Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Food storage (34)

Tips on freezing the harvest

Mother Earth News / Carole Coates / 04 September 2018

It’s that time of year—the garden is bulging with fresh produce and you’re spending lots of time in a steaming kitchen preserving it all. I find freezing preferable to canning for a number of reasons.

For one, when it’s time to prepare a meal with my preserved garden goodness, frozen foods tend to be brighter, fresher, and all-around tastier.

And relatively speaking, it’s fast and easy.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a few tips to make freezing even easier. Use these freezing hacks to help the environment, too.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

How to dry herbs

Mother Earth News / Tabitha Alterman / February/March 2013

Of all the various types of foods and ways to preserve them — freezing or canning fruits and vegetables, pickling, curing meat, making cheese and yogurt — dehydrating herbs is the easiest place to jump in. Most herbs contain so little moisture that your job is done soon after you’ve bought or harvested them.

Drying herbs is an economically savvy food preservation strategy, too, because fresh and dried herbs and teas demand high prices at the grocery store.

Your own dried herbs will taste better than store-bought because they’ll be newer and thus more pungent. If you grow your own herbs, you can also choose the tastiest varieties.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Save money by drying fruits and vegetables at home

Mother Earth News / Lorna Peterson / July/August 1977

Dehydration as a method of food preservation has been around a long time. Primitive man dried victuals by the heat of the sun or with the aid of fire, then ground the dehydrated stores into a long-lasting powder or ate them “as is”. Now, thousands of years later, dehydration is still one of the most widely used methods of food preservation in the world . . . for some mighty good reasons.

  1. Drying preserves the vitamin, mineral, protein, and fiber content of foods . . . more so than preservation techniques that expose the viands to great changes in temperature.
  2. Dehydrated foodstuffs are actually more flavorful — in most cases — than the original, undried food. (Frozen and canned edibles, on the other hand, are — if anything — less tasty than their fresh or dried equivalents.)
  3. It costs little or nothing to dry foods, whereas freezing and canning both require a potentially large initial investment in equipment.
  4. Dried goods can be stored in a smaller space than either frozen, canned, or fresh foods. (Twenty pounds of tomatoes, for instance, will — when canned — fill eleven one-quart jars. The same quantity of tomatoes dried weighs a little more than a pound and occupies a single No. 10 can.)
  5. Dried foods — when kept dry — remain edible virtually forever.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Garden planning for food preservation

Mother Earth News / Deborah Niemann / February/March 2016

Our vegetable gardens offer us beautiful, fresh bounty during the growing season — and they also have the potential to increase our food security the rest of the year. When you craft a plan to put up some of the crops you grow, you’re preparing for the future, simplifying winter meals, reducing waste, and saving money, too.

As you plan your garden with preservation in mind, consider what your family loves to eat versus what they merely tolerate. Talk with your household members about what you want your meals to look like for the following year. If you’re aiming for year-round veggie self-sufficiency, calculate how many times per week on average your family eats a particular crop, and multiply that figure by 52 (number of weeks in a year). Then, use our chart of crop yields in Garden Planning: Guidelines for Growing Vegetables to arrive at a rough calculation of how much of that crop to plant. Or, to start smaller, jump in with any of the following ideas, organized from the easiest to grow and preserve to the crops and storage methods that require more expertise or a longer-term commitment.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Off-grid food preservation methods

Mother Earth News / Leda Meredith / June/July 2016

Before widespread refrigeration and electricity, people developed other food-preservation methods to slow down spoilage. Adopting some of these long-established ways to preserve food and relying less on modern ones will reduce your carbon footprint; increase your self-reliance; and cost less than canning, freezing, and other grid-dependent ways to preserve food.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Home Food Preservation Headquarters

Mother Earth News

Stretching the shelf life of food can be as low-tech and hands-off (set trays in the sun to dry) or as elaborate and large-scale (a day devoted to pressure-canning summer’s bounty) as you’d like. No matter where you fall on that spectrum or whether you have surplus fruit from an ample orchard or a profusion of basil from a petite, potted herb garden, the information you need to safely and deliciously put by fresh food awaits here in our online Home Food Preservation Headquarters.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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