Food Storage Options when Living Off-Grid


A solar food dehydrator can work well to preserve much of summer's harvest.

Because I like high-quality food but live somewhere that doesn't have a year-round growing season, the best way for me to ensure I have it available is to stockpile, store, and preserve food when it is in season and plentiful. I will outline some of the ways my mother and I have preserved food over the years.

Did you read my mom’s recipe in a past post about how to make cheese using milk that is souring (almost no longer good) or if you have extra milk? I would say the best way to figure out what you want to have plenty of is to make a list of what you love and use the most. For instance, I use tons of herbs and tomatoes, so I will explain how I make sure I have plenty of those items.

The best way to “store” food is on the plant. I plant tomato plants every 3 or 4 weeks so I have plenty of tomatoes over the fullest course of the growing season. For herbs, I have an herb garden right outside my kitchen door so I can have access to fresh herbs.

Drying Food in a Hot Car

Growing up, we traveled a lot and didn’t have refrigeration, so we tended to dry the majority of our extra food. We dry vegetables (sun-dried tomatoes are heavenly) and fruits (I love dried strawberries or blueberries) on baking trays in a car parked in the sun. If you have bug problems even in your car, some get muslin or cheesecloth to cover everything as it dries. Mom finishes off the last drying either in our solar oven or in the gas oven with the temperature at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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