Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Food storage (31)

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.


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.


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.


Freezing vegetables: 2 great methods

Mother Earth News / Janet Chadwick
/ 20 September 2013

Freezing maintains the natural color, fresh flavor, and high nutritive value of fresh foods. The objective is to bring foods to the frozen state quickly. When properly done, fruits and vegetables are more like fresh than when preserved by any other method. Best of all, freezing vegetables and fruit is fast and easy.

I had been freezing garden vegetables for years when I began experimenting with the process. I discovered that the old standard method of washing and preparing the vegetables, then blanching, cooling, drying, packing, and freezing them was not always the fastest, easiest way to produce the best finished product. Many vegetables can be frozen without blanching (although their shelf lives in the freezer will be shorter), and greens can be stir-fried instead of blanched for a better product.


How to dehydrate fresh spinach

Mother Earth News / Tammy Taylor, Taylor-Made Homestead / 20 May 2016

It seems spinach is almost a feast-or-famine kind of vegetable — it’s gloriously prolific when it grows, then BOOM! Gone for the season. So, I’m harvesting as much spinach as I can by cutting the leaves to the bottom inch or so of the plant which allows the spinach plant to regrow it’s green leafy goodness for yet another harvest.

But fresh spinach is so perishable and we can only eat so much fresh spinach. I wanted to preserve this spring goodness to enjoy later in the year, so I decided to dehydrate it.


Planting with preserving in mind

Mother Earth News / Mary Moss-Sprague / 28 February 2013

In order to have enough stores to last through the next winter, one must know the quantity of product that will be needed.

The possibilities are mouth-watering and tempting. Tomatoes, apples, string beans, carrots, peas, okra, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, berries, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pickling cucumbers, grapes, greens, beets, garlic, onions, potatoes, asparagus, peppers, herbs, squash, and other items all lend themselves well to canning, drying or freezing. Some methods work better for certain items than others. In this instance, we will focus on vegetables designated for canning, and the quantities to plan on growing for “putting up the harvest.”


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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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