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Best long term food storage

David Hadjes


Joined: Dec 02, 2011
Posts: 4
What is the best long term food storage for vegetables ?
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
Answer: diversity and redundancy - no one way will be full proof.

Using
(1) cold storage - food cellar style,
(2) dehydration,
(3) lacto (natural) pickling/fermenting,
(4) freezing (if you have the means),
(5) canning (if cooking isn't an issue),
(6) in the ground storage of root veggies (when and where possible),
(7) curing and smoking of meats &
(7) the Servivalist #1 method - air tight can or bucket with oxygen adsorbing packet for dried foods and grain storage.

Listed in no particular order, just how they came to my mind.....

Ken Peavey
steward

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2222
Location: FL
    
  58
Dry goods will last. Caveat: container must be bug/water/rodent proof.
Drying can be done with the sun. No grid tied systems are required to process in this manner.

I'm kinda funny with the beans. Something like 20 different types. They can be eaten after years of storage. My preferred method of preparation is to plant them. As seed, they remain viable for several years.

Canning will get you by for a few years, but I find that after 3 or 4 years, the quality goes down.


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Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3892
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  80
It depends on the vegetable
There's lots of ways to store beans for ages, not so many for cabbages..
Edwards3 Levy


Joined: May 13, 2011
Posts: 3
Location: 5825 Glenridge Drive Bldg 3, Ste 101, Atlanta
We mostly prefer drying vegetables to store them for longer period of time.... quite easy way i guess


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Jamie Yvonne


Joined: Dec 17, 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Now: Oregon - Early 2013: Missouri Homesteading
My favorite way to preserve fresh garden greens, and other yummy foods is with fermentation/pickling. Hubby and I are preparing to homestead 5+ acres in Missouri, and are doing our best to habituate new ways of living that will be more aligned with homesteading. Food preservation (to us) is paramount. One of our first builds when we get to the land will be our Root Cellar. Right now I've got jars and jars of bubbling living preserved homegrown foods. Full of fermented cabbage, broccoli, carrots, celery, green beans (galore), eggplant, garlic, etc. I've also been learning to make fermented beverages like Water Kefir, Milk Kefir, Kombucha, Hindu Lemonade etc. I love fermentation as a way of preserving because it enhances the foods digestibility, and nutrient density (compared to canning which denatures foods, and kills much of their life giving energy, much like pasteurization does to dairy) and the amazing nourishing probiotic yeast and bacteria that aid the gut and immune system.


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Edwards3 Levy


Joined: May 13, 2011
Posts: 3
Location: 5825 Glenridge Drive Bldg 3, Ste 101, Atlanta
That's surely an another easiest option to preserve or store food!!
Honora Holmes


Joined: Dec 25, 2011
Posts: 28
We love fermentation as well, Jamie. I've been fermenting foods for years. My problem is about the only place I have that it's cold enough to store it is in a fridge. Are you building a root cellar that will be cold enough?

I have a nice canner but hate the long drawn out process and heating up the house. I'm totally a prepper or at least a prepper wanna be. It goes along with wanting to be self sufficient. I might not be able to grow it all but I can certainly store it and reduce our dependence on the grocery store. We store grains and bean and oil and honey in buckets. And we store a lot of meat in the freezer. Other than that I plan on mostly storing vegetables in the garden. I grow vegetables year round and under pvc hoops and plastic in the winter. I hope to have even more out there next winter! Right now I have leeks, fennel, cilantro, varieties of lettuce, radishes, beets and spinach.
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
I finally accepted that I just wasn’t going to every really can vegetables (the only canning I ever get around to is a few jams and that doesn’t count).

I bought an excaliber dehydrator – the best one I could find. Uses aprox 6 cents per hour of electricity in the most expensive areas of the country.

I am in love with my dehydrator. I have dried pounds and pounds of produce with little to no effort. I love the minimal effort part.

Also when I make fruit or vegetable juices in my blender I take the pulp and mix it with nuts, flax, etc to make crackers or fruit roll ups.

Garlic is super easy – I don’t even peel the garlic now. Just slice – skins and all – and put in the dehydrator. When I want garlic I put the whole thing in my coffee-grinder-turned-herb-grinder and make my own garlic powder. Same with onions.

Prior to this the onions and garlic were sprouting before we could use them all – now none go to waste. Important to note: Put the dehydrator OUTSIDE to dry onions and garlic. The first time I did it the entire house smelled like bad feet.

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Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2669
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  71
Jeanine Gurley wrote:
I am in love with my dehydrator. I have dried pounds and pounds of produce with little to no effort. I love the minimal effort part.


I think my son would heartily agree. I give him a choice in the chores he does around the house (sometimes for pay, I'll admit) and slicing fruit for the food dehydrator has now become his favorite thing to do.

Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Garlic is super easy – I don’t even peel the garlic now. Just slice – skins and all – and put in the dehydrator. When I want garlic I put the whole thing in my coffee-grinder-turned-herb-grinder and make my own garlic powder. Same with onions.

Prior to this the onions and garlic were sprouting before we could use them all – now none go to waste. Important to note: Put the dehydrator OUTSIDE to dry onions and garlic. The first time I did it the entire house smelled like bad feet.


Had a surplus of garlic and was wanting to dry it - these are such good tips - thank you for saving me from the bad feet smell!

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Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
When you guys are talking about fermentation, we're talking about the same process as sauerkraut or kimchi?? I had no idea there were other foods besides cabbage stored this way... Is it fairly safe? Could anyone suggest any good books or websites with basic info on it?? thanks!
Jamie Yvonne


Joined: Dec 17, 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Now: Oregon - Early 2013: Missouri Homesteading
Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: When you guys are talking about fermentation, we're talking about the same process as sauerkraut or kimchi?? I had no idea there were other foods besides cabbage stored this way... Is it fairly safe? Could anyone suggest any good books or websites with basic info on it?? thanks!


Yes, you can ferment nearly anything.

'Nourishing Traditions' by Sally Fallon
and
'Wild Fermentation' by Sandor Katz

not only is fermentation the traditional way of storing food before the invent of refrigeration, but the process actually increases the foods digestibility, absorption and increases the nutrition density of the food as well. Microbes are amazing allies!
Jamie Yvonne


Joined: Dec 17, 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Now: Oregon - Early 2013: Missouri Homesteading
Honora Holmes wrote:We love fermentation as well, Jamie. I've been fermenting foods for years. My problem is about the only place I have that it's cold enough to store it is in a fridge. Are you building a root cellar that will be cold enough?

I have a nice canner but hate the long drawn out process and heating up the house. I'm totally a prepper or at least a prepper wanna be. It goes along with wanting to be self sufficient. I might not be able to grow it all but I can certainly store it and reduce our dependence on the grocery store. We store grains and bean and oil and honey in buckets. And we store a lot of meat in the freezer. Other than that I plan on mostly storing vegetables in the garden. I grow vegetables year round and under pvc hoops and plastic in the winter. I hope to have even more out there next winter! Right now I have leeks, fennel, cilantro, varieties of lettuce, radishes, beets and spinach.



I do store a lot of my veggie ferments in the frig at this point, since we don't have a root cellar yet. We do plan to build an underground cold root cellar to store the long term ferments once we are homesteading our land. Fermented veggies can last years if not forever if they are processed right. My husband also plans to build me a ferment room for the needs of our warmer temp loving cultures. We also brew Kombucha, Water Kefir, Ginger Beer & Hindu Lemonade, which like temps to be around 70 degrees F.

Last year we stocked up on canning supplies, and I did a couple small practice runs. We plan to save as much of our harvest this season as possible, tho canning is not my favorite preservation method as I feel boiling and killing food to store it totally defeats the purpose. I do plan to ferment as much as I can, as I believe the quality and nutrient availability is far superior to canned. Last year we had a HUGE harvest of green beans. Hubby wanted me to can them, and so I did try to can some of them.... what a huge pain in the ass! lol! pardon my language, but it really is such a long killing process to get the food "safely stored"... to me fermenting is easier than blanching and boiling, the whole canning process is all about "oh no, nasty little microbes, so scary! kill them all".... ugg... I just don't like it. Fermenting green beans, oh my what a treat! And with no blanching, or killing of any kind! Plus the pickling liquid left over from a ferment makes great digestive tonics! No cooking needed!

Jamie Yvonne


Joined: Dec 17, 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Now: Oregon - Early 2013: Missouri Homesteading
Jeanine Gurley wrote:I am in love with my dehydrator. I have dried pounds and pounds of produce with little to no effort. I love the minimal effort part.


We also love the benefits of dehydrating foods for long/short term storage- the simplicity and minimal effort are lovely benefits- it will be so awesome to finally have a solar dehydrator- the electrical ones just eat so much electricity its just crazy! Hubby and I plan to build one on our farm- I love the various designs we have found other permies enjoying, gives us lots of inspiration and ideas of how we want to design ours
Kari Gunnlaugsson
volunteer

Joined: Jun 22, 2011
Posts: 308
    
    8
Thanks, I'm excited to find out more about the fermentation. I also found the title 'preserving food without freezing or canning' by deborah madison...don't know if it's any good but i might look into it...it's supposed to touch on cool storage, fermentation, as well as oil and vinegar methods.. Electricity for a freezer is super difficult and a real stumbling block, a root celler is easy and is in the plans anyway. D
Faith Smith


Joined: Dec 27, 2011
Posts: 10
for garlic; 3 cloves to 1/2 cup coarse salt-mince garlic into salt,spread flat(I use wax paper) in front of open window till dry, 2 days or less, put in jar.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
 
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