A reader asked “Barring an emergency, how long would it take to use your stockpile?”
I think most of us don’t realize how much food we eat, and I’m not saying calories, carbs, etc., but just how many cans of veggies or pieces of fruit we consume.
We eat most of our meals at home so I figure we eat at least two vegetables per day. It may not be an entire can of green beans but with almost all veggies, I will open a can, season it, we eat what we want and since there’s usually not enough for another meal, I keep a big container with a lid in the freezer and I dump the leftover veggies in there. It may have black beans, corn, green beans, mustard greens, etc. At some point, I will either use that to make a vegetable/beef soup or I will dump it to the chickens.
With 365 days in a year, two vegetables per day, I figure that’s 730 cans of vegetables per year. We do not always eat canned veggies. We sometimes have salads, but we eat fresh veggies when we can. As most of you know, I do not like to go to the store more than once every two or three weeks. Many fresh veggies don’t last that long so soon after a trip to the store, we’re eating fresh veggies but but after about 7 days, we’re eating canned veggies.
Having said all that, my preference over any storebought canned veggie is fresh, and then after that, to have something I canned at home or freeze dried at home, whether I grew it or bought it fresh from the store our our local vegetable market.
There’s a whole lot of corn, Jackfruit, strawberries, cantaloup, onions, garlic, and okra that has been freeze dried.
When corn was at its peak around here, I paid $1 for 5 ears of corn. It was good, fresh, sweet corn and, in my opinion, that’s so much better than any canned corn. I think we bought 20 ears of court twice. I’ll make cooked corn, corn & onion spoonbread, corn pudding. By the time next year’s corn is in the stores at 5 for $1, my corn will be gone.
Even if we were growing okra, I don’t think it would be possible to put up as much as I’d like to use. I could eat okra every day but I probably have enough freeze dried that I can have it once every two weeks. I can always buy frozen okra to fill in the gap.
Onions & Garlic
We grew onions and garlic and there aren’t a lot of ways to save them. We’ll use all the onions probably before next year’s crop is ready. The garlic . . we may have enough to last us til we harvest next year.
We snack on the fruits. Those little half pint jars – we’ll start on a trip to Arkansas or MO with a dozen of those and we try to limit what we eat so we have some for the trip back. You have to realize that once all the water is out of the fruit, it’s just pure flavor and crunch and it is so good.
Back to the question – how long with this last? What’s on the two shelves I showed – I doubt any of it is here by this time next year but most of it will be gone by early spring.
I continue to add items. I just filled the freeze dryer with roasted Hatch peppers and garlic. When that load is done, I have a load of cantaloup to run. When that load is done, I have two loads of cranberries.
Freeze drying is as much of a hobby for me as it is a prepping tool.