Down here at S. Wallace Edwards and Sons, we weather the weather pretty well. This year Irene knocked our power out for 3 days, that’s one day more than Hurricane Isabel in 2003. But because we sell dry cured meats, we didn’t have a whole lot to worry about. Some parts of Surry County were out of power for over a week!
Sure we had to put our storm plan into play for the product that was not yet ready, but 80% of what we make is shelf stable. So we hooked up the generators, rented a couple of refrigerated trucks, and moved everything that needed it into those units. Considering how much meat we have on hand at any one time, it was surprisingly little.
After all, dry curing meats was invented long before refrigeration. Families would slaughter their pigs in the fall, and smoke or salt the pieces, then hang them in a cool dry place throughout the winter and spring for a meat supply. We do exactly the same thing now, using pretty much the same techniques they did hundreds of years ago. Only difference is that we can control the temperature better so we can produce all year round.
One of my friends recently bought a property up in Montana that came with a bunker! That’s right. The previous owner was preparing for the end of the world, and he had himself a four bedroom, four-bath underground bunker complete with a room for hanging meats! Well, I am not suggesting that you get yourself a bunker, or that you need to prepare for the end of the world. But when a storm is coming, a ham or a slab of bacon comes in really handy. We were mighty glad we had a few of our new “bacon steaks” for the grill. Despite the lack of electricity, we didn’t miss a meal. That’s what I call weathering the weather.