DIY Long Term Storage
- November 4, 2017 at 6:15 am #15414
What are your favorite methods of securing long term storage? Homer buckets? Freeze Dried? Canned goods? Livestock, etc…November 8, 2017 at 10:07 pm #15527
Here is how I’ve handled the topic within my preps. First and foremost, I look at food like all my other preps, tiered approach and following “2 is 1, 1 is none” motto. In case of food, the tiers are “shelf life” based which also allows for overlap.
Tier 1.1 (0 – 6 months): This is typically the normal “non-SHTF” situation but part of the preparations. With proper inventory and cycling
Tier 1.1 (6 months – 2+ years): Proteins are the primary target from a volume perspective, i.e., vacuum sealed frozen beef, chicken, pork, “seafood”. Of course, SHTF power is necessary, in my case whole house generator. This is also a backup for potential power failure being in rural area.
Tier 1.2 (6 months – 2 years): Canned goods. These can be commercially available with greater focus on home canning. Rotation is important here to ensure one consumes the older items first. Commercially canned items will have a “best by” date which is not an expiration but should be considered for nutritional value of item. My preference is home canning, just like in the past. This opens up a world of possibilities from individual items, tomatoes, potatoes, proteins, etc. to complete meals. I will typically make up a batch of chili, beans, soup, etc. and can multiple quarts. There are a multitude of videos available on the canning subject; wet and dry canning, water bath or pressure….all good.
Tier 2 (0 – 7 years): DIY dehydrated meals. It is not that difficult but requires a means to dehydrate. Some ingredients are not as great as freeze dried version but hey, we are talking SHTF and not bad at all. For example, look at white chili, chicken, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and seasoning. Cook the chicken, cut into cubes and dehydrate, oven or dehydrator, just make sure all moisture removed. Soak, par cook and dehydrate beans. Dehydrate cubed tomatoes, chopped peppers. Now, vacuum seal the items, put into Mylar bag with favorite seasoning sack and you have a complete meal ready to add water, bring to boil and enjoy!
Tier 3.1 (0 – ?? years): Air tight, oxygen removed packaged grains and legumes. Although you can certainly fill a 5/6 gallon bucket with rice or beans, consider using smaller (few pound) Mylar bags. This will allow you to mix the items so that you can put in 1 bucket, navy, pinto, black, etc. beans. Or beans and rice in same. Along with Gamma lid and oxygen absorbent, don’t have to leave exposed and rushing consumption.
Tier 3.2 (0 – 25 years): Freeze dried food, commercial or home. Here meals are an option but do not forget to get individual ingredients, proteins, vegetables, etc. This allows you to compile your own ingredients to make a meal. One item to consider to extend proteins, particularly ground meat, is TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein). Unless you are die hard vegetarian, I would not recommend them as only protein. However, adding a bit to a savory dish, chili, ragu (Italian sauce for you non-Italians), etc. makes the actual animal protein go much further without impacting the flavor. There are chicken, beef, and plain TVP versions.
Tier 4.1 (replenish): Livestock and garden. Chickens and rabbits are some of the easier livestock items to raise. Chickens of course, provide eggs in addition to meat and can be replenished with a single rooster. Rabbits are prolific and do not take up much room but also require at least 1 buck to replenish stock. Of course, as with all, there is a learning curve.
Tier 4.2 (replenish): Gardening is a great way with respectively less effort to livestock. Check out the Gorilla Gardening blog for more insight. There is a learning curve and you need heirloom seeds which will allow you to harvest new seeds for following season. Fresh from the garden vegetables are far superior in flavor that store, you just may not get the picture perfect item but you will not mind when tasted! Of course, here is where previous tiers come in as you are able to can, dehydrate, freeze dry most if not all vegetables and continue to enjoy during off season let alone SHTF!!November 16, 2017 at 5:58 pm #15756
Great info, a few things I haven’t thought of. I haven’t got as far as livestock of any sort but chickens are in the near future.
So many things to prep for and so little time and money lolNovember 16, 2017 at 10:02 pm #15761
Liljohn1998 – yes, there can be quite a bit to do and the list seems to grow as one item tends to trigger another. Chickens are a great way to start. Not sure how many you have in mind but starting with chicks is relatively inexpensive. Places like Tractor Supply or Rural King sell live chicks and you can order on line but beware of shipping costs if you intend to get small number. Not sure how rural is your location so look for a farmers’ coop as they two sell chicks. You may also look into livestock auctions where you may be able to pick up grown chickens but a little more careful here if you are not familiar with “adult” birds. Layers peak at approximately 2 years of age and you don’t want to get old birds. However, there is a learning curve advantage. You may get fewer eggs but will get familiar with behavior and other items as chick require more TLC until they are about 6-8 weeks old.November 18, 2017 at 7:18 pm #15792
We’ve got 15 “girls” that keep up in eggs. We harvest between eight and eleven eggs each day.
Here’s the coop and run we have in the back yard.
They’re a mix of Speckled Sussex and Rhode Island Reds. This is an old picture as they are fully mature now.
November 18, 2017 at 7:23 pm #15794
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by kmussack.
Aside from the chickens we intensely cultivate our 1-acre. We’ve got grapes, black raspberries, red raspberries, strawberries, asparagus and blue berries. Annually we cultivate about 1,000 square feet of garden as well planting beets, tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, etc.
November 20, 2017 at 4:08 am #15836
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by kmussack.
I dehydrate fresh foods when in season and frozen when not. I cook meats to reduce oils/grease and then dehydrate. I then vacuum seal all foods as separate ingredients ( to maximize food prep flexibility) and then I seal all in food quality 5 gal. Buckets. I number each bucket and print out two contents lists one in the bucket and one in my Prepper notebook. There are more steps/details, but you get the idea.November 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm #15865
When I grew up at one point we lived with out electric and running water and heated our home by wood in one of the coldest locations in the lower 48 states Northern Michigan. Most of the food we ate was grown or harvested from the wild. I still know families that live like this today in fact 70-80% of their food is harvested from the wild and they may have electric but they heat and cook by wood. Hell to be honest I know more that a few that live 100% off the grid with no modern stuff except their car truck or boat. Johnhs 5th Wheel is like the Tajma hall compared to how these folks live. They can they smoke they dehydrate they salt cure and more. These are the kinds of people that are already prepped basically the live damn near post apoc or total collapse daily. An having lived this way and knowing these people there is no favorite type of keeping food for me because I was instilled with the wisdom of the old folks. There are things you can and can not can because if you can the things you cant and eat them later you will get sick or die. Then there are things that are better dried or dehydrated. Then there are things that are better smoked or pickled and yes pickling is a form of long term storage. Some one here posted about the different storage keep rates. Weeks, months, years, decades etc. In my opinion they were spot on with that info. You have to have a diverse storage system. Now with that all said I can say the following book is on a majority of the shelves of these and was on my parents shelves (which are now mine) as well. Hopefully the admin can come in and alter this link later so that the club can make money from any sales or how ever the club is doing that. Anyway this is the book https://www.amazon.com/Putting-Food-Fifth-Ruth-Hertzberg/dp/0452296226 So for those of you that do not have this book I would highly recommend that you get it and then actually perform the tasks it instructs you in for putting food by. Get the equipment you need if you can afford it and have the space and then get that knowledge under your belt because not only will it save you $$ today it may save yours and others lives in the future. An men do not be thinking that you have a woman and do not need to know this knowledge. Everyone from 5-60 male or female needs these skills. As my great grandma grandma and mother always said a man that can not cook, store food and know how to do the basics is not a man that is long for the world in hard times.
Essayons!November 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm #15916
LibertyShip – thanks for the book recommendation! Funny you should make comment about “men needing the shills”, completely agree and funny since I’m the 61 year old (male) canner in household.
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