Friday, September 30, 2022

My Personal "Boots on the Ground" Observations

9-30-2022  By Tim Gamble  

As SouthernPrepper1 continues his "Boots on the Ground" series on his You Tube channel (link:, I will occasionally post on this website my own personal reports of what I am seeing and experiencing in my area (small town in western North Carolina).  My two previous reports can be read by clicking the links: July 22, 2022 and June 6, 2022

Produce Quality Declining

One recurring theme of SP1's reports is people complaining about the declining quality of produce in their area. Well, this problem is apparent in my area, also. One example is lettuce. Over the course of the summer, I purchased several heads of lettuce that appeared fine at the store, but at home when I peeled back the outer leaves, the inner leaves were absolutely riddled with brown and black spots. 

I've experienced a similar problem with bagged salads. I threw away two bags of salad mixes because when I opened them up, I found that some of the ingredients were slimy, despite being well within the "best by" date printed on the bags. 

By the way, I used to buy bagged watercress. It is a very healthy food, and I liked adding it to my salads, or on a sandwich. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find watercress in my area since early this summer. Neither of the stores in my area that carried it  for the last few years have had it in stock lately. 

A few weeks ago, I purchased sweet potatoes. When I was cutting them up to make sweet potato fries, I found that several were rotten on the inside. Like the heads of lettuce, they looked fine on the outside. You couldn't tell anything was wrong until you cut into them.

I've also purchased peaches advertised as "grown in South Carolina." They looked fine on the outside, but when we tried to eat them, the flesh of the peaches was very, very dark and the peaches has absolutely no peach taste or smell. We ended up throwing them away, too. 

Moldy Bread

Another problem I've run into this summer is moldy bread, even though the bread is well within the "best by" dated printed on the bag. I have experienced this with Great Value loaf bread from Walmart, and both loaf bread and hamburger buns from my local grocery store. 

Garden Woes

I have been gardening my whole life (I was a literal farm boy growing up), but this year was the worst year I have ever had for my garden. The only thing that grew well this year was the black-eyed peas, which were bountiful. The peppers and onions did okay. Everything else this year was a bust, including tomatoes. I have never had a problem growing tomatoes until this year. My soil is okay, and the neither the weather nor the insects were particularly worse this year than any other year. I did have a problem with moles in the garden, which explains some of my garden woes this year, but not all. As an experienced gardener, I am left scratching my head as to what exactly went wrong. 

Thanks for reading my personal "Boots on the Ground" report. 

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