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storing home grown food

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posted on May, 15 2009 @ 04:34 PM
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Does anybody have any information regarding storing home grown food? I recently bought and erected a greenhouse and have plenty of food growing inside - tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, courgettes, squash, onions. I have also planted outside in my garden leeks, peas, beans and some other bits.

This is all well and good and I am confident that all of the food will grow nicely. The only problem is what to do with it once it has grown? Obviously I don't want to eat it all at once but if there were some ways to keep some of it edible once it has matured then that would be great.




posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:07 PM
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reply to post by 281011
 


Are you storing it with the possibility of there being no electricity etc., or just lengthening the life of your perishable goods ?



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:08 PM
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Easy....scout around your neighborhood and start talking to people. There is bound to be someone who has a canning system or dehydrator. I love talking walks and talking to some of the older folks. There is alot to learn without having to travel far and wide..whether on foot or internet. I bought an entire system: steaming pot, jars, new lids, tongs etc from just such a neighbor. She was more than willing to show me exactly how to use it and even came over to aid during the first tomatoe harvest put-up.
A very safe method of preservation when one is shown the correct way to handle the equipment and at what temperatures to do the different types of produce; and what a grand time of learning from an auntie neighbor!!

Get out and about. Smile and talk to those around you. I think that you will be amazed at the wealth of information and the willingness to impart.
Good luck!!

Peace...



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:12 PM
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This was posted in a H1N1 thread, but there is a section that I'm linking that deals with food preservation

getpandemicready.org...

You can freeze most garden veggies and if you have a vacuum sealer, even better. I like pickling stuff like peppers, cucumbers and fruits. don't have the conditions to have a root cellar, but I'd love to have one



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:12 PM
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I was thinking of firstly trying to extend the life of perishable foods - ie I read an article about growing squashes and the guy at the end of the article stored the grown squash in a box in the attic. They lasted for about 6 months after picking. So any tips like this would be nice. I suppose we all have to think of ways to preserve food in the event of no electricity too.

Ideas such as canning etc is a good one - I know it is possible to make various pickles etc which would extend the life of fresh fruit/vegetables.

There is a gardening club in the village - might pop along one time if I can see they are doing a fruit/vegetable evening!



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by 281011
 



The Bernardin book 'Complete book of Home Preserving' ISBN 978-0-7788-0137-5

It has 4000 recipes for canning food and I've found it to be a great resource. I'd also suggest that you get a pressure canner, one of the newer ones that uses metal/metal seals in place of a flexible seal. Also get one that can be used on a BBQ or propane/gas stove as well as an electric stove. I found a few models that are not recommended for gas stoves (thinner metal).

I'd also suggest looking at a canning machine for placing the food in metal cans in place of glass jars. The jars are cheaper in the long run, they can be re-used and they need no tools to open again. The tin cans are better for travelling (if your bug out location isn't your home) and don't need to be protected from damage or light as much as glass.

Personally I use a combination of both, plus I keep about 100 new jars of diferent styles and 400 lids for them in my stockpile. I cycle the lids every year so they are at most a couple years old but I don't bother with the unused jars in my stockpile.

Make sure you keep a list of what you have in the boxes.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by 281011
 


Preserving Food: Drying Fruits And Vegetables - Nutrition

You should find a lot of good ideas Here.

Thank you for bringing up this subject , its something i have been putting off for too long .


Carrots can be difficult to keep , sand is good at keeping them fresh , don`t let them touch off one another . Wear gloves if you are chopping up a lot of carrots , you will have orange hands for a week .

I haven`t tried any of the air drying methods , i will correct that deficiency in a few weeks.

Best of luck.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 05:31 PM
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There is a great book called "Stocking Up"

It isn't aimed at survival but it is aimed for people who grow their own food. Take a look at it on amazon.

Bob



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 06:00 PM
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thanks for the assistance. I'm going to see how this years first attempt goes and then expand it next year with some boxed borders. Even if it is something to supplement existing food at least I know it has been grown without chemicals/pesticides etc and hasn't travelled halfway across the globe to get to my plate!

My next door neighbour grows quite a lot of stuff in pots so I might see if between us we can grow different crops and swap items at the end of the season.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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Storing food in an underground Root-Cellar/Pantry is the best way. That's how our ancestors did it before Refrigerators were invented!

Build a Root Cellar Links

Pickling and canning perishables is a good method, but you have to be REALLY, REALLY careful to work with sterilized equipment. There are far worse things than food poisoning that can come about from canning and pickling!

Bread Dough is a great way to go. (Hey, that rhymes!) Once you add yeast to flour and water, it can keep indefinitely as long as it is kept cold in a Root-Cellar/Pantry.

Home Brewing is another good method of making food last through the winter. Stout or Dark Beers can be a good source of calories during the lean months. There is no surprise that the advent of Human Civilization began after the discovery of Brewing!

Lastly, get a cat or two and teach them to hunt! (The ability to hunt prey is instinctual to cats but to kill prey is not instinctual unless they are taught by their mother.) Make the Root Cellar/Pantry their home. There is a reason that the small Nile Delta sustained enough food for the entire known world. It was because the Ancient Egyptians domesticated cats to protect their granaries. Pests are the biggest threat to your food storage. Cats will help eliminate more than just rodents. Most cats will also protect against roaches, beetles, spiders, and locusts.



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 06:46 PM
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You have a computer. Just google what ever you want to know about preserving a food and you will find several ways to get the job done.

I have a large garden and am going to can (jar) as much as I can this year.

Last year I dried and/or froze all the vegetables.

I won't freeze anymore as who knows when we may have a situation when we don't have electricity especially here on the coast.

There is also a very informative book that I use. It is, Preserving Summer's Bounty, a Rodale Garden Book. ISBN 0-87596-979-9
Go to http;//www.rodalepress.com.

Good luck and happy gardening.

If you run into any problems or have questions please U2U me and I'll find the answer.

Marilyn


[edit on 15-5-2009 by dizziedame]



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by 281011
Does anybody have any information regarding storing home grown food? I recently bought and erected a greenhouse and have plenty of food growing inside - tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, courgettes, squash, onions. I have also planted outside in my garden leeks, peas, beans and some other bits.

This is all well and good and I am confident that all of the food will grow nicely. The only problem is what to do with it once it has grown? Obviously I don't want to eat it all at once but if there were some ways to keep some of it edible once it has matured then that would be great.


Now is the time to start learning to store foods.

A pressure cooker, a few dozen Ball Jars. and lids. I also might add a book on Canning.

A good food dehydrator has value.

A high quality vacuum sealer is one of the best investments you'll make.

So you have three good methods of food storage.

Here is something else. To store grains for long periods of time you can use 5 gallon paint buckets (like the kind from Home Depot) and screw on lids called Gamma Lids. Do a search for mylar storage bags and oxygen eaters. You can now buy bulk rice, beans etc and seal them inside the paint buckets...literally indefinitely.

I try to store what I eat, so when it comes to rice I store Jasmine rice (love this stuff) With the vac sealer you can pre package single meals and then seal the whole thing.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 02:45 AM
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I was looking at vacuum sealers and wondering how useful they were to store any of the foods I mentioned. I presume they might just add an extra few days to something that might be ruined quickly as opposed to provide an option where the food could last all winter



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 03:48 AM
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reply to post by Gyrochiral
 

Dehydrator is good, but a Solar Dehydrator will work if and when the
power goes down.

Try to think "Off the Grid"

We have seen the power grid have issues just due to it being overloaded,
and them not repairing what is needed like what happened with
the bad bridge collapse up north.

The root cellar idea one poster gave is a very good idea too.

Temp 3 feet down stays the same year round if it is setup right.




[edit on 16-5-2009 by Ex_MislTech]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 03:55 AM
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You have two cost effective ways to preserve the food:

1) Canning. Tried and true, pickeled vegetables last a long time and are better than nothing during the winter months. That being said, self life is not forever, even in a root cellar. The otherdrawback is that if you are to do it right you do need plenty of salt, vinegar etc.

2) Drying. Dried fruits and vegetables will last a long time if kept dry.

Ex_MislTech talk of a solar dryer is spot on. You can have both but if TSHTF having a non electrical back up is just good sence.

[edit on 5/16/09 by FredT]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 03:10 PM
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re the root cellar makes me wonder why new houses don't have these built into kitchens or something - reduce energy & keep food fresh?

I'm going to look into a solar type dryer - might test it out with a few "bought" items before I potentially waste my own!

Thanks for the advice so far, I think it is a good idea to share these thoughts since so much time is often spent working out ways to grow/access food but not much with regards to storing it to prolong its freshness.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by 281011
re the root cellar makes me wonder why new houses don't have these built into kitchens or something - reduce energy & keep food fresh?

I'm going to look into a solar type dryer - might test it out with a few "bought" items before I potentially waste my own!

Thanks for the advice so far, I think it is a good idea to share these thoughts since so much time is often spent working out ways to grow/access food but not much with regards to storing it to prolong its freshness.


With the advent of the Electric Refrigerator root cellar's went out of style.

A good place to look for information on solar dryers is MotherEarthNews.com. TONS of articles going back for decades on hundreds of different topics.

Vaccume packing/sealing will extend the life of dried foods ALOT more than just a few days. Sealing with this method removes oxygen which is one of the things that leads to the deterioration/loss of vitamins in dried foods.

This is part of the reason why vaccume sealers are become so popular for freezing meats. If you remove the air/oxygen from the package your less likely to get freezer burn which will ruin a nice cut of meat.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 03:32 PM
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interesting
I was actually reading the motherearthnews.com site - there is an article about building a solar food dehydrator there.

I guess an optimum idea would be to dehydrate the food then vacuum seal it - should last for ages then. I might get a vacuum sealer in the meantime anyway if what you say is correct regarding meat. Quite often I buy bigger packs and split it down using small sandwich type bags. The vacuum bags would keep the meat better.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 04:02 PM
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Information regarding vacume sealing....


Zip bags and other forms of "freshness" storage can be good for keeping air out, but they trap air inside themselves as well. Only vacuum bags leave no room for air. When refrigerating meats, vacuum sealing prolongs their storage life up to five times that of other forms of preservation. Even freezing meat products can result in freezer burn or spoiling unless they are vacuum sealed. Before sealing meats, the products should be refrigerated. The cold air kills the organism that causes Botulism, a rare form of food poisoning that occurs even when the meat is sealed, if the vacuum isn't cold.



www.officezone.com...



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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Thanks for the info - I'm going to order one and give it a try



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