbarrows in Christiansburg, and with that saving she said: “ Time for lunch”.
Almost next-door is the Blue Ridge Café, another unique landmark in Floyd for down to earth foods. After lunch, Diane walked me next door to the new mini strip mall to Nancy’s Candy Co. store. You have to drop in there at all costs and have a sample of “Death by Chocolate”. I told Diane that Chocolate has no calories (joking), so she bought some for me too. I have never tasted such good chocolate.
Now, everything I have said is true. Floyd has bargains, even the land appraisers say our tax level is fair, and there has been no loss in values, (Floyd Press reported in this weeks newspaper issue). Well, there has to be wisenheimers in every good crowd.
Turning back to the Farmers Supply they are starting to put in their seed stock for next spring. I discovered some October Beans, and since these are about the best tasting beans in the world, only from Floyd of course, I bought a couple pounds. Seed potatoes will be in soon, so I will be making another trip to Farmers Supply.
Copyright: 2009, Back2theLand, Mark Steel.