How to Store Nutritious Local Food for Winter

We are heading into the dormant season for most local farm produce. When the ground freezes, it’s pretty much time to retire the mule to the barn and store the plow. With the exception of a few hearty slow growing plants like kale and chard, most of your nutritional local food will come from what was stored up for the dark winter months.

October through early December is your very last chance to grab what’s left of the lingering Fall crops in the Puget Sound region. Some things store well, while others need to be cooked, canned, frozen, or dried if they’re going to be squirled away for later consumption.

A little planning ahead can go a long ways in making sure you keep filled up on natural vitamins and nutrients through the long winter. It’s going to be a cold winter according to a NOAA news report. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for a colder and wetter winter due to the effects of a La Nina weather pattern cooling the Pacific Ocean. This year is especially important since there has been no time since the beginning of the great depression when this country was so precariously close to economic ruin. Having a little extra put away incase long-distance food supplies are disrupted is not a bad idea.

The Root Cellar: Traditionally a cool and modestly damp place beneath ground level which stays at an even temperature all winter. (If you don’t have a root seller or yard to put one in, then a ventilated box in a cool dark corner of your apartment below-ground parking garage might do fine.) Potatoes, Yams, Rutabaga are compatible bed fellows.

The Attic: In the winter, a vented attic is usually a cool and dry place that is ideal for storing thinks with thick and dry skins. Onions, Shalots & Garlic, Winter Squash – Butternut, Accorn, Hubbard and Spagetti Squash
(By the way, the term “winter squash” means squash that will last several months in comparison to “summer squash” which must be eated shrtly after it is picked.)

Refrigerator: You can store some vegetables for extended periods of time in a normal refrigerator. If the power goes out in a winter storm, you can burry these items in the snow to keep them fresh. Cabbage, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Apples, Pears.

Freezing: Deep freezing locks in freshness. Having a good stock of frozen goods through winter is a good idea. You can fill what ever space in your reffer with bottles of water in case the power goes out, they will help keep things frozen for up to a few days. Have a good contingency plan to consume your frozen goods if you are suddenly faced with a lengthy power outage situation. Meat, Fish, Carrots, Broccoli, Blanched Kale & Chard, Choped Hubbard Squash.

Canning: Canning is a great way to preserve tasty nutritional sustanance through the cold winter months.
Beens, Cucumber, Beets, Pears, Apple Sauce, Punkin, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Spinach, chard and Kale.

Drying: Dried foods store easily and make great snacks or quick meals.
Apples, Pears, Carrots, Beans, Punkin Seeds, and Herbs.

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