How much food do you preserve for winter? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-10-2010, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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#2 of 6 Old 08-10-2010, 10:45 PM
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I am just getting rolling with canning/preserving. We're a family of 6 and I haven't had much freezer space but we are getting a new freezer this week - yay - so I plan to freeze more this year than in past years.


Last year we did 100 jars of tomatoes and used them all except 3 jars. We'll do the same for this year if not a few more.
I did pickles (2 bushels) and peaches (3 bushels - some was jam) last year and we have some left but I was stingy and this year will do similar amounts and not be stingy.
I make about 50-70 jars of various kinds of jam each but use those for gifts as well as eating.
I do bushels upon bushels of apples for sauce. We get seconds from a local apple guy and I get them well into December or January. We probably go through 3 quart jars of apple sauce a week.
I canned a few jars of red pepper jelly (10 pints), peach salsa (10 pints), pear butter (about 10 pints), plum sauce (10 pints), apple butter (10 halfpints)etc and used those as gifts as well as for us. I'll do similar quanities this year
I'd like to can some pears or do pear sauce.

I've frozen about 10 quarts of blueberries but need to do more. I will use them for baking, smoothies and oatmeal.

I've got 6 quart bags of rhubarb and keep harvesting from our plant. These go into baking, oatmeal and fruit crisps.

I've got elderberries stockpiled from last year still so I may bake or make jam with them and freeze fresh ones this year. I was holding on to my stash to make syrup to fight the flu last year.

I plan to freeze some peaches for smoothies.
I usually freeze strawberries and raspberries but we were travelling during the season and I missed strawberries and I couldn't get ahead of the kids to freeze raspberries. Maybe next year.

I'll freeze cranberries when they come into season as well. I usually freeze 5 or 6 bags and use them in baking.

I want to freeze diced red peppers and zuchini for cooking and will probably try to do corn as well to see how that goes. I'll also shred zuchini for baking.
I'm wondering about freezing broccoli. I missed pea season although I may try for green beans.

We've got some pesto done and I plan to do some more and then freeze or dry herbs from my garden plot.

I've got some blueberries and cherries dried.
I'd like to dry apricots and apples this year.
I'll dry some of the herbs in my garden and freeze others.

I wish I had a cold cellar. I'd like to be able to store root crops. I can buy local root crops, squash etc from our farmer's market so that feels ok although I'd prefer to have it on hand here.

We will still buy fresh produce throughout the winter but I am hoping we won't need to buy anything from the list of stuff I have preserved.

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#3 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 01:07 AM
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I preserve as much as I can from our garden. I find that as my family grows (2 lil boys and a husband plus me) our needs grow. So it's a constant flux in that way.

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#4 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 10:27 AM
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I freeze almost everything that comes out of the garden although I am getting into this canning thing, I have sooo many tomatoes this year and am really hoping to can them as well as salsa.

I freeze peas, beans, corn, spinach, zucchini, squash and celery. For fruit we have wild blueberries, raspberries and rhubarb. I got my sister to bring me peaches from the Okanagan. My potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and some squash all store well into spring when gr. onions, lettuce, and morels start to appear.

We pick and dry wild mushrooms.

We have plenty of salmon, halibut and grass fed meat (purchased last fall)in the freezer. My mom brings us flour, cheese, and the best local made granola ever! We buy our eggs locally but haven't found a supplier of chicken so we do buy organic chicken when on sale but noticed someone selling turkey at the farmers market so I will have to check that out.

We are a family of 4 and we still need coffee, rice, dairy, oats, lemon juice, baking ingredients, dh makes his own pasta(sometimes)and animal food. ( I am sure there are more things)

I would say we spend about $300 a month on groceries. But we spend that again in fuel to get us to the ocean with the boat (1 hour away) to catch fish.
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#5 of 6 Old 08-13-2010, 10:12 AM
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I figure it's sort of trial and error. This is my first garden and eventually I'd like to grow enough veggies to last us all year long. There are just the two of us but I tend to cook food in large batches so that we purposely have leftovers. (DH is on evenings, we never eat together during week etc). I'm in zone 4.

I planted 2 packets of beans, one green, one yellow. We ate some fresh, but so far we have 23 bags in the freezer (4 servings/bag?) with still more coming. I plan on using them in roasts and stews.

I planted about 12 little basil plants that *really* bushed out and so far have made 1 batch of pesto using this recipe. Really, I have enough to make 10 more batches I think!

I have about 27 tomato plants (I think?) and so many green tomatoes without a hint of red in sight! I'm hoping to make enough spaghetti sauce and salsa to last us all year long (also have 4 tomatillo plants to add to the mix). I figure if I can get enough sauce to make spaghetti (etc) 5 times a month I would need 60 batches for the year. Salsa I would aim for once a month and if I get more, even better.

I have 4 zucchini plants and have picked 19 zucchinis in the past 2 weeks. (I let some grow bigger to grate and freeze, gave 4 away and ate the others fresh).

I planted 2 packets of peas but only seem to get enough to eat in the garden, not enough to freeze....

Squash: I have about 4 butternut, 4 pumpkin and 4 spaghetti squash. From the looks of things, I'll have plenty to eat and share!

Rutabagas seem to be growing ok, carrots are holding their own, beets are sad, parsnips didn't really do anything. I planted partial packets (about 3 four foot long rows of each, spacing as recommended on packet) and would give more space to them all next year.

I planted 10lbs of potatoes, cut so that there are 3-4 eyes/piece. I think I'll have plenty of potatoes. Now I'm a little nervous about finding the right place to store them all!

We have 2 medium sized Rhubarb plants (want to move/divide/fertilize them this fall) and I believe I froze about 8 bags of rhubarb to bake with this winter plus made a couple desserts at the time.

That's all from the garden. Then I picked lbs of strawberries at a Upick farm, froze some and made 14 small jars of freezer jam.

Plan on getting some apples this fall when they're cheap and freezing some to bake with during the winter and also make applesauce (hate store bought applesauce!)

As this year is my first year gardening, I didn't want to add learning how to can to the mix at the same time (canning scares me a little plus I don't have proper equipment etc and we have SO much going on this summer) so I plan on storing what I can by 'root cellaring', freezing and maybe drying. Eventually I would learn to can and have a dehydrator.

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#6 of 6 Old 08-14-2010, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mamamoon89 View Post big is your family? How much produce do you need to buy from the store to supplement the food you preserve?
I'm still working on it. I kept having kids. They're 6yo, 4yo, 2yo and 6mo next week.

My goal this year was/is 150 quarts of peaches, 150-200 quarts of pears, 200-300 quarts of applesauce. And 14-28 pints of diced tomatoes, maybe some tomato sauce if I get around to it, as much freezer jam as I can get (I have 8 or 11 batches of strawberry, 2 batches strawberry-rhubarb in the freezer - next up is huckleberry and raspberry/blackberry freezer jam). May can more cider if we get around to pressing some, will can grape juice with whatever I get from the garden, and I want to try canning some corn this year. This is my scaled-back version - you don't even want to know what my plans were back before I'd gotten pregnant and hubby got a job in a different state (as in, our garden is 80% weeds this year since I didn't have his help with it). I do have to find produce in boxes that fits my budget though - no $30/20lb boxes of organic peaches (my speed is closer to $9/26lb box of peaches). People look at me funny, but hey, this is what I do.

I still have green beans, canned jams, vegetable and chicken stocks, chicken, apple pie filling, sliced apples, relish, cider, grape juice, strawberry-lemonade and raspberry-lemonade and cherry-limeade concentrates from years past, so I'm not really bothering with those this year unless I get the urge. I still have leftover dehydrated apples, fruit leather, herbs and other goodies from last year as well. But I don't think you can ever really have too much dehydrated basil and thyme from your garden in your pantry.

I absolutely refuse to buy jam, green beans, stocks, relish and canned fruit from the store.
So that's my stocking up for the year. I do have to supplement with frozen veggies (corn, broccoli, blends), regular produce like lettuce and bananas and sometimes apples (but rarely do outside of the fruit's season). I need at least 1-2 quarts of fruit a day. As they get older, I'll need double that at least I assume.

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