Saving Storage Food From Spoilage

You work hard all season to grow healthy food, then you scramble to store the excess in your trusty cold cellar. Then spring comes along a few weeks early and tries to rot the last of your hard won apples. That food could be standing between you and the starvation of your children, since the first spring crops won’t be ready for harvest for another few weeks. What’s a prepper to do?

Save what you can –  Take a good look at what is salvagable. Usually there’s some part that can be saved if steps are taken.  If your onions are sprouting, eat the bigger ones first, they’re the most likely to sprout.  If your onions are molding, find the ones that are still good and dry them.  Dried onion bits are great in DIY dry soup mixes. Even if you’re throwing out more than you’d like to, keep checking the stores and cull out the bad. Everything else will last a little longer with those “bad apples” gone.  Do try to send the culls through the compost pile or worm bin or chickens, to reclaim some of  the lost vitamins/minerals.

Get creative with the preservation – Apples that are wrinkling can be dried further in a dehydrator. They can also be cooked into sauces and syrups. Garlic that is sprouting too fast can be diced and stored in oil, or planted in the garden and encouraged to grow, they can be tasty early greens, or if they do really well, they can set bulbs. Potatoes can be dried and made into DIY hamburger helper. (Recipes here)

Have fun with it – When we were faced with the last couple of butternut squash, neither hubby or I was interested in ANY more winter squash.  But, we knew our budget would be happier if we buckled down, so we surfed online for something different, and came up the best dish we’d had all winter. (Carmelized butternut squash, all butter and brown sugar and cinnamon.) Trying something different with the old standby storage staples can ease the appetite fatigue that can set in as you try to polish off whatever was prolific and about to spoil.

We’re eating potatoes and onions in every meal right now. What are you trying to eat up? Need any new meal suggestions?

– Calamity Jane

5 comments… add one
  • TiredOldGuy March 27, 2012, 7:24 am

    Eggs, eggs, eggs! The first time I tried keeping a chicken it died. So I made the mistake of buying five chicks – thinking that at least one would survive…

    Now I have boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, baked eggs, egg omelette, egg hash, egg fritatta, egg pancakes, egg pavlova…

    P.S. Anyone want some free eggs?

    • AilimD'SilverFir March 27, 2012, 1:09 pm

      TOG, Sell those suckers! Growing up mom always had about 50 hens. There was 7 of us total, so we managed to eat quite a few, but just by advertising on our local radio station(something called SwapShop) we sold dozens every month. Especially to the older generations that had grown up with farm fresh, but moved to town when they aged. and depending on your location $1- $1.50 is still below supermarket prices so you make money, dont waste eggs, and your customers get a deal.

      • TiredOldGuy March 28, 2012, 12:40 am

        Thanks, I hadn’t thought of that. I do have some elderly neighbours down the road, so I’ll probably see if I can give them away. I wouldn’t sell them, only because the pension is a joke here in Aus.

  • MyReumatics March 27, 2012, 9:52 am

    Beans right now. Pinto Beans, white beans and black beans. Beans, beans, beans. So far we’ve made refried beans, baked beans, chili (white and red) Green Chili (with the black beans) ham n bean soup. And we are getting tiiiiired of beans. I’m a pretty crazy cook some days (we had pumpkin, chicken, curry, raisin, peanut soup last week) but beans are borrrrring.

  • sillyMe March 27, 2012, 9:56 pm

    I may have shared this before, but; when I was a kid we had a full basement a dark and cool place even in the Summer. One who section of the basement had a dirt floor. Every fall we would place burlap sacks, wooden boxes and bushel baskets of fruit and vegetables directly on the dirt floor. Potatoes would last till spring, squashes varied but most lasted 6-8 months, fruit was more tricky but some apples always made it to spring. Onions did well but often sprouted green onions by March. No special care except to look them over every now and then and use or discard any that looked bad and to spread them out so dissimilar produce didn’t touch each other. No root cellar, no refrigeration and no problems.


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