Raising crops and animals on your homestead takes a lot of time and effort–not to mention blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t let your produce go to waste because of improper Preservation. Luckily there are a number of ways to preserve your produce or purchase. Here are Time-Tested Methods for Food Preservation:
One of the oldest methods of food preservation is dehydration. Using an oven at a low temp or through the use of a specialized kitchen or solar dehydrator is a great way to remove moisture and dehydrate food. This stops potentially dangerous microorganisms. It is also an excellent way to preserve nearly any food source for a long period of time.
This is one of the most popular methods of long-term food preservation, due to the ease and minimal prep work involved. A large chest freezer can hold enough food to hold over an average family for months. With proper vacuum sealing meats and produce can be frozen for up to a year or more without loss of quality.
Smoking meats and fish works much like dehydrating and imparting a delicious smoky flavor. Building a smokehouse might sound a little out of your wheelhouse, don’t worry though. It is actually fairly simple and can be done for as little as $100. The heat from the smoke and coals will kill pathogens and remove moisture without actually cooking the meat and natural chemicals that get released from the wood then act as preservatives help to ensure that these pathogens can’t take hold and spoil the meat later on in storage.
A root cellar is a dark, cool, storage area that provides ideal conditions for stockpiling crops for year-round use. Traditionally a simple closed-off room dug into the side of a hill, today homesteaders can invest in a modern climate-controlled room. This will allow the harvest to last much longer than those of the previous generations.
This is a method of storing food that can include varied options. Pickling, preserving fruits as jellies or jams, and bottling the end results of fermented food is all canning. Before the advent of refrigeration or freezing, this was the go-to way to preserve everything.
Utilizing these methods, there should be no reason for you to ever have to discard the results of your labors again. If you experiment and explore recipes, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your harvests all year-round.