Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Preparing for the Future {Food}

 In our family food storage has just become part of our life. We have started to live a bit more like our ancestors did, living in a large part according to the season and local that we are in(though we do eat our tropical fruits like bananas now and then too!).

  For us that means that when summer and fall are here we often mention the phrase "getting ready for winter". That also means that we put up or buy things according to the time that they are ready. That leaves us with generally having quite a lot of food on hand.

Here is a peak at how the calendar of stocking up looks at our house:

:: SPRING ::

~ We usually help my parents tap maple trees and then boil down the sap to make syrup. This year was not a good year for syrup and so we are missing having that stocked up but I am extra thankful for the honey that we have instead.

~ We often buy a lot of winter wheat from the grain elevator in the Spring. When we buy I usually get around 300 lbs.

~ We pick strawberries and rhubarb which we use for jam and freeze.

~ When we can find them we pick mushrooms and freeze them if we have extra.

~If my parents have a lot of extra (goat's) milk then we will make an easy cheese and freeze both it and the whey for future use.

:: Summer ::

~This is berry picking time. We pick blueberries (wild) and raspberries (tame) as well as Juneberries and Chokecherries if we can find them. These are made into jam or frozen for winter use besides of course all that we eat while picking or shortly there after.

~ We also do a lot of harvesting from our garden and we can or freeze just as much as we possibly can. The last couple of years we have been able to put up enough for the year on several items and made it so we don't buy much in the way of canned or frozen veggies or fruit.

~ We dry a lot of herbs to be used for cooking and for tea.

:: Autumn ::

~ We help my parents with butchering chickens (and they share with us) as well as cleaning a bunch of fish from a pond that gets emptied out each fall - both of which help us to have meat for the year.

~ We pick apples and make them into applesauce, freeze apple pie filling and this year we dried quite a bit. We have been so very blessed to be able to get enough to keep us through the year.

~ We harvest honey - which has been able to be our primary sweetener now that we have bees.

~ We buy our 1/2 beef for the year. This provide us with all the beef we need for the year. (Next up is to somehow get quality local pork! )

~ We buy more Wheat, Corn or Beans from the grain elevator if we are running low.

~We glean potatoes - Between my parents and us we pick up over 1,000 lbs (sometimes double that) which we store in a root cellar at their place. We bring 50-100 lb bags to our place when needed.

~ I make apple cider vinegar.

 All through the year I watch for sales on things that we haven't figured out how to produce like oil, butter, most cheeses, peanut butter, tuna and such and if there is a really good sale I will try to buy a years supply.

  I also order large quantities of things like oatmeal, cocoa powder, baking powder, yeast and rice from Azure standard as I need them.

  When we work on stocking up throughout the year (though pretty much taking a break in the winter) in this way we pretty much always have a lot on hand and the labor and money needed is manageable. It is also nice to know that we pretty much always have enough food on hand that if something should happen (and unforeseen financial issue, whatever...) we could most likely eat of of what we have without buying anything (though we might miss some things) for months or even a year.

   That is my basic food preparedness plan which would cover things such as financial hardship and snow storms or stores disappearing (that was sarcastic) but I do have a couple of other thoughts on other food preparedness.

  I also like the idea of being prepared should we have to evacuate quickly due to a wild fire or something like that and so to that end I have some food kept stored away in our van . This is food that doesn't need much preparation and I was sure to have some protein and other needed things in it.

  We could also face the possibility of being without electricity so I have tried to be sure that we have things on hand that are fairly easily prepared and don't need a lot of water. We also have camp stoves, a fire pit and grill so we could still cook without electricity and we have practiced using all of them as well.

Here is a verse that I find encouraging concerning this:

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV)
Here is a post of mine that talks more about preparing and addresses the issue of balance.

  Those are some of the ways we try to be prepared concerning food. What are you thoughts on this?

I am linking up with:


Rachel E. said...

So wonderful! I am amazed at how much so many of you do. I would love to do that much. I am new to it, so it will probably take a while to build up to it.

Just so you know, you won the giveaway at my blog...so send me an email with your mailing address and I will send that book out to your family.

Greg and Donna said...

Thanks for all the ideas! Great inspiration! I would love to have enough stored up for that long but we aren't there yet.


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