Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Homesteading Where You Are Series-Preserve

Welcome back to our Wednesday series,

where 5 bloggers share
how we homestead right where we are.


Today's topic is  

Canning is on the list of skills I'd like to acquire.
When I see folks who have a pantry full of home canned goods,
it just makes me giddy!
Especially when the goodies are homegrown.
We aren't yet that self-reliant, but it's in the works.

We currently live in suburbia and don't have a huge garden,
but there are still some things that can be done to foster our independence.
 For instance, with our food preservation:

We always have a stash of cooked beans in the freezer.
These are great go-tos to add to soups, stews or to make bean burgers.

Soup is one of the easiest things to cook ahead
and have in the freezer for cold or stormy days.
Stored in mason or repurposed jars, they keep well for months.
Check the recipe page for our favorite simple savory soups.

Homemade chicken stock is prepared in the crockpot overnight
each time we cook a whole chicken for supper.
The stock is frozen in ice cube trays and then bagged and kept in the freezer.
These are tossed into many dishes as well as Lil' Guy's pasta,
as it aids in healing the gut.

You can find the technique for making effortless homemade stock here.
 The vegetarian version is here.

We do grow a few herbs presently.
Basil and parsley are two of the most frequently used herbs in our cooking.
Whenever I harvest or purchase parsley,
I immediately wash it, dry it and whiz it in the food processor.
It gets stored in jars in the freezer and is so easy to add to dishes for color and flavor.
Basil is usually made into some type of pesto and frozen in those same ice cube trays.
They work well in adding a little zing to pasta dishes or soup.

All of our cooking is scratch.
With multiple food sensitivities, it just makes sense to make it ourselves.
Gluten-free waffles and pancakes are easy to make in large batches.
We freeze the rest using freezer paper and plastic bags.
It's fantastic to be able to pull these goodies out any day of the week!


Saving seeds is another way to preserve your harvest.
When the flowers are spent, they are culled for seeds
to be used in the next season's garden.
This saves so much on buying seeds 
and is a great way to make friends!
Who wouldn't want free flower seeds?
We haven't yet ventured into seed saving for veggies yet,
but hope to work more toward that goal when we buy our farm.

 When this series idea came up,
I had some ambivalence about this week's focus.
Preserving to me always meant canning or making jams.
There are other methods of keeping and storing food and
we, in that sense, do preserve in our own way.
Of course, there is so much more to learn,
but I know it will come in time. 
Until canning, fermenting and pickling are explored,
our freezer works for us in our current situation.
If you're not canning yet, you can still eat well,
save money and nurture your inner homesteader!


For additional great homesteading ideas, visit these other bloggers posting to this series:
*Jackie, at Born Imaginative, grew up as an avid 4-Her, on a 50 acre hobby farm, with parents who pursued a homesteading life. Now, with a husband and two small children of her own, she is bringing an 1880s farmhouse/30acre farm back to life in Southern Coastal Maine.

*Mary, at Homegrown on the Hill, lives in Southwestern Ohio with her family on a 5 acre homestead. Their goal is to be as self sufficient as possible. In helping with this goal, they raise a big garden and keep chickens, rabbits, and cattle for food.

*Staci, at Life At Cobble Hill Farm, was bitten by the homestead bug in 2006 and although she began her homesteading ventures in a rented condo, is now homesteading on less than an acre in Upstate NY.

*Sue, at The Little Acre that Could, shares her body with an auto-immune disease, and life with her husband. They live in a once-working Victorian farm cottage now bordered by a modern subdivision. She has dreamed of homesteading as long as she can remember and continues to strive toward that goal in rural Atlantic Canada.

Five bloggers, 7 weeks,
Big Ideas!
Join us every Wednesday!

Homesteading Where You Are-Intro
Homesteading Where You Are-Make
 Homesteading Where You Are-Grow


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