Whether you're a homesteader or are pursuing a simple from-scratch life, you're probably picky about the food you eat and prepare for your family, right? You source your food either from your own homestead or from healthy outlets, and you're probably either preserving that food or at least buying it in bulk and storing it.
If we've spent all summer growing wonderful things to eat, we're not going to let them go to waste. We're planning to enjoy those pears in January, tomatoes in our made-from-scratch spaghetti sauce, and healthy pork chops and chicken we've raised. And because we are preserving food, we're prepared for winter, we're prepared for a snow storm, we're prepared for personal economical downturns.
Today we're blessed to have Dan Sullivan from Survival Sullivan give us some advice on food storage with this article on five long shelf-life foods that we can produce on the homestead. Thank you, Dan!
One of the things every person needs to consider when starting to prep is a stockpile. The bigger the better, of course, even the German government advised their citizens to have a 10-day stockpile, amid fears that war with Russia might break out at any moment.
As a homesteader, you’re in luck: many of the foods you already produce have a long shelf life. In this article, I’m going to share with you what those are, plus I’ll teach you how to rotate your stockpile so you’re always sure those foods will last as long as possible.
Let’s start with the obvious:
Honey is one of the easiest foods you can stockpile. It never goes bad even when stored in less than ideal conditions. Of course, beekeeping is not trivial by far, so if you’re not already doing it, you’re probably better off buying or bartering for organic honey with someone else. I would avoid supermarket honey as it’s very low in pollen.
As far as storage is concerned, room temperature is fine. In fact, low temperatures accelerate the process of crystallization. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, you can easily reverse the process by placing the jar in warm water and stirring the honey inside.
#2. Dried Beans
Though this has been previously discussed, in order to truly increase shelf life and avoid cooking them for hours on end when you’re finally ready to eat them, you should use Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.
This method is widely used by preppers for storing certain dried foods by creating an oxygen-free environment using this iron powder. Don’t worry, though, so long as you don’t mess with the packs, they won’t affect your food in any way.
Of course, you can also store rice and pasta using the exact same method. I specified beans because I wanted to give an example of a food you’re likely to grow on your homestead (but don’t let anyone stop you from making your own pasta at home).
#3. Dried Fruits
If you ever wondered what to do with excess apples and pears, how about you slice them and dehydrate them for hard times?
Though dehydrated fruits last between 6 and 12 months in the pantry, you can double that by storing them in the freezer.
One way of making sure they don’t go bad is to eat them before they expire. Many preppers, myself included, rotate all their foods at least twice a year, during daylight savings time (because it’s easy to remember).
Dehydration is one of the easiest food preservation methods. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use the oven or even make a solar dehydrator on your own.
#4. Canned Foods
This one is obvious, so if you’re already doing it the only piece of advice I can give you is to can even more. Some of the things you probably didn’t know you can can include:
· hot dogs
· ...and even cheese!
#5. Edible Plants
Some of the plants I’m about to give you make great spices, others are also good for medicinal purposes.
For long term storage you can dry them in the oven, just like you would with apple slices, though feel free to use a food dehydrator. Just make sure you know the right temperature for each plant you’re looking to process.
For disaster scenarios, consider dandelion greens, chicory, garlic mustard, horsetail and purslane. These are just a few examples of plants that have edible components, including huge amounts of vitamins and even omega-3 fatty acids.
As you can see, pretty much all of my suggestions are things you can produce on your homestead. The key is to grow a stockpile that will last 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months and even more if you feel up to it.
That way, no matter what happens, you’ll always have something to put on your family’s table when everyone else might be starving.
Of course, a food stockpile is just one piece of the survival puzzle. You also need to think about home security, personal protection, water, medical emergencies, communications and much more. For all of these and more, you can check out my site at www.SurvivalSullivan.com where my team and I publish almost-daily articles.
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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