So what shortages are you personally seeing?

The water shortage in western states is still an issue with produce. Why lettuce is mostly grown in CA is beyond me, as it grows everywhere. But that’s the problem. I just got new lights in my utility room, and they are incredibly bright, and the electricians joked about building me a grow-room. Maybe I should take that seriously, and plant lettuce and tomatoes in containers down there.

Lots of sunshine and controlled water make for a consistently clean-looking product that can be grown on a precise schedule. Lettuce doesn’t store well, and people want it year-round. It doesn’t hold a precise size for long in the field, and many purchasers want it at a consistent size (my market customers, thankfully, don’t seem to care.)

Lettuce likes cool and moderately wet – but too much wet causes rot. Some varieties are more susceptible than others. Those very tight iceberg heads tend to be more susceptible, as do butterheads; but varieties of any type are liable. Also, producing consistent size on a fairly precise schedule is easier to do where temperature and rainfall are less variable.

And, of course, in most of the country you’re not going to get lettuce all year unless you grow it indoors with artificial lighting (during short days), artificial heat (during overly cold months), and/or artificial cooling (many people think of lettuce as a summer crop; but most varieties bolt to seed rapidly in heat, which makes them bitter, tough, and unsalable.)

But we’ve been growing huge amounts of our produce, not only lettuce, in California, because consistent sun makes a lot of things easier. Unfortunately, “consistent sun” means “little or no rain” and the problems with that are becoming increasingly apparent.

How hard do you think it would be to grow it in my utility room?

Very easy.

Lettuce is shallow rooted, it doesn’t need extremely large pots. You do need decent light, but it doesn’t need to be special grow lights or extraordinarily bright, as you’re only trying to get vegetative growth, not fruit; but you do want enough light so the plants don’t get too leggy. Get a container at least several inches deep with some sort of drainage, good potting soil (not one with human waste biosolids in it – problem’s not bacteria but other contaminants), seed of some variety or varieties you like recommended for container growing (I’d try Pinetree, as you probably only need small amounts, but there are plenty of other sources), and some source of light over the container, close on top of the plants – up north a window won’t be enough in the winter. Light 12 to 16 hours a day. Don’t bury the seed; lettuce needs light to germinate. Scatter it on top of the soil, get seed and soil wet but not sodden, cover container with something transparent to keep seed moist until it germinates; then uncover. Harvest as it gets big enough for you. Go light on fertilizer (with some potting soils you won’t need any for a while); you don’t want high nitrates in your lettuce, either for the lettuce or for you.

I am a terrible terrible gardener and I was easily able to get butter lettuce to grow outside in Santa Barbara. Other than the orange trees, it was the only food I was able to grow successfully. Unfortunately, the gophers figured out about my amazing lettuce and that was that. I bought mini starter plants rather that seed which probably costs a bit more. Yeah, I know it was outside but the point is if my incompetent ass can do it, you’ll have no problem.

I’ve grown lots of stuff outdoors. I’ve kinda given up because of the chimpmunks, squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons that eat everything. But I’m specifically interested in the issues with indoor growing. I remember being told to use a fan on tomato seedlings because they needed the stimulation or something, for instance. But this is getting to be a long digression, so maybe I should start a new thread…

Not hard, although I’d recommend actual “grow lights” and not just bright regular lights. I’ve done hydroponics a couple times and lettuce was one of the easier crops to grow (and no, I did not grow marijuana, just vegetables). No reason you can’t use old fashioned soil for growing, it’s definitely less complicated in some ways. Stuff grown indoors in still air tends to be less robust than outdoor crops, to counter that get an oscillating fan to generate a breeze, too. Especially if you do something like tomatoes, otherwise the stems won’t be strong enough to hold the plant up when it starts setting fruit.

And I’ll stop side-tracking now.

Just returned to work after a week’s vacation. Picked up a few items on my way out the door and noticed that some items have been entirely stripped, like granola bars (?) and a lot of the foil/plastic wrap/baggies.

Not sure what you mean here, but just digging up some garden soil and putting in a pot is unlikely to work. Most such soils will turn into a brick in a pot in fairly short order. Though this probably belongs in the other thread, really (see a couple of posts above.)

Grocery shopping the other day. There were plenty of eggs.

Regular cabbage, on the other hand, was nonexistent. Not even bagged cole slaw mix.

I went to a different store the next day and they had plenty. They even had cabbage QUARTERS, wrapped in plastic, which was perfect - we didn’t really need a whole head of it.

The FoodsCo I went to this evening had signs plastered on the egg fridge that they were limiting quantities (sort of). 2 cartons, regardless of size.

At Mariano’s, Kroger brand 5-lb bags of carrots have returned. Still nothing at Jewel.

Just curious; what do you do with five pounds of carrots?

I’m noticing a local shortage of packaged bologna. Oscar Mayer is nowhere to be seen.

Quite a few of us have mentioned trouble finding distilled water. It’s getting bad here - we checked 3 different grocery stores last week and NONE of them had any in stock.

I did some googling and apparently it is a real thing. Supply chain issues, labor shortages, and one article said that there weren’t enough BOTTLES being made.

We’ve seriously considered purchasing a home distiller - but they range from 80 to 280 bucks, and between that and the cost of electricity, it might be quite a while before it becomes cost effective.

We may resort to using tap water in our CPAPs - supposedly it’s not harmful, you just wind up with mineral deposits building up in the chamber.

In the distilled water thread, someone mentioned using water from a reverse osmosis filter. I’m thinking I might get one. There was also a link to a method of making distilled water at home, but I’m not ready to devote my entire life to the procurement of distilled water (they say it makes a cup and a half per very involved hour).

But if you think it’s hard getting distilled water, you should try getting a replacement CPAP! My daughter’s machine has been making an increasingly alarming noise for almost a year now, and she’s still on the waiting list.

The ones I can’t eat fast enough I run through my friend’s dehydrator. I use the “chips” for soups and stews, and give a few to my parrot. 'Cause I hate wasting food. I do the same for extra mushrooms, zucchini, etc.

We use carrots in stews, salads, and steamed as a side. If we don’t use them quickly enough, the horses get a treat.

A horse seems like an expensive way to make sure carrots don’t go to waste.

They help out when we over-purchase apples as well.

It is quite easy to distill water at home with equipment you already have in the house. It take time, but requires minimal tending once set up.