TOTM August 2016- Beyond Farm to Table: Preserving the Harvest

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Motomom34, Aug 1, 2016.

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  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    There is a new movement, a hip new way of eating called Farm to Table. There are restaurants that specialize in this, serving locally grown food. I support people eating healthy, locally etc.… A bonus of Farm to table is you can keep your inventory longer.

    Blurb from Farm to Table article: Food that is purchased directly from the farm will naturally last longer on your shelf. It hasn’t spent time in a processing plant or on a truck for shipment. It came straight from the ground to you, meaning you just bought yourself more time to think creatively.

    Interesting concept, the movement tells you how to shop, harvest season etc. But what about preserving? Since we are survival monkeys we think beyond next week and the week after. When we think creatively, we think months to years in advance.

    Preserving food is a chore. One of the most important chores you will do. Depending on how you put your food by, it can be real time consuming. We live in a world of convenience but what happens when those conveniences disappear? I am real interested in the tips, tricks plus less resource consuming ways of preserving food.

    This month let’s talk about preserving our harvests.

    Old method, new methods
    Freeze Drying
    Water Bath Canning
    Pressure Canning
    Fermentation & pickling (there is a difference)
    Using salt or alcohol

    Or maybe you have another way of preserving you harvest. Do you have a family recipes or story to share of how your Grandmother or Mom used to do things? Not just fruit and vegetables, grains and meats also have preserving steps.
  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Right now, peaches, grapes, mangoes, and other fruits and berries are in season so my evaporator is working overtime. I love dried fruits to snack n or to reconstitute and use in cooking.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Upickem blueberries are frozen, ready to brighten up mid winter cheerios.
  4. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

    well I for one water bath,pressure can and dehydrate all the time. put up everything I can as hard times are ahead
  5. TheJackBull

    TheJackBull Monkey+++

    well, the berries are all jammed up or frozen for later use. the corn is on as well as apricots so those are getting done. tomatoes and peppers are coming on soon too..


    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have had many conversations on preserving. One thing that I guess is a personal choice is sterilization. My niece doesn’t sterilize her jars when she does refrigerator pickles or beans. I spoke with a woman that said no need to sterilize jars in boiling water if you run them through the dishwasher because they dry at high temperatures.I do not agree but I am a novice when it comes to canning.

    I do wonder about botulism. Botulism can come from the soil and I have always heard of botulism associate with canning but what about when you are drying/dehydrating produce? The high temperatures of canning kill the botulism spore but when you are using other methods of preserving foods, how do you kill the spores?

  7. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    The acidic nature of fermentation/pickled foods, botulism doesn't like that. Dehydrating isn't an issue, because it's the moist environment in canned foods that can encourage botulism as I understand it. Freezing also is unfriendly to botulism, which doesn't like it that cold.

    Tomorrow for my birthday, I'm gonna be canning bacon and chicken :) Chicken to keep the cats from killing me and eating me, so I'll make it til next year ;)
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Botulism Spores are NOT the issue... It is the Botulism Bacteria, that produce the Botulism Toxin, when they GROW... and they ONLY Grow in a Vacuum, or in an Anaerobic Environment.... (Oxygen not present) It is the Toxin that is the KILLER, NOT the Bacteria, or the Spores... That is why we COOK, our Salmon Cans, in a Steam Pressure Cooker, AFTER it is sealed by the Vacuum Sealer.... To KILL any Spores or Bacteria that might be inside the SEALED Can.... We do NOT need to Cook ANY High Acid Content Products, as the Bacteria will NOT Grow, in that environment.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Might want to do a little reading on this, I had 11 family members killed by Botulism poisoning back in the 1920's all because of improper canning preparation! This case made world news, the biggest death from botulism in U.S. history! You can find that story in the Albany news paper archives from those days!
    Brutus57, Gator 45/70, Ganado and 3 others like this.
  10. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I enjoy canning, pickling, drying, and I freeze a lot of stuff too but if the freezer goes out, the dehydrator or the canning pot comes in.
    Gator 45/70, Ura-Ki, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Are you saying you are bacon flavored on your birthday and that the cats like bacon?

    (Couldn't help myself --)
  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    What are you going to do with all of those onions? How do you keep them from going bad or sprouting? Amazing crop.
    Ura-Ki, Ganado and Seepalaces like this.
  13. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    If you grow your own in a greenhouse, onions, carrots, cabbage, turnips. and quite a few others will keep for months in the soil.
    Some like carrots, onions, turnips, like to be covered to prevent freezing, but others tolerate most winters in NH in an unheated greenhouse. Eliot Coleman in Maine is my go to source. I don't know if it is preserving etc, but really handy picking plump hard carrots out of the ground all winter. I use freezing as my first choice and drying as second. Mom always canned a couple hundred quarts of everything from A to Z and a lot of meats. As a kid eating out of a "tin can" was one of the worst insults you say about a family. I don't know how she canned, it didn't get passed down to me and none of the wives or grand children ever learned how to can, garden, butcher, etc.
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  14. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    We have got to learn how to pressure can. My wife cans a lot but always, what is called here 'Water bath' canning. They don't do too much Pressure canning where she came from, mainly because they didn't have much of what needs to pressure can or it was too expensive... W need to do something small so we can learn how to do it. Maybe buy a bunch of chicken and can them up? What would be something good (and relatively easy) to start with? Man-oh-man I would love to can some salmon but think better to start small. :)

    Cucumbers, green beans, radishes, green onion, potatoes, carrots, garlic, lettuce are all ready, tomatoes are still not quite there yet.
    Raspberries, strawberries ready and already eaten! :):) Some squash and zucchini still coming on... Everything gets frozen or canned. I would have liked to try dehydrating some of the strawberries but...they didn't hang around long. LOL!

    I also put up in Mylar 40 pounds of Potato Flakes today...I need more buckets now.
    Motomom34, VHestin and Ganado like this.
  15. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I like to cook sausage patties and stuff them into fruit jars and cover with melted lard then pressure can them. They last for years and make a very easy and quick meal, just pop a few into a pan and warm.
    Tully Mars, Dont, Ura-Ki and 2 others like this.
  16. TheJackBull

    TheJackBull Monkey+++

    I let them dry on a table outside for several days before I remove the green tops. then they dry several more days or however long it takes to get "crispy" on the outside, like the ones you buy in the store. they wont last long as we can lots of salsa, marinara, and soups. that is 1/3 of the onion crop, the rest are still growing.
    once dry we usually braid/string them up in the cold storage.
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  17. Brutus57

    Brutus57 "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley."

    We do bout 400 jars a year. Currently green peas and some jams. My wife has a Certificate in Master Food Preservation and is probably a 4th or better generation canner. She's canned everything from butter, to bacon to potatoes that we tried after almost 3 years and they were excellent. She does, pressure, hot water, jerk, dehydrate, fruit leather, etc. I buy her vintage canning books when I see them as well as equipment.

    In fact, the green beans we just had with supper were about 15 minutes old from our garden. We are big believers in eating as many natural grown foods as possible and we barter a bit with like-minded neighbors.

    Brutus Out
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2016
  18. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    The Wife and I like to make up 5 gal batches of Soups, Stews, and Real Borscht then pressure can them and place them in cool storage. I make Beer, RootBeer, other sodas, and Wine as well. Things to enjoy or to add to our cooking, plus it can be used for barter! Add to this my insane love of smoked meats and cheeses and we do pretty well. I usually have a full cow butchered on top of any deer, elk or bear I get and so we deep freeze quite a lot. I used to have a lot of Salmon and steel head when in the PNW, but have very little now days, and hate having to buy any. We also make homemade candy and pastries that we freeze or refrigerate and we grow 12 different varieties of berries for jams and canned. I cannot get apples or other things like pears or plums to grow, but I have a few friends ( flat landers) that I trade with, to add to our menu. A pound of beef jerky for a 1 pound can of apple butter is a good trade in my book!
    Brutus57, Ganado and Motomom34 like this.
  19. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Well my plan to can today hit a dial gauge has disappeared. So I'll have to order a new one. Since I already had around 5lbs of chicken thawed and ready to can, had to cook and re-freeze it. On the bright side, I'm also ordering clearjel and cheese wax as well, so I'll be able to can pie fillings and preserve cheese as well :)
    Tully Mars, Gopherman, Ganado and 4 others like this.
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