Fall Harvest Perfect for Emergency Food Storage Prep

canningThis is the time of year to take advantage of bountiful harvests of apples, onions and possibly the last crop of corn depending on where you live. This is an excellent way to add to your food storage without spending a great deal of money. Canning, freezing and drying are all great ways to make the food you harvest or buy from a local grower, last for years.

If you haven’t learned how, it is time to start learning about food preservation. Invest in a dehydrator and pressure canner if you don’t already have one. Can those apples! You can make apple pie filling or applesauce fairly quickly and it is very easy. Dehydrate the apples for a nice snack to toss in the bug out bags. Onions and potatoes are excellent for drying, but not for canning. It is important you learn how to safely can before you ever try it. Home canning the wrong way can result in food laced with botulism, which is typically fatal.

Fall is also the time of year to start pulling up the root crops before the ground freezes. Root crops and things like apples can be stored in a root cellar for months before they spoil. You don’t have to do any kind of preserving at all. Carrots, potatoes and apples can make any meal great and will retain their freshness for several months after harvest. The trick is to keep them in a cool, earthy place like a root cellar. You will also want to leave the dirt on. Wash as you go.potatoes-533577_640

Preserving your own food is rewarding and will save you a lot of money. You will have the satisfaction of knowing where the food came from and what kind of quality of food was used in the preservation process. It takes very little to get started in home preservation and the initial investment will pay itself off very quickly as you can up veggies and add soups and jams to your food storage.

If you are a hunter, this is also the time of year when you will be bringing in meat. Knowing how to can and dry that meat can save you a small fortune in processing fees while putting food into your emergency storage. Prepping for disaster doesn’t necessarily mean you go out and spend a small fortune on food and supplies. Learning skills like hunting, gardening and food preservation will be more important and something you want to learn today.

Home Food Preservation in Winter for Emergency Food Storage

dried_fruits (2)Food is expensive and it doesn’t appear to be getting any cheaper. You still need to do what you can to buy extra food to put in your emergency food storage, but how can you possibly manage when you are barely getting by? The key is to make use of every bit you have. Home preservation is one way you can store food without spending a lot of money.

There is some equipment you will need to buy up front, but once you make the initial investment, the rest of the equipment you need is very minor. The following is a list of things you will want to keep your eye out for. When you see the items go on sale, snatch them up. Don’t be afraid to buy used. You can get some pretty good deals in the off season. Typically winter and early spring are when canning and home preservation are in a bit of a lull. This is when you can look for the items at thrift stores and on clearance in big box stores.

What You Need

Pressure canner
Jars, bands, lids
Jar tongs
Sharp knives
Pectin (optional) check expiration dates
Pickling spices
Jerky spices
Wood chips for smoker

With the items listed above, you can make anything and everything you need to stock up your food storage. Your garden is probably not producing in the middle of winter, but there are still plenty of things you can preserve.

If you are a hunter, maybe you have taken a deer or other animal. Make jerky out of the meat in your smoker or dehydrator. You can also can some of the meat to make stews.
Did you make a big turkey for Thanksgiving? Don’t throw out the bones without making a delicious, flavorful stock. The stock can be canned and will make an excellent additive to stews and soups in a survival situation.

Are your root crops from fall looking a little old and beginning to soften up. Act quickly and preserve the food before it rots. Dehydrate or can carrots and beets. Potatoes are very difficult and extremely risk to can, so your best bet is to either freeze them or dehydrate them. There are plenty of potato dishes you can make and pop in the freezer for a quick dinner option in the future.

Keep the idea of saving every bit top of mind and the next time you are looking at tossing extra food out, you will think twice. Get creative and you can surely come up with a way to combine a few leftovers to create a stew that can be canned. If canning isn’t an option, toss the leftovers in the freezer for a quick meal. Every penny you save by preserving leftovers can be put towards your emergency food storage goal.

Food Preservation – Dehydration Basics

dehydrated pantryEven though you have a good start on your food storage with freeze-dried foods, you may also have an abundance of home grown foods that will spoil long before you can eat it all. Don’t let good food go to waste! You can dehydrate your overabundance and enjoy it for many months.

What Is Dehydration

Dehydration is essentially the removal of moisture from food to prevent spoilage. You can achieve this by using a dehydrator but it can also be done in your oven or with a dehydrator you build yourself.  Continue reading