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Winter 2011 Prep

Thoughts on Putting Food By:

On this page I’m going to list what I have been able to put up in my pantry and freezer for the winter.  In preparation for my first winter (2007-8) of eating local, I spent hours upon hours blanching and freezing veggies and canning preserves.  I found that I ate very little of what I put by, and decided to take a different approach for my second winter.  Last year I put very little by other than a lot of fruit (canned peaches, frozen organic strawberries and blueberries), some pickled beets, apple sauce and pickles.  I ate all of the fruit, some of the beets, and none of the pickles.  They were disgusting (too much salt) and a complete failure.

One thing I have discovered is that my body craves different things at different times of the year. In the summer, for example, I crave fresh fruit, yogurt and raw veggies.  When the weather turns cool, suddenly I want carbs and meat.  This is why I ate very little of the summer veggies I blanched the first year.  I didn’t even want my canned or frozen fruit until the days started getting longer in January.

Last winter (2009-10) I was going to take a similiar approach to my second year, minus the pickles and just eating the remainder of the beets instead of canning more, but I watched in awe as my former roommate canning up a storm which inspired to put more by.  As such, I’ve put a little more in the freezer than I did the year before, and even canned tomato sauce.

I quite enjoy the process canning and freezing food, even though they are both very energy intensive and leave me always searching for more ‘sustainable’ methods of keeping food.  Along that line, I have been dabbling in lacto-fermented preserving techniques.  I’d like to try drying at some point too, but only with a solar drying system.  This is a life-long project, and I prefer to implement things one step at a time to maximize the chance of success and of sticking to this eating ethic.

I did not keep a record of what I put up over the last three years, but I am going to do my best this year.  Tracking what I put away (when, and how much) will be helpful in planning for winters to come.  In spring I can see what I used, and what I didn’t, and make note of it for the next round.

Food Put By in Preparation for Winter 2010-2011

In the Freezer:

Fruit:
Strawberries – 10 quarts (June 15 & 27)
Rhubarb – 20 cups (June 25) (what can I say… it was free!)
Blue berries – 25 cups (July ??) (Organic, from Blueberry Hill Farm)

Peaches – canned, 14 quarts (end of August)

Vegetables
Peas – 25 cups (July 01) (one big green plastic container basket full – likely way too much!!)
Corn – ?? cups (August) (48 ears)
Leeks – 10 leeks (November)
Tomatoes – 8 quarts (left over from last year)
Potatoes – 2 crates full (all organic, from the bumper crop produced by my CSA!)
Onions – 11 quart basket full of red & white onions
Squash & Pumpkin – heaping bushel (again from my CSA)

Dairy
Butter – 8lbs (as of November)

 

Meat

2 whole lambs – (33lbs each)

In the Pantry:
I did virtually no canning this year, and I also put up very little in terms of dried goods.  These are readily available throughout the winter (i.e. flour, beans).

All in all, the above is not as much as I would have liked to put by, but I hope to have enough of the basics to make it until May without having to purchase much from the grocery store.  I will be buying winter produce from Rick Cornellison once again this winter, who is a tremendous resource for local food when there is little else available.

I will check back in come May and see how I did!

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One Response

  1. hello we are an organic farm and flour mill check out my web site if you like cheers sean

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