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The cost of putting up food

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The cost of putting up food

Post  camprn on 5/25/2012, 9:04 pm

I didn't do the math but this lady did... I didn't double check the math either... Very Happy
http://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/which-costs-the-least-dehydrating-freezing-or-canning/

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  Weedless_ on 5/25/2012, 9:45 pm

My family is from Ukraine, and canning was the primary, if not the only way, to preserve food for winter, when fresh produce was very scarce and expensive. My mom and her sister would purchase massive quantities of fresh vegetables and fruit, and can for weeks at a time. We had a special floor to ceiling cabinet in the kitchen, where all those jars will be stored. It was a chore of chores, but we got to enjoy the delicious stuff in winter.
Then my dad got "rich" and purchased a Finnish fridge Rosenleuf with a large rapid-freezer. We started freezing vegetables and fruit. Then we learned that to operate that freezer, we are using three times the electricity than we did before acquiring it Smile. Plus, with electricity outages we had during snow storms, frozen goods had to be "salvaged" by cooking them into cannable things, so that was a fiasco.
Sometimes old school is the best way to go.
What about nutritional analysis of all three methods? I'll be more curious about vitamin content, not cost effectiveness. Also, what lady didn't take into consideration was the labor. You'll say it costs nothing, but I say, if it takes 30 seconds to put things in the freezer, and 4 hours to can the same amount of food, it has to count as something.

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  GWN on 5/25/2012, 9:57 pm

Well then there are the foods that do not need any of these methods...... dry beans, and winter squashes.....
Seem to last for most of the winter, and potatoes and beets in a cold room.
Perhaps the cheapest preservation.

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  cheyannarach on 5/26/2012, 12:36 am

@GWN wrote:Well then there are the foods that do not need any of these methods...... dry beans, and winter squashes.....
Seem to last for most of the winter, and potatoes and beets in a cold room.
Perhaps the cheapest preservation.
\

+1, plus my time preparing healthy foods for my family = priceless

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/26/2012, 1:11 am

You can dry vegetables. There is a great post and thread about freezing
vegetable and fruits along with several websites you can go to. I have a good dehydrator so i think I may try this! I hadn't used it in years. I have a huge plum tree and will have to make us some prunes.

My
friend told me that if
you just don't have time to can tomatoes put them in a
zipper bag (skins and all), zip it closed and smash it with the palm of
you hand. Then label it
and put it in the freezer. When you go to use them, the skins come off easily. But then if you have high electric bills and the electricity goes out, that would then give you lots of work canning.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8986-food-dehydrators

There was another thread that was good but I tried to find it again and just didn't have time to look much.

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  rowena___. on 5/26/2012, 9:22 am

the prices for canning supplies listed in that link are pretty low. Smile

i use all methods--canning, dehydrating, freezing, pantry storage. i try to spread things out--a little stored by each method--so that should one system fail (power goes out--500 year flood that we had in may 2010--etc) i won't lose everything in one fell swoop.

if i had to choose for convenience, i'd say dry pantry storage is simplest for beginners. if i had to choose the one that allows the most food to be stored in the smallest area, it would be dehydrating. if i had to choose the most expensive way to do it, it would be freezing because you have a continuing cost of electricity to run the freezer. if i were to choose the one that seems most intimidating but in fact turns out to be easier than making a loaf of bread, i'd say that is canning. Smile

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  GWN on 5/26/2012, 10:03 am

Is anyone else concerned about the toxicities of the lids in Canning
After having cancer, I tend to obsess about those things, but one of the main reasons for gardening for me is to get organic foods.
Anyone use these.
I have read about alternative lids bpa.

Here is an article washington post about risks of BPA article

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  Mamachibi on 5/26/2012, 10:47 am

GWN, there are BPA-free lids :Tattler canning lids

There is another option as well: fermenting. Fermentation uses only sea salt and water (a little whey is optional), it stores food without electricity, and increases the vitamin content of some foods significantly.

There are lots of good resources for fermentation including books by Sandor Katz and this is a really good online class: Lacto-fermentation E-course

I don't have a root cellar, but I have a basement that stays very cool in one corner. I've swiped that corner for my food storage. In three years, I've never had a fermented food "go bad" or make us sick. I highly recommend it.

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/27/2012, 12:42 pm

If anyone is looking for jars, look at yard sales and ask around. Some people just want to get rid of some. I sure will be doing more canning, dehydrating and freezing than I have in the past and making regular jam, not just freezer jam. I am going to look into the fermenting method also. Thank you Mamachibi for bringing that to our attention and about where to find the lids!

Rowena you have given us lots of good information about the differences. Have you written up your experiences with your flooding? I would love to read it and learn from it. We had a water main break and had mud and water damage but it was so minor in comparison.

Gwn, it does bother me a lot about BPA and I heard there is BPA in the lids of the store canned foods. Has anyone heard about companies using chemicals to get the skins off tomatoes? What are they thinking? Another reason to do our own!

How do you dry beans for storing? One year I let beans dry on the vines as a trial, is that the way? I put them in a jar and used them later. I didn't get much but I didn't have many plants. I know that if I let them dry on the vine, my plant stops producing so would I keep picking and dry them?

Weedless (I wish I was weedless) I heard that freezing is the best for vitamin content, especially if you freeze right away. I'm sure there is someone who has researched this.

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  rowena___. on 5/27/2012, 1:03 pm

@Triciasgarden wrote:Rowena you have given us lots of good information about the differences. Have you written up your experiences with your flooding? I would love to read it and learn from it. We had a water main break and had mud and water damage but it was so minor in comparison.

i wrote very little about it on the blogs, because at the time i was kind of out of sorts. by comparison to many of my friends, we got off lucky. it is a long story. Smile it was a hard time, and nashville is still recovering.

Gwn, it does bother me a lot about BPA and I heard there is BPA in the lids of the store canned foods.

i worry some, but i don't worry at all about canning lids. if you do your canning correctly, the foods don't actually touch the lids. i'm really quite a bit more concerned about other things having to do with foods--pesticides and herbicides used in agriculture, hormones injected into animals to make them grow bigger faster, antibiotics given to those same animals so that the diseases that spread in their inhumane and unsanitary living conditions don't make us sick when we eat their meat, etc.

How do you dry beans for storing? One year I let beans dry on the vines as a trial, is that the way?

that is how i do it, on the theory that leaving them on the plant allows them to take up the most nutritional value possible from the soil before going into my pantry. i still make sure to dry them a little more when i shell them, just in case.

I know that if I let them dry on the vine, my plant stops producing so would I keep picking and dry them?

i try to strike a balance. the first few pickings are early, before they are completely dry--the last one at the very end of the season i just let go. sometimes i don't get the last ones off the plant until after the frost.

I heard that freezing is the best for vitamin content, especially if you freeze right away. I'm sure there is someone who has researched this.

somewhere i might have a link on this, i'll look and see. what i know is that purchased foods are most nutritious if they are frozen because they are usually harvested and frozen on the same day, without any other processes. the foods that are canned usually go thru so many processes between harvesting and finished product that a lot of nutrition is sacrificed (not all of it to the process of canning--the additives go a long way toward making them less nutritious).

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  GWN on 5/27/2012, 10:57 pm

Triciasgarden
How do you dry beans for storing?
I let them dry on the plant, and then shelled the pods, I do not think I left them long enough to dry before I put them in Jar.
They eventually got some sort of fungus.
This year I am going to do the same but am going to leave them out longer to dry, and NOT put them in an airtight jar .....

Rowena
i worry some, but i don't worry at all about canning lids. if you do your canning correctly, the foods don't actually touch the lids. i'm really quite a bit more concerned about other things having to do with foods--pesticides and herbicides used in agriculture, hormones injected into animals to make them grow bigger faster, antibiotics given to those same animals so that the diseases that spread in their inhumane and unsanitary living conditions don't make us sick when we eat their meat, etc.
I worry about all of those things as well as BPAs. My goal is to grow almost everything I eat, I would just hate to find out later ( like we always find out things later) that it was the canning process that was disease causing. An interesting read is "the emperor of all maladies" ( a biography of Cancer), and how long certain studies are kept from the public by corporate lobbyists.

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  happycamper on 5/28/2012, 8:26 pm

I use the same method as GWN for drying storage beans. I leave them in the shell until really dry and crunchy then I shell them. Lastly I leave them out to dry for at least a week before vacuum sealing in jars.

It is nice to know that canning is one of the less expensive options for food storage. I prefer organic non-GMO produce home canned food. This also includes preserving herbs from the garden. I just pulled up last years parsley and I have 3 quart jars of it stored now so I will not be growing it this year. I left one plant to go to seed so that I will have it for next year.

I have used the Tattler lids for many years (I have a stockpile). I have used them over and over so many times that they have paid for themselves. I still have regular metal lids that I have saved up over the years from whenever I buy jars and I do use them when I run out of the others.

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The Pantry Principle

Post  camprn on 5/30/2012, 9:23 pm

Here is a great piece from Frugally Sustainable blog
Keeping a well stocked pantry.
Very Happy

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  herblover on 5/31/2012, 8:34 am

@camprn wrote:Here is a great piece from Frugally Sustainable blog
Keeping a well stocked pantry.
Very Happy



Great article; I actually have "The Tightwad Gazette" and try to utilize those principles. It does sound almost verbatim.

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Re: The cost of putting up food

Post  plantoid on 5/31/2012, 4:51 pm

Most root crop veg can be stored in peat or peat substitute that is slightly moist .

For many years I've used trash cans filled with peat substitute and stored in layers with peat infill .... potatoes ,carrots , parsnips , celery heads with roots on them and beetroot out in the garage where the winter temp had dropped to well below freezing for several weeks at a time . You can also keep new potatoes on hold for a couple of months with the bin method so long as they are well out of the sun.

When the next year arrives and you have used all the veg , use the peat etc as part of your compost regime or for dressing the lawns in spring. etc.

As a kid ( many years ago ) it was the norm to have a " potato , carrot or root crop grave or clamp in the garden fairly close to the house . Google " potato clamps + UK "

These are built on a base bed of a good 18 inches of laid straw and several layers of crop and straw on top in a cone about four feet high to run from top to bottom like thatch then cover all over in a foot of earth .

Once a month after crop harvesting dad would open the top of the graves take out four weeks of produce then re straw and cover it . The graves kept our root crops OK as they are an old version of a cold store but with reasonable natural moisture . If it had frozen hard or there was a couple of feet of snow he'd clear it use a 3 pound hammer to brea the soil and be as quick as he could in getting the roots out and recovering etc.

Perhaps in the cold climates of places like Canada instead of using earth to cover the straw some sort of tarp & brick /stone weights could be employed on top of the straw and have a two foot layer of straw instead of oine foot of it.

We'd be eating grave veg from mid NOV right through till the end of May

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