Hi everyone! Dean in Az again!
This time of year,all the garden’s should be producing lotsa goodie’s! Now,what to do with it all? Well,let’s look into the option’s.
The easiest to do is just freeze it all.But should the power go out,well….. You could do some home canning,but you have the cost of jar’s and lid’s,and then storage issue’s.As you may know by now,my favorite is to dehydrate,but I can’t grow a lot of my favorite stuff in Arizona.I love asparagus,but not enough to pay 3 buck’s a pound to dehydrate it.
In my opinion,you need to look at your overall plan.Are you bugging in or out? Can you load and haul everything? Do you need to backpack it all to your site? Do you have water for the dehydrated stuff? All of these issue’s will help decide the best method for you,if there is one single best or not.
Frozen food is probably the best,and most nutricious method.If you can keep it frozen.If you have a generator,or off grid power,that will work.But you soon run out of freezer space,fuel,whatever.
Can’s of food are great,but heavy if you need to transport them.And mostly water,which is good! Use the water for stew,soup,or to make gravy with!
Home canning is another favorite of mine. I recently got a pressure cooker,so I’m doing a lot of meat.No refridgeration needed,but the jar’s and lid’s are a little pricey,and just as heavy as can’s of food.Then you have the storage issue again,the weight,so on.The good part is that you can do almost anything in them.
Dehydrating is easy,but VERY time consuming.Almost everything take’s at least 8 hour’s,so you can’t do a lot at a time.Meat’s and veggie’s can be done,but you need to decide if it’s cost/time effective for you.
I can’t grow carrot’s here,for example.I could buy can’s of carrot’s,say .79 cent’s a can.That’s 2 serving’s.But I get a cup of water too. I could go to the grocery store and buy 2 pound’s of carrot’s,clean and dice them,put them in the pressure cooker.2 pound’s is a lot of serving’s,but the work,the jar’s,the weight.If you get the food free from your garden,and let the kid’s do it all,great! So,should I dehydrate them? Maybe,if I have the carrot’s and free time.Since I don’t have the carrot’s ,I prefer to buy frozen,and dehydrate them.I can get a 1 pound bag of carrot’s for 1.19,keep them in the freezer til I have room in the dehydrator.
So,let’s say it’s time to bug out,or bug in if you prefer.
If the power go’s off,all your frozen stuff is lost if you don’t eat fast! The good part is,if you need to bug out,use it for ice in the cooler’s.
Canned food,home or tin can’s,need no refridgeration,so your okay,unless the need to bug out pop’s up and you need to haul it all.
Dehydrated is nice and light,but you need water for it,and lot’s of it.But it take’s very little storage space.
So what’s best?
All of the above!
If your bugging out,go for dehydrated,if your bugging in,go with canned food.But keep a little bit of everything handy,as the best laid plan may need to be changed.Just as you have to diversify your investment,you need to diversify your food storage and method’s.
Just evaluate your plan and adjust it for anything.
Dean in Az