thomas rubino wrote:
Have you tried shading your tent to keep the direct sun from your produce? With the air dryer I built, the sun never touches anything. Food colors stay vibrant.
thomas rubino wrote:
On a different subject) Is there a post that shows some of the awesome place that you are living ? Sure is a contrast to New England! Slightly similar to parts of Montana though.
Your photo of the drying tent was a tease for me. I've always fantasized of going to Tibet . Would love to see a photo post from your area.
Heather Staas wrote:This winter I'm looking at more ideas for next year's food storage. My new urbanish house is only 600 ft2 and no garage or basement. I have my electric bill down to a very affordable $40/ month and I do not want to add appliances to that if I can avoid it.
My two thoughts so far are 1) Fermenting and 2) solar dehydrator build. I've already done *some* research into both of those ideas, and fermenting is something I can practice over the winter with store-bought produce. The videos I've watched so far are suprisingly so much easier than I thought the process involved. Picking up suitable jars at thrift stores, etc. How much fermented food can one eat? How quickly does it start becoming something you just can't stand the taste of another fermented thing (if at all?). Maybe I'm thinking I could rely on that TOO much?
Solar dehydrating; I realize that will be a seasonal challenge, with only things that are harvested while the days are still long enough to dry? I've seen several models on youtube that look promising and some threads on this site that I can revisit over the winter months. I'm fairly handy with power tools and with sourcing reclaimed materials. I'd love any thoughts or suggestions regarding making this work.
I should also spend some energy on finding ways to extend my outdoor growing/ harvesting season so less storage is needed. I do have two outdoor sheds, but they get quite cold in the winter, not sure if there are things that can be stored under cover in "outdoor temperatures" without ruining them. Depending on snow, even getting to my larger shed for access is a problem. I have physical challenges (rhuematoid arthritis) that constrain my winter outdoor manual labor output abilities, so digging out or shoveling to outdoor storage presents a challenge. Underground root cellars, etc. might be off the table for me. Same with unsightly aboveground ideas (strict codes here, things even in the backyard need to be unobtrusive and pleasing to look at, possibly even with purpose disguised. Let's not mention my illegal rabbit and future illegal quail.
I don't want to divert this thread, but "season extension" is another form of storage. Have you considered building a light weight cold frame which you can move from bed to bed so that you can start cold tolerant greens for longer periods? You will want it light weight to make it easy to move, but that means you may need to include brackets that you can spike down into the soil to stop the wind from taking it (like tent pegs on hormones - we use 10 inch "nails" pushed in on an angle). We had a structure we used where we installed hinges with removable pins - pull the pin and one section came right off, making the unit lighter to move. We have a very wet climate and it eventually decomposed, so I can't post a picture.
As far as growing and storing what I eat, that's a challenge I didn't mention in my OP. I don't do carbs. Almost at all. Managing insulin and joint issues with diet and yoga requires limited sugar/carb intake.
Freezers that are part of a fridge are "frost-free" which means the fridge lets the food warm up during the defrost part of the cycle. Food will keep longer and safer in a chest freezer even if you just get an "apartment" sized one, which is what my sister did when she had a fairly small fridge freezer in an apartment. We put old plastic coke bottles filled with *very* salty water and a couple drops of food colouring in the bottom of our freezer where I can't really reach. This is protection from 1-3 day power outages. The brine bottles will thaw before the food will, releasing their energy to keep the food safely cold longer. Near the top of the freezer, I keep light food like raspberries in containers inside a cloth bag - if I need to get what's under it, I just have to lift the whole bag out. Unfortunately, my spouse has a habit of messing with the system, so now I just give him a list and tell him to go "freezer diving" for whatever I want.
Freezer space is at a bigger premium for me. Do they make units with a bigger freezer and smaller fridge?
Heather Staas wrote: How much fermented food can one eat? How quickly does it start becoming something you just can't stand the taste of another fermented thing (if at all?). Maybe I'm thinking I could rely on that TOO much?
Heather Staas wrote:
I have heard stories of neighborhood watch people "helping" the zoning commision though, and doing walk throughs of neighborhoods INCLUDING going up driveways to look through back gates into fenced back yards. I have 6ft privacy fence but an open wire gate with a strategic view lol.